If you moved into a house that already had a cedar fence, that beautiful fence could have been one of the reasons you chose the home. Now, however, a few years have passed and it is starting to look a bit dingy. You were not there to hear the installers explain how to care for it, but you have read up on some of the things to do. Here are a few tips that, added to what you have researched, will ensure that what you do will preserve the wood and keep your fence looking great.
Keep the Ground and Grass from Toughing the Bottom
You may have wondered why the fence pickets do not go all the way to the ground. The simple truth is that the wood will soak up any moisture that touches it. As the water is absorbed into the wood it can cause the wood to swell and decay. Only the posts that hold the picket panels in place should touch the ground. Pickets should be two to five inches above it. This will help when you cut the grass too, because the mower will be able to reach under the fence so you won't have to use clippers or a trimmer around it.
Scrub Away Mildew
Using a pressure washer to clean the fence is simple enough, but it might not kill and remove any mildew. Use a scrub brush and a mildew killing solution over any areas where you see growth. You can use the solution in the power washer to go over the whole fence, but you need to give visible mildew some special attention. Once you have scrubbed or power washed the fence, use the garden hose to rinse away the solution with fresh water. Allow the fence to dry for a couple of days before applying any sealant.
While waiting for the wood to completely dry, inspect it for any cracks or crevices. Fill these with a wood filler. This will ensure that the sealant you apply to the fence does not leave any small holes where moisture can seep in and start to rot the wood.
Luckily, when properly done, you should only have to reseal your cedar fence every three years. While this might seem like a lot of work, consider the fact that this maintenance can extend the life of your fence by five to ten years, giving you extra time to decide what to do about a new fence and save the money for it when the time comes.