While your fence may look amazing during the spring and summer months, it might not look as perky come the fall and winter. From the elements to fading from the sun, lots of things can affect the appearance and stability of your fencing, so do what you can to ensure it looks just as great in spring as it does when you first installed it. Here are some tips for protecting your fence throughout the seasons.
There are many types of fences out there, from vinyl to wood to wrought iron. Not every one of these types can be treated the same way, so it’s important to do your research first. When you bought and installed your fence, you should have invested in pressure-treated wood for posts, says HGTV, which are chemically treated to keep bugs and moisture at bay. If not chemically treated, the wood can rot out and become structurally unsound fairly quickly. You’ll need to apply water-repellent preservatives and sealants to your wood fence to further protect it from the weather. Another good idea is to brush on an exterior stain, which not only protects the wood but provides a bit of an aesthetic complement to your home. If you have a wrought iron fence and rust is starting to creep in, you need to neutralize this right away. First, remove all rust, because if you leave it there, it will continue to spread even after you’ve applied a new finish, says Do it Yourself. Then, you’ll need to brush on a commercial rust neutralizer with a wire brush.
Throughout the year, you need to give your fence a little TLC. A wrought iron fence, means you need to wash it with warm, soapy water a couple of times throughout the year. Lubricate any latches and joints with a bit of mineral oil, then buff out any scratches that have accumulated. This is where rust can form. For wood, keep any extra moisture away from the fence. This means directing sprinklers away from fences and keeping bushes from growing up against them. If you have a vinyl fence, power wash it every couple of years along with your vinyl-sided house. This will remove that stubborn dirt and grime that seems to cling to vinyl over the years. For those in-between times, clean your fence with a sponge and a solution of laundry detergent, bleach, and warm water. This gets rid of mold and dirt that has started to grow. Also, although vinyl is low-maintenance, make sure it’s installed correctly, especially before winter. Making sure connections are snug means pieces are less likely to break or crack when the snow and rain hit.
Invest in Quality Materials
When re-doing your fence or fixing parts of it, make sure to use only the highest quality materials, such as affordable wrought iron fencing. If you skimp on materials, your fence won’t last as long as it should. The life span of your fence depends on the materials used and how well you take care of it. Keeping up with regular maintenance and making sure it was installed correctly are two big ways to extend that life span.