Rain, wind, mold, algae, insects, sun—your beloved wooden fence has so many enemies. Whether your fence is cedar or made of spruce, pine, any type of wood fence can weather given a long enough time. But you don’t have to just sit back and watch it change. This week we’ll look at some ways to protect and maintain your fence from the elements.
Prep Your Fence
Let’s start by making sure your wood fence is pristine—a regular part of your fence maintenance. That means clearing it of pesky vegetation. Carefully unwind those vines, and try not to bust a picket. Trim back any plants that look like they’re waiting to pounce on your fence as soon as you turn your back on them.
A Simple Solution to Mold & Mildew
Once your fence is bare, time to clean, especially if you have mold or mildew growing. Many optimistic homeowners believe that sunshine will kill moss and mold automatically in a Texas summer. It’s true that sun tends to shrivel up moss. But a little cleaning will do a more thorough job of it, and keep your fence looking its best. Here’s how.
A fool proof-safe method of cleaning a wood fence is sticking to water and a scrub brush. If this is too labor-intensive, try pressure washing. Keep the PSI down to avoid damage to an aged or older fence. Throw a little cleaning solution on there and hit both sides of the fence with a fan tip sprayer to remove layers of dead wood cells. Ah, there’s that beautiful wood underneath! Stand at least 36 inches away while power washing so you don’t blast your fence too hard.
Now it’s time to let your fence dry for at least a day. On the next day if you return and still see moss and mildew, then it’s time to check the kitchen cupboard. Vinegar is one of the best cleaners, from kitchen surfaces to fences. Mix half a cup of plain white vinegar per gallon of water. Slather it on the moss or mold, let it sit for 15 minutes, scrub and rinse off. Vinegar is a great solution for moldy vinyl fences. Baking soda is another household cleaning option – works on teeth, works on fences.
- If you’re using anything other than water to clean that moldy fence, you must protect your plants. That includes vinegar, which is used as a weed killer, but is happy to kill your prized blooms, too. Tie back or cover landscaping before proceeding.
- Choose the right day for fence cleaning. Moss and mold love wet weather, so pick a sunny day when your fence will quickly dry out after treatment, discouraging mossy regrowth.
- Some moldy fences demand the hard stuff. Check out your hardware store for moss and mold killers. We’ve had good results with Wet and Forget. Just spray it on, and retreat to your AC while it does the rest. Whenever you’re using one of these stronger cleaners, spot test on an inconspicuous part of your fence before dousing the whole thing.
Stain That Fence
Your fence’s best protection against the sun, future mold and mildew growth is UV blocking stainer. Yep, sunscreen for your fence. You can brush or spray it on, whichever you prefer. Just make sure it penetrates into the wood. Read the directions and follow them faithfully. Do it right and your fence should look awesome for the next few years.
Help with Fence Repair
Are you afraid your wood fence looks a bit too awful to fix yourself? Is it time to call in a fencing company for a more thorough fence repair? Buzz is here at the ready, for all your fence and gate repair needs. Give us a call and we’ll have your wood fence looking better than new.