5 Helpful Fence Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
If you’ve taken the time to build a fence around your home, you don’t want it to become dirty and worn by the end of its first year. What many homeowners don’t keep in mind is that even some of the best, strongest fences from Fencing Hanover VA need a lot of maintenance and long-term care to stay on top of their game from season to season. Still, when it comes to effectively cleaning and caring for your home fence, a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to help. Depending on the size, style, and material of your home fence, you’ll need to develop a treatment plan that won’t take a ton of time and won’t cost a ton of money. If you’re looking for ways to keep your home fence healthy and beautiful, here are some helpful tricks for year-round maintenance.
Each Material Needs a Different Treatment
It might go without saying for some homeowners, but when it comes to treating your fence, you wouldn’t clean wood the same way you’d clean vinyl, and you certainly shouldn’t imagine that all materials are created equal. While cleaning most fences will take around the same amount of time and commitment, it’s important to know how to treat the material you’re working with so as to avoid any risky mistakes. With most fences, you’ll need to start with a bucket of water, a bit of soap, and some old rags. With materials like vinyl and aluminum, you’ll need to liberally spray down your fence surface and work on spot-treating dirtier areas with a scrubber or abrasive rag. With vinyl, however, you should always be wary of scratches from too-abrasive tools like brillo pads or steel wool. With wood, always be aware of the possibility of rot. Be sure not to over-wet your fence, and treat dirtier areas with a gentler touch. If you’re noticing mold or mildew on your wood fence that simply won’t come off, getting out a sanding tool can help eliminate these in a pinch.
Wood Fences Need Staining
Because wood is a more sensitive material, you’ll need to treat it with a gentler touch. The cleaning process will take a bit longer since it will need to air dry overnight before being stained. In order to get your wood clean enough to be stained, work with a diluted bleach solution to wipe down your wood’s surface, being careful not to over-wet your fence. Because you’re working with bleach, you can also choose to put down some tarp or padding on the grass below your fence to avoid staining. If you’re trying to remove layers of old paint, you might need something a bit more powerful than a regular hose. However, if you’re just doing a routine re-staining, a gentle all-over cleaning should be fine. Once your fence has dried, you’ll be able to apply the stain directly to the wood and allow it to dry. To keep your wood fence looking pristine, re-apply your stain at least every few years.
Plan in Advance
No matter what your fence is made of, cleaning it is going to be an all-day project, especially if you’re working with a fence that has a ton of small details or designs. The more intricate the fence, the longer it’s going to take to do a thorough cleaning job. However, if you break the work up into sections, you should be able to get everything done in a day. Always check the weather report first, especially if you’re cleaning a wood fence, since you don’t want your newly-cleaned fence to have to sit drenched for more than a day before applying your wood stain.
Use a Hose
The one constant for every fence type involves using a hose, or in some cases, a power sprayer, to thoroughly wet your fence and get in between the more hard-to-clean cracks and crevices. With chain-link or metal fences, you might need to use a bit more force to deal with hard to reach areas. Using a small scrubbing tool can help to clean detailed areas with the potential of rust or mold buildup. If you’re using a power sprayer, focusing your sprayer on the affected area and standing back should apply the right amount of force to remove most dirt clumps. However, if you have to go back in, use a bucket of soapy water to spot treat and hose it down afterward.
Don’t Go It Alone
Cleaning your fence is a big job, which is why many homeowners find themselves putting it off from season to season. Instead of delaying your fence cleaning, enlist friends, neighbors, or members of your household to help out. It will make the work go way faster while providing you with a reason to hang out and have fun on a hot summer’s day.