Your wooden fencing is a very important part of your garden, if not the most important part of it. A good and sturdy fence doesn’t only look good and add in some style, it can add value to your home and provide an extra layer of security. Tired, broken and dilapidated garden fence panels are the opposite of this, however, if you are not careful and don’t look after your fence properly, it is easy for what was once a good fence to become a broken and redundant mess.
Keeping up with the maintenance of wooden fencing is quite important. If you don’t look after it and allow it to become too damaged over time, you may find that you end up having to replace the entire thing which is an expensive endeavour indeed. Too many people get complacent and think that just because they’ve got a fence up, they don’t need to worry about anything else – this is wrong.
Also, it looks pretty bad if you ever come to selling your home and you’ve got a sagging and broken mess of a fence. It makes you look lazy and will remove some added value from your home. Although buying good quality fence panels from a well-renowned seller such as Buy Fencing Direct who have 10 and 15 year guarantees on their products will cut down on the maintenance required, you still have to do some from time-to-time. I am here to tell you exactly what to look out for and some of the tasks you will need to perform on occasion.
#1: Fixing Splits and Cracks
This is the keyword here – maintenance. Generally speaking, your fence will last longer if it is maintained. Not repaired, but maintained. A wooden fence panel will sometimes need to have any damaged looked at before it becomes a big problem and you can quite easily glue broken and split pieces of wood back together so long as it is completely dry. A purpose-made wood glue which is waterproof will do the trick. If it is a rather substantial split, then you may well need to clamp the broken piece together so that it holds in place whilst the glue dries.
You should keep any clamping or tape in place for at least 24 hours – longer if possible – to ensure that the glue completely dries out and solidifies. If the job is done properly, you won’t be able to tell that a crack ever existed. You should only apply glue to a fence which is 100% dry otherwise the glue won’t bind the two broken pieces together. It’s also a good idea to ensure that you repair your fence in good weather when there is a low chance of rain.
#2: Exposing New Wood Layers
Over time, the top layer of your wooden fencing will begin to look old and worn out, however, these older wood cells can easily be removed to expose a completely new and fresher looking layer of wood by using a power washer. A typical power washer will deliver enough pressure to get rid of a very thin top layer of wood and wooden cells which have dried out and started to show their age.
You shouldn’t worry about doing this, either – power washing your fence will not remove enough wood cells to make any difference to its size or shape. Just don’t go crazy with an industrial power washer and put it on the highest setting as this could damage and crack the wood. It’s always good to start on a lower setting and adjust upwards as needed rather than start too high, cause some damage, and then adjust down.
#3: Adding Paints, Oils and Preservatives
You should always treat your fencing panels with specialist wood paints, oils, and preservatives which will not only keep your fence looking in prime condition but protect it from the elements too. This is especially important if you live in an environment with rough and unpredictable weather. If you have torrential rain for a good portion of the year and don’t treat your fencing with a waterproof paint, for example, then your fence can become waterlogged and start to rot.
There are lots of different products which are available to help treat your fencing. For example, decking oil makes a fantastic treatment for your fencing as it helps keep fences made from timber free from water. Decking oil also contains UV filters which protects your fencing from the bleaching affect of the sun.
These paints, oils and preservatives typically come in a vast range of colours so getting the look you need to fit the overall theme of your garden shouldn’t be a problem. Many people wrongly think that because it’s a paint made for wood that it will only come in neutral and earthy colours, but that simply isn’t the case – you can find a whole range of vibrant fencing paints and treatments at any good hardware or DIY shop.
Staining your fence is also a great way to add a bit of colour whilst protecting it from the elements. If you live in a rainy area then regular staining of your fence, say two to four times per year, will provide even more protection from the rain. You will know when it’s time to re-seal your fence because you will be able to tell the difference between your fence when it has been freshly sealed and when the sealant and staining has worn off.
Looking after your garden’s fencing isn’t a huge job, yet many people fail to do it. If you have a good quality fence bought from a reputable provider rather than a cheap one which was thrown up in one afternoon, you will likely need to perform much less maintenance than you think. Spending a bit of time every now and then to survey your fence and fix any problems is well worth it, because a fence which is left too long can become so damaged that repair is not possible, meaning the only alternative is to fork out for an entirely new one.