Your Summer Guide to Wooden Fence Maintenance

March 31, 2024

When it comes to fencing in your property, it doesn’t get much more classic than a wooden fence. Isn’t the picket fence what we visualize as a symbol of the American dream? And doesn’t the sight of sparse, black fence posts take you right back to Kentucky horse country? Wood is an excellent fencing option for homeowners concerned about privacy, aesthetics, or both. But if you want your wooden fence to last, you’ll need to put in a little bit of maintenance. Don’t worry, though! It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you’re looking for ways to keep your new wooden fence looking beautiful, or you’re just in the market for a low-maintenance enclosure, we’ve got you covered. Here are the basics of regular maintenance for your wooden fence.

Yearly: Remove Threats

If you’ve maintained your yard well, chances are you can skip this step. However, unwelcome yard growth can sneak up on the best of us. Weeds, overgrown plants or bushes, and loose branches aren’t just unsightly; they can be major threats to your fence. Overgrown plants and weeds can damage its structural integrity, while one summer storm can knock loose branches onto it, causing holes or cracks. If you’ve let these things go, it’s okay-- just don’t put off taking care of them any longer. Be sure to trim any bushes or plants near your fence, pull any weeds, and cut down any loose branches that may hit your fence. Remember: preventing damage is much easier and less expensive than fixing it.

Yearly: Inspect and Repair

Over time, the wood in your fence may begin to warp or split as it dries out. While this is normal, it can lead to damage. Also, if your fence has been exposed to a lot of moisture, it can fall victim to wood rot. That’s why you’ll need to inspect your fence each year looking for damaged planks or sections to repair or replace.

2-5 Years: Clean

Over time, your fence may become dirty or discolored. That’s why every few years, you’ll want to clean the wood to remove dirt, moss, mold, or mildew, and to restore its color. This doesn’t have to be done every summer-- you can wait 2-3 years or even 3-5 years if the amount of wear and tear is minimal. Scrape off any moss or peeling paint until you can see the original wood, then clean with a pressure washer. If you notice mold on your fence, mix a solution of 20% bleach and 80% mild detergent and spray it on the fence an hour before washing. This will kill any existing mold spores and prevent regrowth. Finally, recoat the fence with a UV-inhibiting, water-repellent coating.

3-5 Years: Reseal or Paint

Finally, paint or stain should be reapplied at least every 3-5 years. If your fence incurs significant wear and tear, you may want to do so sooner. If you’ve just cleaned your fence, wait a week before painting to let the wood dry out. When choosing a paint, we recommend an exterior oil-based or latex paint, which will seal out moisture, prevent wood rot, limit weathering, and extend the life of your wood. As for stain or sealant, choose one with a UV inhibitor-- this will preserve the color of your wood by preventing graying. Apply with a brush or a power sprayer with a stain tip, a thinner tip than one meant for paint. Once paint, stain, or sealant has dried, your fence should be good to go for a few more years.Nearly every fence type will require some regular maintenance to keep it looking good and standing long-term. But for busy homeowners who want a low-maintenance, yet stylish option, a wooden fence might just be perfect. Ready to get started? Contact us today for a free quote. Or, explore your options in our catalog.

About Rio Grande Fence

Rio Grande Fence has been providing excellence to the Tri-State area for over 57 years. Our service area includes Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. Our fencing projects can be seen in residential homes throughout the Tri-State area, as well as commercial businesses such as the University Of Kentucky and Cincinnati Airport. We are proud members of the Better Business Bureau, The Associated General Contractors, the Home Builders Association of Lexington, and the American Fence Association. Rio Grande Fence provides the fence installation Lexington KY trusts including quality wood fence, vinyl fence, aluminum fence, chain link fence, ornamental fence, privacy fence, decorative fence, pool fence, gates and gate operators. Learn More.