A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning & Maintaining Your Wooden Fence
Cleaning and maintaining your wooden fence can be an ongoing challenge.
Plus, given Alberta’s extreme winters, your fencing may become discoloured or show other signs of wear and tear more quickly than you anticipated.
That’s why being proactive is key to maximizing the return on your fencing investment.
Want to know how to clean and maintain your wooden fence in Alberta?
Here is a step-by-step guide to the best methods for ensuring your fencing remains durable and looking good.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Wooden Fence
None of the methods below is a be-all and end-all unto itself.
Instead, depending on the type of fencing materials used, their age, and local environmental factors, you’ll likely use a combination of these approaches.
1. Cleaning Your Fence Regularly
You need to clean your wooden fence on a regular basis as well as before staining, painting, or sealing it.
Removing accumulated leaves and dirt from its base will reduce rot and mildew.
In addition, use a power washer and a solution of 1 cup of white vinegar per gallon of water to more thoroughly clean it.
After spraying your fence with this mixture, wash it again with water alone after 10-15 minutes.
2. Staining Your Fence After Installation
Potential damage to your fence from rot will be significantly minimized by applying stain after its installation.
To stain a fence, you can use a brush, roller, or spray rig.
First, clean the fence thoroughly, and allow it to dry for 1-2 days.
After that, you can apply coats of stain as necessary every 12 hours as long as the humidity is below 30% and the temperature is between 10-32 degrees Celsius.
3. Preventing Your Fence From Damages
You’ll need to visually inspect your wooden fence on a regular basis for signs of rot and mildew, especially in areas with high humidity or after significant amounts of rain.
If you detect any problematic spots, use a mildew cleaner on them.
If there are hedges or bushes next to your fence, make sure to remove any bird nests.
If you see any signs of termites, putting down borax is a natural insecticide.
In extreme cases, you’re better off using professional pest control services.
4. Painting Your Fence To Extend Its Life
Painting your fence will extend its life, and it’s cheaper than stain.
It requires a bit more upkeep as you’ll need to touch up any spots where over time it inevitably peels and cracks.
Use a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply coats of paint as long as the humidity is low, and the temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius.
When doing touchups, make sure to sand each trouble spot first so paint goes on smoothly.
5. Resealing Your Fence For Additional Protection
Another option you can use when maintaining your wooden fence is to apply a sealer after staining or painting.
With Alberta’s typical weather characteristics, you don’t have to reseal your fence as often as rainy areas.
If you have a cedar fence, you can use a polyurethane sealant alone to preserve its natural grain and colour but you will need to reapply it once or twice a year.
Your best application option is a spray rig.
Keep any pets indoors until it dries to keep sealer off their fur.
Do It Yourself (DIY) or Not?
Maximizing the longevity of your wooden fence is an ongoing process.
You’ll need to regularly invest time and money to maintain its appearance and positive impact on your property value.
To that end, you may decide this is more than you want to tackle by yourself.
If so, it’s best to recognize that early on and find fencing professionals to do it for you.