Years of exposure to harsh weather, like extreme sun and heavy rain can damage your once pristine wooden fence. Wood is a natural product. When, water seeps through wood it can cause heavy damage. As time goes on, the wood starts to splinter, discolor, crack, dry out and even rot. If you do not maintain and protect the wood fence, then it will turn grey and dull.
Wooden fences are one of the least expensive ways of guarding your property. But, it’s quite a challenge to clean and retain the shine of the wooden fence. However, it is possible to restore the lost shine.
Follow the below mentioned step-by-step guide on how to protect wood fence from weather
Clean and maintain your wood fence: You should clean your wooden fence on a regular basis. Cleaning is an essential step before painting, sealing and staining. While cleaning your fence you should remove accumulated leaves, dirt and dust to prevent rotting of the wood. If your fence is very dirty then you need to clean it thoroughly. You can use a power washer and a solution of 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of water to clean the fence. After you have sprayed the fence with this mixture, wash it only with water after 10-15 minutes.
Allow the fence to dry: After cleaning your fence you should allow it to dry completely. Give the fence a day or two to dry before you move on to the next step. Drying will help the moisture to evaporate, else it may damage the stain or paint.
Look for damaged sections: It’s best to inspect your fence at this point of time for any damage or cracks. You should fix the damage and then proceed to painting.
Staining or painting your fence: The best method on how to protect wood fence from weather is painting or staining. Many of these products are specifically designed for a wooden fence. Before you start with stain or paint it’s better to apply a primer first.
a) Staining your fence: Once your fence has dried completely you can apply stain. Staining your fence can significantly minimize the damage. You can use a roller, brush or a spray rig to stain your fence. You need to apply a thin layer of the oil stain in the entire portion of the wooden fence. On the larger sections use a medium-nap paint roller and on the edges and smaller slats use a paintbrush. Use quick, fluid strokes in the direction of the wood’s grain.
You should let the first coat of oil stain to dry for 24 hours. Apply the second coat after 24 hours of the first coat. A third coat could be applied if required only after 24 hours of the second coat. It is necessary to reapply stain more frequently or every couple of years if your area experiences weather changes.
b) Painting your fence: Painting your fence also increases the life of the wooden fence. It is also cheaper than applying stain. You can use a roller, brush or sprayer to apply coats of paint. Keep in mind that the humidity should be low and the temperature is above 10 degree Celsius.
Paint requires more maintenance than staining. You should inspect your fence at regular intervals for peels and cracks. If any spot requires touch ups then remember to first use a sandpaper to smooth the surface before applying paint.
Resealing your fence to provide additional protection: After painting or staining you can apply a sealer to maintain your wooden fence. Before, you decide to seal your fence you should consider the weather. Because if there is heavy rainfall, then all the moisture in the wood will be absorbed by the seal. And it won’t hold as much color as it should.
General tips on how to protect wood fence from weather:
Now since you know the steps to be followed on how to protect wood fence from weather, here are some general tips which will be useful.
Use paint with UV protection: As mentioned earlier, sun and rain can potentially cause damage to your wood. Sun causes the wood to expand and then eventually crack. Moisture develops in these cracks when it rains and further damages the wood. Any of the standard paints will protect the wooden fence. But, if you want to prevent the aging effects of the sun, then choose a paint with UV ingredient. A paint with UV protection will be more expensive than a standard paint but it will certainly help you preserve your wood for a longer time.
Evaluate the extent of the damage: If your fence has not been repainted for several years and the wood is damaged, then repainting would not work. It will be more prudent to replace your wooden fence. It will be more expensive but it will be a long term solution to your problem.
Prepare your wooden fence: Preparing your wooden fence before painting is a crucial and important step. This step should not be rushed. You should carefully remove all debris, seal the cracks and wash your fence before you start painting.
Use good quality equipment: It is important to invest in good quality painting supplies, specially a good brush. It is not easy to paint on a hard surface like a wooden fence with a paintbrush. If the quality of the brush is poor it is furthermore difficult and the brush will fall apart in no time. You might not want to invest heavily on a paintbrush but it is better to buy a good one which last few years. Buying several bad ones which keep falling apart will only add to the cost. To apply stain as well, the same logic for paint brush is applicable.
Protecting a wooden fence from sun and rain is tedious and difficult . That’s why, it is important to regularly inspect your wooden fence. Especially if you reside in places which have high humidity or heavy rainfall. Nevertheless, it needs to be done to keep the wooden fence in good order. If, you follow the steps mentioned in this article you will know how to protect wood fence from weather.