How to Clean a Wooden Fence

Is Your Wooden Fence in Need of Attention?  Clean it with These Tips! 

Replacing a wooden fence is a huge, pricey job.  If your fence is lacking its luster, it might just need a good cleaning. 

Getting Ready 

 Pressure washing and cleaning might harm your plants, so to take care of them you’ll have to cover them.  Place a tarp over any plants and grass to protect them from any unwanted chemical contamination.

 Pressure Washing 

 Since you’ll be cleaning wood, you’re going to want to use a low setting on the power washer.  Remember that a pressure washer provides instant results, so practice a few passes before you get started.  Standing about two feet away, spray down the wood in long, even strokes.  Don’t put too much pressure on any one spot, as it will damage the wood.

Before continuing, wait for the fence to dry completely.  If it is humid outside, this may mean waiting for several days.  No matter what, you should wait at least 24 hours to continue.

 Fine Tuning 

 Some stains will probably remain.  Take a scrub brush and give the fence a good once-over.  There are plenty of biodegradable cleaning solutions out there, but if bleach and water will work, in a pinch. Once all of the stains have been thoroughly scrubbed, pressure wash again.

Wait for the fence to dry for at least 24 hours, then, sand down any imperfections.  Make any necessary repairs now, before you stain the fence.  Check for protruding screws and nails and countersink them deep into the wood with a hammer or drill.  Glue and replace any damaged wood, clamping them tightly as they dry.  Be sure to use waterproof glue.  This is a great time to apply wood preservative, if you have it.  Pay special attention to coating the posts, as they are the cornerstones of the fence, and the area most susceptible to water damage.

Staining 

Using a long-handled roller will make this job much, much easier.  With your grass and plants still protected, roll on your choice of oil-based stain.  A stain that allows the natural wood grain to show through is the best choice for a classic and professional looking wooden fence.  Only coat a couple boards at a time, to maintain even color flow.  Some exterior stains contain ingredients that help them better weather the elements.  An anti-mold or UV inhibiting stain will give your fence an even longer lifespan.

Upkeep 

Because a wooden fence is constantly undergoing wear and tear, you will probably need to re-stain every few years.  However, with good maintenance, there won’t be a need to pressure wash for many years.  After one deep clean, your wooden fence will look as beautiful as ever.

How to Clean a Wooden Fence
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  1. allen goldman May 7, 2014

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