A wooden fence makes a great addition to any garden where privacy is important. They’re easy to install, great to look at, and they can be obtained quite cheaply – especially when compared with the cost of building a wall along one side of the garden.
But in order to get the best from a wooden fence, it’s essential that we take the time to properly maintain them. In this article, let’s take a look at what this maintenance might consist of.
Our first priority when caring for a fence should be the posts that hold it upright. When these fail, the entire fence will fall down. Start by checking to see that none of them have any loose nails, and that none of them are suffering from rot. If you find that a little bit of rot is present in one of them, then make a note to review it next time. You may need to replace the post.
Of course, some sorts of post are less vulnerable than others. Concrete posts will be able to withstand high winds and heavy rainfall without rotting. You might also elect to install wooden posts into concrete bases – you can either get these ready-made or you can dig a hole and pour cement around the base of the post.
Clean the fence
Once you’ve established that the structure of the fence is sound, it’s time to get on with repairing it. The first step should be to clear away any visible mould and mildew. Use a robust soap and a brush. You don’t want to soak the fence, as this will cause water to get trapped inside the wood – which can cause problems with rot and warping, especially once you’ve sealed the wood with a layer of protective finish.
If you’re got access to a pressure washer, then you might find that this task is a great deal easier – just be sure that you clean during the summer, as this will allow the fence to dry more quickly. You don’t want to leave a wet fence overnight
Apply a finish
Wooden furniture of every sort will come with a finish, which will need to be periodically re-applied. This finish might consist of a coat of woodstain, or it might be a paint. Woodstains and oils will apply a protective layer to the wood, darkening it and accentuating the natural grain. Paints, on the other hand, will colour the wood differently. Your choice should reflect your personal preference, and the garden you’re going to be
You can apply either using a roller, a paintbrush, or a spray. The latter is undoubtedly the quickest and easiest solution. You’ll be able to get the entire fence painted within just an hour or so. However, there’s a downside to this – you’ll have to contend with spray going into places that it shouldn’t – like your neighbour’s garden. For this reason, it’s worth taking the time to apply your coat with a brush or roller.
What about gates?
If you’ve got a wooden gate installed into your fence, then you should give it extra-special attention, as it represents a point of weakness. They’re the only part of the fence that’s designed to move backwards and forwards, and so they’re the part that’ll bear wear-and-tear the strongest.
Inspect your gates first and foremost whenever you come to take a look at your fence. Are any of the screws that hold it into position missing? Have any of them worked themselves slightly loose? Tighten up the loose ones with a screwdriver, and have a look around for the ones that have gone missing. You may need to replace the screws, or even the hinges themselves, in order to correct for any sagging.
Generally speaking, gate posts tend to be stronger and sturdier than the posts which support the rest of the fence. But if they sag to one side, then your gate will end up becoming crooked. When this happens, you’ll need to remove both the gate and the posts in order to set the whole thing completely. Try stabilising the bottom of the posts with the cement that we’ve just talked about.
Naturally, not matter how much care and attention you lavish upon your fencing, you’ll be unable to improve an inferior fence beyond a certain point. Consequently, it’s essential to locate a decent purveyor of fencing supplies in North Wales before you install your fence. Richard Williams are one such company; they carry an extensive catalogue of fencing, as well as a host of other supplies.