How to keep your fence looking fresh throughout the summer
Summer has finally arrived, and in true British fashion, we’re all out in the garden having a BBQ at the first opportunity. Now, ever since most of us were children, we’ve been constantly reminded about how we need to be cautious of UV rays, and take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and avoid any sun damage to our skin. And believe it or not, the same goes for your fence. So, here at Monton Fencing we’ve pulled together a few things you can add to your garden maintenance checklist that’ll keep your fence looking fresh this summer.
Make any necessary repairs
It probably comes as no surprise that the elements can absolutely wreak havoc on your garden during the coldest months, and this is especially true when it comes to your garden fence panels. While all seasons present their own problems, winter is without a doubt the one that can be the most problematic, with its strong winds and rain – and sometimes even hail or snow.
By the summer then, after a long, wet and windy few months, your fence could be looking a little worse for wear. So before you start any other fence maintenance projects, it’s important to first repair any damage caused over winter. This could include any holes, gaps, loose panels, tilted posts, or anything else that could compromise the structural integrity of your fence.
Wash your fence
After making any necessary repairs, it’s time to clean your fence. The fastest and easiest way to do this is to blast the dirt away with a power washer. If you’re going to use one, however, your fence must be 100% stable. If you accidentally forget to make a repair and you blast your fence with the power washer, you risk blowing a giant hole in it – and no one wants that.
If you don’t have a power washer to hand, you can always clean your garden fence panels by hand. It will take a little longer, but the results will still be just as good. Getting a great result is all about finding the right approach to the type of dirt on your fence. If you live in a cooler, wetter climate (as we do here in the UK!), your fence could have some algae, mould and dirt – all of which will need cleaning off.
Start with a hosepipe and see what you can remove with just water. If the grime and dirt is really built up, try using a scraper to get as much off as possible before hosing it down again. If you find that the water isn’t doing a whole lot, try some soap and a soft bristled brush and give it a good scrub. Dish soap diluted in water should be just fine for this. It’s important to bear in mind that you can’t stain, seal or paint a fence unless it has been properly cleaned. If the dirt isn’t removed beforehand, the product may not even reach the fence, resulting in an uneven and sometimes unsightly end result.
If you want another alternative, white vinegar is a brilliant natural cleaner that most of us have handy in our cupboards. It works especially well on wood fences for algae. To make this liquid magic, combine one part vinegar to 4 parts water in a spray bottle, and give it a good shake. Spray directly onto the algae or mould and scrub it away. Then simply leave it to dry and Bob’s your uncle!
Seal/stain your fence
Staining and sealing your garden fence panels not only keeps them looking their best, it actually protects them from the rainy weather and UV rays. So, what’s the difference between sealing and staining, and which should you do?
Sealing your fence prevents moisture from entering through the crevasses in the grain. It’s important to apply some sort of protective coating to your fence to help it last as long as possible. Not to be confused with fence stain, sealants are colourless, so they’re perfect for enhancing the natural look of your fence. If you love the colour of your wood fence just the way it is, sealant is a great way to give it an extra boost without changing it. Using a sealant is also a great way to protect your fence from fungal decay. Just bear in mind though that it doesn’t offer much protection from UV rays!
Staining your fence offers all the same benefits as sealing, with a few added bonuses. A quality stain prevents your fence from fading in the sun by repelling the UV rays, and the more opaque the stain, the more protection it offers. There are also numerous stain shades to choose from, and they last significantly longer than sealants. Fence stains seep deeper into the grain to reinforce it from the inside versus just sitting on the top layer. While they can be slightly pricier than sealants, if you have the extra budget, the pay-off is stunning!
The ideal time to seal and stain your fence is in a dry spell of weather. You don’t want it to be blazing hot out (as it has been recently!), because the stain will dry too quickly and won’t properly penetrate the wood, making it look uneven. For this reason alone, it’s also best to try and avoid staining your fence in direct sunlight. A few warm or mild days is the ideal environment.
That’s all the essentials covered! Here at Monton Fencing, we’ve got over 30 years of experience providing the highest quality fencing materials and timber supplies for a variety of landscaping projects, so whatever you’ve got in mind for your outdoor space, we can help to make it a reality. And if you’ve got any quick queries or you need clarification on anything, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0161 788 78 38. We’re here to help!
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