Keep Your Cedar Fence In Great Shape With Proper Care And Maintenance

Posted on: 2 March 2017

Cedar wood fencing is known for its durability and insect resistance. It is much less susceptible to rot than the average wood, and its natural oils keep insects like termites and wood bees from invading your yard. But while cedar does not require as much care and maintenance as other wood, it is not entirely maintenance-free. Here are five things you should do to properly care for your cedar wood fencing.

Clean the fence with a power sprayer.

If you let dirt build up on the outside of the fence, it will develop a dull look. The dirt will also absorb some moisture from the wood itself, making your fence more likely to crack. To keep your fence clean, try power spraying it with water once or twice a year. Put your power sprayer on the lowest setting to avoid damaging the fence, and always spray in the direction of the wood grain.

To keep yourself safe while power washing your fence, make sure you wear goggles and long pants. Move quickly and avoiding focusing on one area for too long, as this can damage the wood.

Bleach the fence if you notice mold or mildew.

Cedar is less likely to develop mold or mildew than other types of wood, but that does not mean it won't ever be affected by these pests. You may notice some mold or mildew growth after a long rainy season. The best way to address this is with a bucket of bleach water. Dilute a cup of bleach with about a gallon of water, and use a scrub brush to apply it to the moldy parts of the fence. The bleach will kill the fungi. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing it away with clear water.

Keep weeds and brush well trimmed.

Weeds growing under the fence will trap moisture near it, which may accelerate the decay process and perpetuate molding. So, get into the habit of trimming back all weeds at least once a month. If you have bushes planted along the fence, keep them trimmed so they are not directly rubbing against the fence. Do not plant any vining plants or bushes right near the fence. They might look pretty when they wind their tendrils around the fence rails, but this can cause your cedar fencing to mold or crack.

Start sealing it once it's older.

During the first few years of your cedar fence's life, you don't want to apply any wood sealer or other products to it. You want it to be able to breathe and weather properly. However, once your cedar fencing is five or six years old, giving it a good coat of wood sealer can help preserve its life and keep it in good shape. Always wash the fence thoroughly first, and let it dry for a day or two before applying the sealer. Make sure that the weather will be clear for two or three days afterwards so your newly coated fence does not get rained on. Repeat this treatment every two years or so.

Make any repairs quickly.

When a rail begins looking loose, nail it back into place sooner rather than later. If a rail cracks, replace it or have it replaced rather than letting it sit. When your fence is missing a rail or two, not only does it look less attractive, but there will be extra strain on the remaining posts and boards. This could cause them to crack or break. It's a good idea to keep a few extra fence rails on hand so you can replace a damaged one quickly if needed.

To learn more about properly maintaining a cedar fence, talk to a fencing contractor in your area.