Wood is a material that has long been used for all types of fencing. However, many people are now choosing more modern, synthetic materials like vinyl and fiberglass. While these products are well liked because they are lower maintenance, many people will agree that they aren't as stylish as wood. If you do want a stylish wooden fence, you should not be dissuaded by the maintenance. This article explains the short and long term requirement for a wooden fence. This should help you decide whether you can handle this maintenance, or if you should choose a more practical product.
Keeping Your Wood Sealed
The key to owning a wooden fence is keeping it sealed. Most people apply a clear stain to their fence to highlight the knots within the wood grain. You can also paint it a solid color. Now matter how you finish your fence, you need to make sure that you use a product with built in sealer. These are similar to normal paints and stain, only they are slightly thicker.
Just like any other paint finish on wood, the sealant will eventually start to wear off and fade. Of course, the sealant wears off unevenly, so some parts might have exposed wood, while others are still sealed. Often, the top rails wear down first because they receive the most sun and rain exposure. Also, the lower parts of a fence, especially the areas closest to the sprinklers can wear down quicker. These areas are usually when people start to have problems with their wooden fences. This is why it is important to visually inspect your fence every year. If necessary, apply a fresh coat of stain to the areas where there is already fading.
How to Refinish a Wooden Fence
Beyond this normal maintenance, you will probably need to totally refinish your fence about once every 5 years. But, this number can vary greatly, depending on the climate and how much moisture hits your fence. The process of refinishing a fence requires you to first sand off the existing stain. This is actually the most strenuous part of the job. By exposing the natural wood, you can apply a new stain that will be more protective and last longer. If you just keep putting stain on top of your existing, fading fence, it will not be as protective or long lasting.
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