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How to Properly Care for Your Wood Fence

July 25, 2017

Posted by Ashley VanderWall

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Whether you just finished a shiny new wood fence or have owned one for years, proper maintenance is crucial to its long-term performance. Developing a maintenance plan and sticking to it will keep your fence looking fresh year after year.

We’ve outlined a general maintenance plan to follow. Your individual maintenance plan should be tweaked based on your climate (normal precipitation, humidity, etc.) and the fence’s location in your yard (sun exposure, foliage coverage, etc.)

General Wood Fence Maintenance Plan

Initial Maintenance

If your fence is new, start it off on the right foot by performing initial maintenance. First, clean your fence with a cleaner/brightener that contains a mildewcide. Next, apply a protective finish to your entire fence. We recommend using one of three options: stain, paint or waterproofing sealer. For more information on these options, check out this blog post.

First Year Maintenance

One year after your initial maintenance, reapply a cleaner/brightener. Then, reapply the finish of your choice. This will keep your fence looking fresh.

Future Periodic Preventative Maintenance

We recommend cleaning your fence with a cleaner/brightener and reapplying a protective finish every two years. Depending on the location of your fence, you may want to shorten or lengthen this time period. If you wait more than two years, you may need to first spray it with a power washer to remove built-up grime.

Weathered Fence

Maintained Fence


Help! My fence is gray and weathered!

If you moved into a house with a poorly maintained fence or let your fence become gray and weathered – it’s OK! All is not lost. More than likely, the discoloration is at the surface and you can restore it with a little elbow grease (and a power washer). First, thoroughly clean your fence with a power washer. Then, clean it again with a cleaner/brightener containing a mildewcide. Work in the brightener with a stiff bristle brush, then rinse thoroughly with water. After the wood is dry, apply a protective finish. Your fence will look refreshed and practically like new again. Remember to continue with preventative maintenance every two years to keep it looking this good.

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