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Maintenance Tasks That Keep Your Wood Fence Strong and Attractive

A wood fence

A wood fence adds classic beauty to your property. Wood makes an excellent picket fence for the front yard or privacy fence backyard, so it's a good option when you're shopping for new fencing.

Wood may need more maintenance than other types of fencing, but you may feel the effort is worth it to have an attractive natural fence wrapped around your home. Here are the maintenance tasks to plan on after you've had a wood fence installed.

Replace Loose Nails

Check your fence occasionally for loose nails. Two good times the check is in the spring when you're beginning a new lawn care routine and in the fall when you prepare your property for winter.

Replace rusty and loose nails so the boards stay tight and the fence is sturdy. Nails may not need to be replaced often, but if you have a big dog that jumps against the fence, check the nails occasionally for ones that have worked loose.

Loose nails allow the boards to come loose and any problems with your fence could escalate.

Check the Gate for Rust

Even though your gate is wood, it has metal hinges and a metal lock. These pieces rust due to weather exposure. When the metal parts rust, your fence may no longer open and shut properly.

The gate may become uneven or stained with rust. Screws might fall out and cause a hinge to get loose, or the lock may rust shut. The fence gate should be strong to keep out intruders and to keep kids and pets in your yard. Replace rusted metal parts when needed so your gate stays sturdy and swings easily.

Replaced Damaged Boards

Your new fence shouldn't have problems with shrinking and broken boards for many years unless an accident causes harm to the fence. If a tree limb or vandals damage the boards, you can replace the damaged parts and the fence will be good as new.

However, if your fence is wearing down due to age, you may see gaps between the boards. The boards change shape after years of the wood shrinking and swelling. When many of the boards seem warped, weak, cracked, or otherwise old and worn out, replacing the fence may be the best option.

Maintain the Surface Appearance

Choices for the fence appearance include painting, staining, and letting the wood age naturally. Paint needs touched up more often than stain, however, both of these treatments protect the wood from the sun and rain.

If you want a white picket fence, then painting the wood every few years is necessary to keep the fence attractive unless you choose a white stain. Do this chore before the paint peels and bubbles so you won't have as much scraping to do.

If you prefer to let the beauty of the wood grain show, then stain the fence instead. You can apply a clear stain that lets the natural color of the wood show through.

You can also let the fence age naturally. The color of the fence slowly changes to a silver color due to exposure to the sun and weather over the years. You'll have less maintenance to do if you let the fence age this way.

If you regret your decision later, you can use a power washer to remove the top layer of silver and then stain the wood to keep it from turning silver again. A power washer is also handy for keeping a wood fence clean as long as you're careful to use low pressure and keep the wand moving so you don't damage the wood.

Knowing the maintenance requirements for a wood fence helps you make the right decision when it's time to buy new fencing. When you want a new fence for your property or if you need an old wood fence repaired, call Duke Fence Co., Inc. and our professionals will be glad to help.