How to Prolong the Life of Your Fence
Have you noticed lately that your fence has lost the warm, rich glow of its wood and has started to deteriorate, becoming shabby and gray? You can have the most fancy fence, with iron inserts and custom gates, but if the wood is dilapidated, the fence will look low quality and cheap.
Oftentimes the culprits are sun exposure, water damage, mildew or insect infestation. Wood does decompose over time and is vulnerable to fungus and dry rot from continued exposure to the UV rays of the sun. Dry wood often cracks, warps, fades, sags and becomes deformed. Wood is also vulnerable to termite and carpenter ant infection. Although the extent of damage may often require replacing your entire existing fence with the best fence available, sometimes you may be able to extend the life of your fence by taking some simple measures.
Underneath that ugly gray shell, the warm glow of your fence is waiting to shine. Wood turns gray when exposed to moisture over a long period of time. Mildew is introduced into the fibers of the wood and begins to take over. All you have to do is remove the surface layer of gray wood cells to expose the fresh wood underneath. This can be accomplished with the help of a good quality power washer. Power washers are aggressive and strip the wood, cleaning off years of dirt, grime and mildew. You are left with wood that looks like new. Once the fence is clean from the power wash treatment, use a solution that contains a mildewcide prior to applying the final seal.
If the wood is left untreated without a final seal, then it wont be long before the wood becomes gray with mildew once again. So, it is important to treat the wood with a water-repellent sealer that will reduce the rate at which moisture is absorbed. The sealer should include a protective UV inhibitor so that the fence will resist sun damage and premature drying. Once this process is complete, you will want to reapply the waterproof coating every two years.
While there is no way to completely eliminate all weathering of wood, it can be relatively easy to minimize the effects. The best way to minimize the effects and prolong the life of your best fence is by following a good program of maintenance right from the beginning, once a well-built fence is installed by the best fence company.
This maintenance program should include keeping your fence free from carpenter ants and termites. Frequently inspect the perimeter of your fence and look for signs of these wood destroying insects. If found, be quick about treating the infestation and removing these pests. These insects can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your property. They eat their way through posts, slats, supports and piers of fences and decks.
Another simple adjustment that can help to prolong the life of your fence is to position your sprinkler heads so that they do not spray directly onto certain portions of your best fence, maximizing water damage and mildew growth.
Continue to follow a regular maintenance program of cleaning and refinishing your fence every few years with a clear water repellent coat containing UV inhibitors.
Remember, although you can follow these suggestions for prolonging the life of your investment, a fence or deck still has a limited life span of only 5 or 10 years. If the posts are broken, the wood is already sagging and deformed, brackets are coming apart and slats have splintered, then no amount of cleaning and re-sealing will bring it back to its original condition. In fact, if the fence is too old, then even fence repair may not be an option.
If you have reached the end of the life span of your fence, then it is time to call a the best fence company you can find – one that is reputable and trustworthy with years of experience and thousands of happy customers. Make sure you get the best fence for the best deal by the best fence company!