Three Tips for Keeping Your Wood Fence Looking Like New

There are plenty of reasons to choose a wood fence — it’s durable, attractive, and can complement a variety of home exteriors. But while it’s a long-lasting option to enclose your yard, you can extend its life by caring for it in the right way. If you want to make sure that your fencing sees plenty of good days, these three tips can help you keep it looking like new no matter how old it is.

Keep Repairs Small

While a wood fence is durable, it can suffer wear and tear out in the elements. The key to making it last, though, is taking care of damage as soon as it happens so that you don’t wind up with a bigger problem. Check your fencing regularly for any signs of damage and make repairs. Use waterproof glue to mend broken or split sections, or replace the boards entirely if necessary. Tighten loose sections and use a hammer to reset any protruding nails. If there’s any damage that you don’t know how to fix yourself, contact the installation company for assistance.

Keep It Clean

If you’re primarily concerned with your wood fence’s appearance, regular cleaning is a must. Over time, the sun and weather can cause a gray film to develop as old wood cells accumulate on the surface. To rediscover the warm, attractive color, use a cleaning product designed specifically for wood fencing or decking to thoroughly clean the entire surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but you usually have to leave the product on for at least 20 minutes so that it fully penetrates. Then scrub it with a brush and rinse thoroughly.

You can also use a power washer to clean your fencing. However, if you use the washer incorrectly, you can do serious damage. Choose one that is rated between 1500 and 2000 PSI and features a wide-angle tip. Don’t hold the tip any closer than 12 inches away, and keep the wand in constant motion as you move it across the surface. Clean your fencing approximately every three years to keep it in good shape.

Stain and Seal

Once your wood fence is completely clean and dry, you need to stain and seal to protect the surface. Use a semitransparent oil stain designed for exterior applications, and look for a formula with UV-inhibitors to help prevent the sun from fading it and a mildewcide to help fight off fungus growth. Apply a soaking layer to the surface, and let the surface absorb as much of the stain as possible. If it still appears dry, apply an additional coat. While the seal should last approximately three years, you may want to reapply once a season to keep the fencing looking fresh.

Fencing For Privacy, Safety, and Home Decor

Fences have always been part of our history, since the time when fences were built to keep herds in pastures and used to mark lands and other resources. Mark Twain is correct when he said that “Good fences make good neighbors” because fences not only provide a sense of ownership, they also show that you respect other territories and privacy.

Being a foundational element in every home development project, fencing has become an integral part of the American landscape as it yields more than 72,000 miles of fence sales in the United States each year (New York Times on Fences). With these kinds of statistics, it’s a given almost every household has a fencing need. What do you need the fences for? Is it for privacy, safety, or as a mere decor.

Whatever reason you have for needing a fence, the next question comes: “what kind of fence do you require?” Don’t worry, we will guide you properly for you to have a clear visualization of what kind of fence is appropriate for your needs.

Fencing For Privacy

There are several privacy fence options that you may want to have for your home. If there isn’t a lot of space between your home and your neighbor’s, you may need to put up a simple, thinner, fence to define your space. If your house is situated near a busy road, putting a higher and thicker fence may be required to block some of the noise and provide more privacy. If you have bigger yards, you may want to use fences to define multiple living spaces such as cooking and recreation areas that require privacy.

There are a lot of materials and designs that suitable for privacy fencing. You can use wood, vinyl or even hedges. The main purpose of building this kind of fence is to provide privacy, so any fencing materials that can block “intruders” can be used as long as it serves its purpose.

Fencing For Safety

Another reason for having a fence is safety. Homeowners who have children are most likely to require a safety fence to protect them while they are playing outdoors with limited adult supervision. Those who have pets also commonly require safety fence to keep them in the backyard while those who have swimming pool require the same to avoid unsupervised children from getting inside the pool area.

Fencing as Part of Your Landscaping Design

Another popular function of fences and gates is enhancing the aesthetic value of the house landscape. There are houses that do not really require fences for security and safety but have fences built simply to add artistic value to the facade. These fences are called ornamental fences because they highlight landscape features. The fence separating your driveway from your lawn or garden which blends with the landscape is an example of an ornamental fence.

Getting The Most From Fencing

If you are concerned about your garden privacy, you may be interested in a solution involving any fencing you already have around your house. If you are considering good neighbour or privacy fencing, it can be an attractive backyard option that adds value to your property. This can be particularly important if you have a hot tub, spa or swimming pool and you need privacy for those reasons. Some city ordinances also require 6-foot-high fencing around such structures for safety reasons. This additional safety work may also reduce your home insurance premium too as a bonus.

If you are thinking about improving your fencing for other reasons, there are a number of things to consider. Plantings around the fence in a yard can soften the look and also create extra areas of privacy. Training a vine along a mesh fence can transform it in a matter of months. You can buy vinyl strapping to be woven through latticed fences and this also breaks up the monotony of large fencing panels, as well as complimenting your house exterior. You may want to consider replacement of a portion however if a section is beyond repair or to block out unsightly surroundings.

Getting the most from fencing may also be adding structures as part of additional outdoor living space. If there is a natural hedge on one side, you can add a gazebo, pergola or another structure to help separate one space from another for example. This will enhance your living space’s appearance and also maximise the benefit from existing fencing you already have. Break down the tasks into smaller ones such as planting vines, fast-growing shrubs and tall decorative grasses around your fencing.

There are instances where you might have no choice but to replace or install new fencing on your property, but get the best from your fencing purchase – consider a long-term plan for your outdoor design. Think about future appearance and what you want to do and where. Consider your budget, materials, desired height and types of fence design. Start designing your outdoor living areas first and this should help make the right decisions for you. Consider both planting and appearance as well as privacy considerations and safety or security concerns.