If you have chosen cedar wood fencing for your garden, you have made a good choice. The properties of cedar wood fencing makes it favorable for outdoor use, due to its durability and resistance to rotting and warping. It is also more resistant to pest infestations than many other species of wood. However, there are several rules you should follow to keep your cedar wood fence in tip-top shape and looking like new. If you are uncertain on how to preserve your cedar wood fence and make the most of your investment, follow these simple maintenance tips:
1. Be Sure Your Wood Posts Are Pressure Treated
Because your wooden posts will be inserted into the ground, they will be subject to damage and infestation from insects. Moisture in the ground may also cause damage to untreated wood. However, pressure treated wood posts will be more resistant to this type of damage due to a special chemical process that is used in the treatment.
2. Inspect Your Picket Fence Periodically
If you have a picket cedar wood fence, it is important to inspect the pickets occasionally. Look for nails that have become loose. If you notice any loose nails, hammer them back in tightly. Also, if one of the pickets have become damaged in some way, or if it has shown signs of rotting, it is best to replace that post as soon as possible.
3. Clean Off Mildew
Mildew may occur in a damp environment or after a heavy rain. If you notice signs of mildew, head out to your local home improvement center or hardware store. Ask for a bottle of mildew remover that is safe to use on cedar wood. There should be instructions for use on the container. If you prefer, you can use a chlorinated bleach or an oxygenated bleach for mildew removal. Alternatively, you can scrub off dirt and mildew using warm water and a mild soap, although this method might not be as effective.
4. Pressure Wash Your Wood Fence If It Becomes Especially Dirty
If your area has experienced particularly bad weather or your fence has become soiled or grimy, the best way to clean it is by power washing it. This will do the most thorough cleaning job. If you don't own a power washer, you can rest one from a home improvement center. When power washing the fence, be sure the nozzle of the washer is held about a foot and half away from the fence. It is also a good idea to wear goggles to protect your eyes.
5. Trim Your Nearby Hedges and Bushes
If you have weeds, bushes or hedges that grow nearby your cedar wood fence, it is a good idea to keep everything trimmed. You don't want to allow weeds, foliage or branches to creep onto the wooden planks of your fence. Doing so may allow insects to harbor nearby and gain access to your fence. Although cedar wood is resistant to pests, damage may occur over time if you aren't vigilant.
6. Repaint or Stain Your Cedar Wood Fence Every Few Years
Over a period of time, your cedar wood fence may experience slight discoloration or fading from the sun and the elements. You can freshen the look for the wood by applying a stain or fresh coat of paint. Do this about every three years or so. You'll want to apply a couple of light coats. Wait until the first coat dries completely before applying the next one.
It's a good idea to first use some type of sealant on your fence before repainting it. This helps seal in a protective coating. Your water sealer should be reapplied annually for best results.