From increasing the privacy of your home to keeping pets and children secure on your property, timber fencing is a fantastic choice. They’re durable, highly functional and can add a real sense of character to your home that other materials lack.
Modern fencing undergoes treatment so that it is resistant to fungi, bores and termites, which means that minimal maintenance is required. These same treatments also help to prevent the timber from decaying after being exposed to harsh weather for long periods.
As with all features of your property, however, keeping your fence in good condition so that it continues to stay strong well into the future is essential. Here, timber suppliers share their best tips and hints for extending its life.
- Regularly perform general cleaning
The first – and more important – step in maintaining your fence is properly cleaning it. Wipe it down using a clean cloth. For a more thorough clean, you can use soap, water, vinegar or baking soda to remove grime. If you encounter any green or black mould on the timber (not an uncommon occurrence depending on what sort of climate you live in), it can be removed using a power washer.
Once you’ve finished cleaning the fence, ensure that you allow it ample time to dry. Most timber suppliers suggest leaving it for 36 to 48 hours before repainting or re-staining it.
- Repair damage as it occurs
Timber fencing is strong, but this doesn’t mean that it’s immune to wear and tear – particularly after it’s been installed for a few years. Splitting, rotting and other damage can – and does – occur. To ensure that your fence continues to be long lasting, ensure that you get any damage repaired as quickly as possible. Whilst you can repair some damage yourself, you will sometimes need to seek professional assistance.
- Trim back bushes and plants
Most timber suppliers highly recommend keeping bushes and plants away from your fence wherever possible. Plants hold moisture, so when they stay in contact with wood over an extended period of time, they can actually lead to a variety of problems (most notably mould and algae). If you grow vines, be sure that you keep an eye on them – if they spread to your fence, they could damage its structural integrity.
On the plus side, keeping those overgrown plants and bushes in check, you will ensure that your home has an unobstructed view – a key feature for any property.
- Keep it above ground to avoid termites
Unfortunately, termites are a common problem around Australia. If left unchecked, they can eat away at the fence, causing it to lose its strength and stability. In order to prevent this, we recommend keeping timber fencing above the ground to prevent termites from finding their way inside it and destroying it overtime.
If you suspect that termites have already infiltrated your fence, be sure to reach out to an expert for an assessment. They will be able to advise what steps to take next, as well as replace any palings that are too damaged.
- Regular staining
Stains are designed to soak into the wood, filling up its pores and preventing water from being able to penetrate (and, therefore, helping to prevent rot). There are different types of stain to choose from – an opaque one will provide more UV protection than a transparent or even a semi-transparent one. Ideally, your fence should be stained annually – depending on the climate you live in, however, it may need to be done more or less frequently.
Timber suppliers generally recommend staining in the evening, when the fence isn’t receiving direct sunlight. Staining during the day can cause it to dry too quickly, preventing it from soaking into the wood. It can be applied using a brush, roller or even a power sprayer – for best results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
When it comes to extending the lifetime of your timber fencing, we hope that you find the above tips and hints useful. Whether you have an existing fence that you’re looking to spruce up a little or you’ve just had one installed that you want to keep in tiptop condition, these tips are ideal.
Just know your limits – there are some projects that should be tackled by the professionals to ensure that your fence remains in tiptop condition. In these situations, we recommend reaching out to a timber supplier who has experience with such tasks.