Tips To Maintain Your Wood Fence

A wood fence can last many years, providing your home with security and keeping your family safe outdoors, but it needs proper care. Maintaining your fence not only ensures it last longer, it also ensures that it continues to look good. The following tips can help.

Tip #1: Move your sprinklers

Water from the sprinklers prematurely wears down both the seal or stain and the wood. This not only discolors your wood fencing, it can also lead to to rot and splintering. Tour your yard when the sprinklers are running and see where they are hitting the fence. Then, adjust the spray pattern on the individual sprinkler heads so they don't hit your fencing anymore. For a few minutes of effort you can add years to the life of your fence.

Tip #2: Seal annually

Stains and water seals aren't just to keep the fence looking nice, they also protect the wood from moisture and rot. A colorless seal is the least effort since you don't have to worry about fading or matching the color. There are both paint-on and spray-on varieties, so you can choose the one that works best for you. How often you apply depends on your climate. Generally, if water no longer beads up on the fence but soaks in, it is time to reapply the seal.

Tip #3: Replace damaged pickets

A little bit of damage can spread. A picket showing signs of rot, or one that is cracked and allowing in moisture, can begin to fall apart. The rot then may spread to supporting posts or nearby pickets, especially if it has attracted any boring insects. If you notice damage, either fix it or replace the picket. Rough patches and worn seal can be fixed with sandpaper and a touchup of sealant, stain, or paint. Cracks and holes mean replacement is necessary, although a short term fix like using a wood filler may also suffice.

Tip #4: Buffer the bottom

Lawnmowers and yard tools are pretty hard on fencing, since they can chip away at the bottom of the fence boards. Ground moisture can also seep into the bottom of the pickets and cause damage. To prevent these issues, install a buffer zone of either gravel or concrete curbing. This way you don't have to mow right up against the fence, nor do you have wet plants seeping moisture against the wood.

For more help, contact a local fencing company. You can also visit websites like