How to Extend the Life of a Wood Fence

How to Extend the Life of a Wood Fence

A wood fence adds beauty, security, and value to a home.  It typically lasts 15 years or more when properly maintained.

Wood fences can be made with several different types of materials. The most common are Western red cedar and redwood.

Apply Fence Stain and Sealer

A stain provides pigment, while a sealer protects the wood from moisture damage and UV rays. Using these two products together helps your fence last longer and look better.

Applying a stain and sealer is easy, but you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. Do not take shortcuts.

Step 1: Prepare the wood for staining by removing dirt, mildew, and moss. Then, scrape away any old coatings of varnish or paint.

Use a brush or a roller to apply the stain. Make slow, even strokes with the roller or brush and cover two- to three-foot sections at a time.

Back-brush or re-paint over areas exposed by the previous stroke with a broad brush to ensure an even coat that does not leave lap marks.

Inspect the Fence Regularly

The best way to extend your fence’s life is by regularly maintaining a wooden fence. First, look for cracks, breaks, and points of rot. Then, repair them as soon as possible.

Wood rot is caused by contact with moisture and soil. Therefore, you should install a small gap of at least two inches between the ground and the fence boards to prevent early deterioration.

You can also coat the posts where they emerge from the ground or concrete with a wood preservative to prevent further rot.

It would help if you also trimmed away bushes and vines that clung to the fence. These plants can trap moisture and cause your bar to rot more quickly.

Clean the Fence Regularly

If you have a wooden fence covered in dust, dirt, or pollen, cleaning it regularly can help extend its lifespan. The process is relatively simple and requires little effort or equipment.

Using a garden hose is the safest and most environmentally friendly way to clean a wood fence. This is ideal for rinsing grass clipping or small clumps of dirt and mud off the fence.

You can also use a bleach-based product like Mold Armor to remove mildew stains on your fence. But, again, make sure to mix the solution before scrubbing.

Repair Damaged Areas

Eventually, wood fences will develop damage that requires repair. This includes discoloration, splintering, warping, and rot.

The damage may be limited to a specific picket or fence panel, but it can spread to other parts of the fence and affect its structural integrity. This is why it’s crucial to inspect the whole fence before deciding on repairs.

Replacement is often the better option if a fence suffers from significant damage. This is especially true if it’s not worth the money and time involved in repairing a small portion of it.

Replace Rotting Posts

Wood fence posts are highly susceptible to rot and decay. Therefore, they must be protected from water infiltration to last for years.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent rotting on wooden fence posts. These include applying fence stain and sealer, maintaining a wooden fence, and replacing damaged parts.

If the rot on the wooden fence results from weather, you can use a water-repellent stain or sealer to protect the wood from moisture. You can also reduce the chances of rot by keeping the soil around the base of each post dry.

If the rot results from structural issues, such as broken posts, you may need to replace them with new ones. You can do this by digging out the old posts and pouring concrete into their place.

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