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      A wood fence split rail, or picket fence can add value to your home’s beauty and security. A wood fence usually lasts approximately 15 years. However, with the proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your wood fence to 20 years or more.

      Wood Fencing Considerations

      Wood fences are widely used due to them being able to resist decay and rot. Also, they come in a variety of other wood types as well. Fence posts should be pressure treated due to them having constant contact with the ground and being exposed to moisture and insects.

      The boards of the fence don’t need to be pressure treated since they are above the ground. Having your wood pressure treated contains chemicals that help keep away water and bugs from damaging the wood.

      If you get a new fence installed, wait about a year before staining or painting it. This will allow the chemicals used on your wood to dry out. If your fence isn’t dry then, you will end up sealing moisture in when you paint.

      Sealing in moisture can lead to rotting and decay. Pressure-treating your wood ensures it’s protected from fungal decay and termites. However, your wood can be affected by swelling, shrinking, cracking, and warping. Therefore, it’s essential not to overlook the maintenance that will be needed for your fence.

      Do Inspections Every Year

      To ensure the longevity of your fence, walk around your fence and look for any damage or rot. If needed, replace any broken boards, hammer in nails, or tighten screws. Look at each section of your wood fence to make sure it’s properly attached to the next one.

      If any parts of the fence are leaning, make sure the posts are tightly in the ground. You may need to repair the posts if they are in bad condition. Also, look at your hinges and locks on your gates to make sure they’re secure and lined up correctly. You can use automotive grease if needed.

      Pressure-treated wood isn’t entirely waterproof. So, any steps you take to avoid moisture will benefit the life span of your wood. You can also adjust your sprinklers, so they don’t get your fence wet and cause the wood to rot or lead to moss growing on your wood.

      Trim back your bushes and vines, so they don’t hang on the fence. Shrubs can add weight and hold on to moisture.

      Clean Every 3-5 Years

      Every two to three years, make sure to clean your wood fence to avoid dirt, moss, mildew, and graying. Then, use a UV inhibiting, water-repellant coating. After you make the proper repairs, scrape off any moss or peeling paint until you’re able to see your wood again.

      If you see any mold on your fence, you can mix 20% bleach with 80% mild detergent and spray it on the fence an hour before washing it. This will help kill any mold spores and help prevent them from growing back.

      Reseal or Paint Once Your Fence Is Cleaned

      Paint or stain should be reapplied approximately every 3-5 years. Use exterior oil-based stain or latex paint, which will help seal out your moisture, prevent wood rot, and limit the amount of weathering of your wood. It’s vital to decide on a stain or sealant with a UV inhibitor to help keep the wood from turning gray.

      Then, let the wood dry for about a week before applying a stain or sealant, which is thinner than paint.

      If your fence does need to be repaired or replaced, call the professionals at PW Painters & Remodeling for your free estimate.

      If you are looking for something that will last with less maintenance, you may want to consider vinyl fencing as an option.