Maintenance is very important to us at Ainsley Fencing. As a general rule the better you look after your wooden fence, the longer it will last. As you drive around Nottingham, you can see how the weather has affected the fencing, and how many need more maintenance!
Our supplier recommends annual treatment of the wood to offer longevity.
To remove the surface layer of old, grey wood cells and expose a fresh layer of wood, use a power washer. Wooden fence panels should always be protected from the elements by using wood preservers and wood oils. Decking oil makes for an excellent fence treatment as it helps to keep the timber water resistant, supple, and often contain UV filters which help to protect the panels from the bleaching affect of the sun. Wood preservers and decking oils come in clear or a wide range of colours so getting the desired look should be no problem. A good quality exterior wood oil stain will preserve this new layer of fresh wood and also help prolong the life of your fence.
Fence stain delivers a hint of colour while keeping a natural wood look. In rainy areas you will probably need to seal the fence more often than average. There isn’t a specific timescale. It depends on how your fence is looking. When water no longer beads on the surface but soaks in to the wood, you need to re-seal.
Most semi-transparent oil stains last 2-5 years, but it’s better to be pessimistic and expect to do it again after two or three, since fences tend to get such a battering. Before re-coating, wash the fence with a garden hose and use a tough bristle brush to remove stubborn dirt, any traces of green or black should be treated with a mould and mildew cleaner to clean off the biological matter and kill off the cause so it doesn’t come back after just a couple of months. The length of time sealing products last is also dependent on the weather conditions where you are. If it’s particularly wet, windy and sunny where you live, you might need to reseal more frequently than average.
Make sure the exterior wood stain you use includes ultraviolet inhibitors, which slow down the bleaching triggered by sunlight. It also helps if it contains a mildew killer, which will slow down the fungal growth that also plays a part in weakening wood.
Use a large paint brush and apply a good soaking coat to the wood and leave the fence to absorb the stain fully. Then stain three foot sections methodically, progressing along the fence. If the sealer sinks right in and leaves the panels looking dry, add more coats. Take care to work the sealer into all the cracks and corners, where moisture can collect.
Having said all that, as I mentioned, in our experience the main issue is the posts, which tend to rot first.