Atlanta Fence Company’s Top Tips For Spring Cleaning Fencing

fence rot prevention

Fencing will go a long way towards making your property more secure; and installed with aesthetics in mind, will improve the look of your house and increase your investment. Once you have fencing, It’s important to maintain it, and to keep it clean, so that it not only looks attractive, but to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Now that we’re enjoying pleasant spring weather, an increasing number of families are heading outdoors for al fresco meals and barbecues. As the weather gets hotter and more humid in late May and June, there will be even more motivation for spending time in your backyard or beside the pool. So now’s a good time to do a thorough garden clean up and ensure that your fencing is spruced and ready for summer.

Of course the type of fencing you have will ultimately determine the methods used to clean it – and you’ll find that some types are easier to clean than others. Our top tips for spring-cleaning fencing relate to wooden, metal and vinyl structures. However one tip that relates to all of them is to start off by brushing off all loose debris and dust. Once you’ve done that, check the fence for damage and, if necessary, ascertain just how much needs to be done to repair it. Generally it’s best to clean everything thoroughly before doing repair-work – and it’s essential to clean before you stain, seal or paint any form of fencing.

Spring Cleaning Wooden Fences

Wooden fences that have been stained and/or sealed should be scrubbed clean with a hard-bristle brush and warm soapy water or a proprietary outdoor cleaning product formulated for wood. You can even use ordinary dishwashing liquid, unless the wood is very dirty, in which case you’ll find sugar soap will be a lot more effective, and considerably cheaper than commercial formulations. Once you’ve scrubbed, flush the soap off with clean water. For long fencing runs, it’s best to work in sections, scrubbing and then rinsing with a hose.

The same method can be used for painted wood, though if the paint has blistered or is peeling, scrape the loose bits off before you start cleaning, and lightly sand any rough edges. If paint is peeling badly, it’s usually best to strip it all and start again.fence rot prevention

A pressure washer is a great tool for cleaning badly maintained wooden fencing, especially when mold and mildew have started to take hold. Just take care not to damage the wood or adjacent plants with harmful cleaning products or by using too much pressure. Generally it’s best to use large quantities of cold water (hot water will raise the grain of the wood), and light pressure. Use a spray nozzle that has a spray angle of at least 25 degrees; the greater the size of the nozzle, the wider the angle of spray will be.

When you use a pressure sprayer, hold it about three or four feet (about a meter) away from the fence and move it slowly to create a fan-shaped spray two to three feet (600 to 900 mm) wide. If you battle to get rid of grime, spray a little closer. If you apply a cleaning solution to the fence prior to spraying, don’t leave it on the surface for longer than 15 minutes (or the time specified on the product label) or it will dry and leave a residue on the surface.

Once the fence is clean, let it dry thoroughly before re-staining or sealing with a product that will soak into the wood and revive it. Where paint has been stripped right down to the wood, first coat with wood primer before re-painting.

Spring Cleaning Metal Fences Including Chain Link

Most metal fencing can be sprayed down with water to get it clean. But if there is a build up of grime and dirt, the best approach is to scrub with soapy water before hosing it down.

Chain link fencing is a bit different to fences made from aluminum, mild steel or wrought iron, but can also be hosed clean very easily, particularly if it is coated with PVC. If the chain link is not coated, there is a danger of rust forming over time.

Spring Cleaning Vinyl Fences

Vinyl fencing has earned its reputation for low maintenance, and generally all you need to do is spray with water to get rid of dust and dirt. If you don’t do this regularly, and prefer to do an annual spring clean, scrub your vinyl fence with a soft brush and soapy water. Flush (or hose off) with cold water, and leave it to dry. Avoid using hard bristle brushes on vinyl fences because they tend to scratch.

If your fencing needs more than a spring clean, contact us for advice about repairs or fence replacement.