fence maintenance tips

Fence maintenance becomes priority number one once the fencing is installed. Proper fence care saves you from dealing with the expenses of damaged or terrible-looking fences. 

Not all fencing supplies are equal; some need more maintenance than others. 

Here’s a complete guide on fence maintenance for all kinds of fencing supplies. Read on to learn more. 

Best Fence Maintenance Tips for Wood Fences

Wood is one of the most aesthetically pleasing fencing materials without a staggering price tag! 

It’s no wonder why property owners go for wood for their fences. But there’s always a catch: wood is also one of the hardest fencing materials to maintain. 

fence maintenance wood

If you’ve recently installed a wood fence or plan to go for one, here are some of the best wooden fence maintenance tips. 

#1: Avoid Using Hanging Plants

Hanging plants attract water and insect damage to your wooden fence. Of course, hanging plants are beautiful, but their regular need for watering and how they attract insects can damage the integrity and beauty of your wooden fence. 

#2: Repaint Your Fence Regularly

Repainting your fence doesn’t just increase its aesthetic qualities. Freshening up your fence’s paint is also a great way to coat your fence against water, moisture, and insect damage. Paint also provides a protection from the elements and from rotting. 

#3: Preserve It From Water Damage

Watering your plants? Make sure the sprinkler doesn’t reach the fence. Water damage is one of the top culprits for problems in wooden fences. If you live in a place prone to rain, going for wood means you’re probably going to change your fence every 3 years or so. 

#4: Clean Your Fence Often

Build up of moss, dirt, mold, chips, and mildew can significantly decrease the beauty and sturdiness of your fence. Mold is enemy #1 as it can quickly eat away at the structure of wood. 

The best way to prevent elements from corrupting your wooden fence is to clean off the elements as often as you can. 

Take a day each week to check for a build up of mold or dirt. Use a gentle solution (a combination of dish washing soap and distilled white vinegar is great) and a wooden toothbrush to scrape off dirt.  

#5: Part of Maintaining Your Fence is Repairing Minor Issues ASAP 

What most property owners do not know is when wood gets exposed to persistent bad weather, it goes downhill immediately. 

If your wooden fence shows potential damage, act fast. 

Best Maintenance and Care for Vinyl Fencing

If you’re looking for a fencing material that won’t require so much looking after, go for vinyl. This fencing material is popular for those who love pretty fences that don’t need a ton of maintenance. 

But low-maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance at all and vinyl fences also need some tending so they’ll always look brand new.

Vinyl fence maintenance

Here are some things you can do. 

#1: Wash and Brush Your Fence Regularly

When rough weather hits, your fence can collect a ton of wet debris that’s a pain to remove once it dries. Stay on top of it with some regular maintenance.

Cleaning your vinyl fence is key to keeping it looking sharp. A quick hose-down works for light dirt, but for deeper grime, grab a sponge and some soapy water.

For those stubborn stains, break out the vinyl fence cleaner, like paint thinner. Just be sure to handle it carefully and avoid abrasive tools that could damage your fence.

#2: Make Regular Fence Check-ups 

It’s smart to give your vinyl fence a once-over every now and then. Catching and fixing small issues early on can save you big headaches later.

Imagine this: you notice a loose panel or a stray nail. At first glance, it seems only a minor problem. But if you ignore it, that tiny problem could escalate, especially when bad weather decides to wreak havoc on your fence.

Little issues can accumulate, causing more damage over time. To prevent being shocked by big fence issues, address them while they’re still small. 

#3: Be on the Lookout for Mildew and Algae

Even the most diligent vinyl fence owner can’t entirely prevent mildew and algae from showing up. Some spots on your fence are just more prone to it due to shade and moisture, creating perfect conditions for growth.

Nobody wants to deal with these unsightly invaders on their beautiful fencing. And it’s not just about looks – leaving mildew and algae unchecked can lead to staining in shades of black, yellow, or green, and they become tougher to remove over time.

So, when you spot any mildew or algae, it’s time to act.

While warm, soapy water can help, it won’t keep them at bay for long. Resilient bits can linger and regrow. Instead, opt for a stronger solution. A mixture of vinegar and water works wonders. Dip a sponge in and scrub away.

For tougher cases, bleach and water are effective, though they’re potent and can stain darker fences. Stick to bleach for white vinyl fences to avoid discoloration.

Fence Maintenance for Steel and Chain Fences

It’s easy to say, “Oh, chains and steel fences don’t need a lot of maintenance. They’re in for the long run.” But in reality, chain and steel supplies will still be susceptible to harsh, corroding elements such as rust and chipping when not cared for the right way. 

fence maintenance chain fence

Here’s how to care for and maintain steel and chain fences. 

#1: Eliminate Rust When Cleaning Fences

Use a wire brush to delicately scrape away surface rust from flat surfaces. For rust in hard-to-reach corners or ornamental details, consider sanding with black sandpaper or synthetic steel wool. 

Be cautious with chemical rust removers containing phosphoric acid, as they should only be used in well-ventilated areas due to their corrosive nature.

Some of the best rust-removing products for metals include: 

  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Sulfuric Acid

#2: Apply Paint

Opt for an oil-based paint specifically designed for metal surfaces. Avoid spray paint unless you’re addressing minor repairs. 

The paint acts as the fence’s primary shield against weathering, so ensure a thick, even coat for optimal protection. Using a traditional brush and canister is typically more manageable.

#3: Clear Vegetation

Plants and their potential for overgrowth are culprits in trapping moisture and pests that accelerate rust and corrosion. Regularly trim shrubs and trees away from the fence and promptly remove any encroaching vines to prevent damage.

#4: Metal Cleaning

After removing dirt, rust, and any chemical residues, it’s essential to thoroughly clean the metal before priming and painting. Use a cloth soaked in mineral spirits to effectively wipe down the surface and prepare it for the next steps.

Fence Care and Cleaning for Aluminum Fences

One of the prime reasons aluminum fences are such a big hit among property owners is that this fencing material needs little to no maintenance. 

aluminum fence care

However, checking for potential spots for corrosion and rust is still important.

Here are some points for cleaning and maintenance of aluminum fences. 

#1: Use a Gentle Cloth for Cleaning

For the upkeep of your aluminum fence, start by gently wiping it down with a soft, dry cloth, ensuring to focus on spots with accumulated dirt and grime. If needed, employing a small amount of lukewarm water can aid in cleaning these areas effectively. 

#2: Stop Using Strong Cleaning Substances

However, it’s essential to avoid the use of acidic substances such as vinegar when cleaning an aluminum fence. While vinegar serves as a vital component in various metal cleaners, including those formulated for steel and simulated stone fences, its acidity can induce corrosion in aluminum.

Cleaning Your Fence is A Need, Make Sure To Find a Fencing Supply That Fits Your Lifestyle

If you want to extend the lifespan of your fence, choose a fencing supply that you can truly care for and maintain. 

Gilks Fencing knows all things fencing supplies. Their experts can help you find the best materials for your style and taste without getting you tangled up in crazy maintenance requirements! 

Talk to a Gilks Fencing expert now to know more. 


About the Author: Gilks Fencing

Gilks Fencing are one of the UK's leading authorities on fencing. We offer a full range of fencing solutions, and our specialist areas include supplying and installing all aspects of fencing, gates and railings for the Industrial and Commercial sectors, House Builders, Schools, Councils and also our private domestic clients.


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