Wood Fence Maintenance for Fall
The fall season is the perfect time to take care of several outdoor projects in preparation for the damp and often harsh cold of winter. For fence owners, this is especially true, and the sooner you complete fall maintenance tasks, the better protected your fence and property will be for the coming months.
While there are several preventative steps to help avoid winter damage, fall itself can bring a few potential problems. So while we still have some warm sun to accompany the changing temperatures, head outside and get started on these five essential fence maintenance tasks.
1. Tidy Up the Yard and Garden
This first task is easy and likely one you’ll handle while taking care of other landscaping projects at the end of the growing season. Go around your fence perimeter to make sure there is no plant debris or objects up against it. In the cool months of fall and winter, plants, leaf piles, and even yard decorations can prevent proper airflow to the fence, promoting the growth of damaging mold and mildew.
So grab a rake, your gloves, and some pruners. It is time to clear out those garden beds and secure tools and yard art safely away from the fence. Try to leave a good half foot, at least if possible, from large bushes. If you live in a heavily wooded area, you may need to check a number of times until all the leaves in your area are well and indeed fallen.
2. Remove Overhanging Branches
Fall and winter often bring strong wind and blustery days. After you have taken care of cleaning up the ground, turn your eye upwards and survey the area above and around the fence line. Branches that are close to the fence on a good weather day can risk banging into it in bad weather.
Especially keep an eye out for branches that look weak or damaged as ice and snow can quickly bring them down. Larger limbs can cause the most structural damage, but small branches can scratch through protective layers when they come down, putting the fence at risk of longer-term mold or mildew damage.
This task may not be one you can do alone, depending on the size of the branches that need to be taken down and where they are located in relation to your fence or other structures. So be careful, and hire a professional tree service if you need it. It may cost a little more, but it will keep you from needing other emergency repairs.
3. Inspect and Clean the Fence
Once the area around the fence is clear of debris and hazards, go ahead and give it a good clean. While you can certainly get a professional cleaning service, you can clean most fences with a simple cleaning solution (like 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner) and the power of a simple hose or residential power sprayer.
You just want to get rid of any dirt, mold, and mildew that has accumulated over the past few months (we recommend clients clean wood fences twice a year) and not strip any of the protective coats off. At this point, you can get a better view of the condition of your fence. If it is still in good condition, you may be able to skip the next step!
If you notice any of the following, however, you need some extra maintenance:
- Leaning or damaged fence posts
- Loose boards
- Holes or chips in finishes
- Rust on metal parts
4. Repair, Restain, and Reseal
If you have noted any damage, now is the time to address it. You should replace damaged posts and loose boards entirely. If you have noticed rust on metal components, it needs to be removed and those items properly resealed. And for wood fences, holes need to be patched, and failing sealants, stains, or other top coats refreshed.
It can be easy to dismiss the need for restaining or resealing a fence, but if you persistently need to clean mold and mildew from the fence or you don’t visibly see water beading when the fence gets wet, your fence is at risk of degradation. Whether you DIY the project or call in a professional, it is a step that you should be taking at least once a year.
5. Check for Damage
You may be asking, didn’t we already do this? Yes, but this is an ongoing task you’ll want to keep on top of.
Regularly check your fence and gates for damage, especially after major storms or long periods of rainy weather. Staying ahead of damage and addressing problems as they occur saves time and money in the long run.
Fence Maintenance in Asheville
Residents of western North Carolina and Asheville can depend on Asheville Fence for all of their fencing installation, repair, and maintenance. With two generations of experience working on fences in the environment of the Blue Ridge, Black, and Smoky mountains, we can help ensure the longevity of your investment.
We offer fence staining services using transparent, semi-transparent, and solid base stains that provide different levels of coverage and look. Our specialists are also pleased to work with you to determine the best course of action for your specific circumstance and how to make repairs that fit in as naturally as possible with your existing set-up.
Turning to a professional will give you guaranteed results that you can trust without the hassle of having to coordinate things yourself. A professional fence company can have a typical fence cleaned and restrained over the course of a day or two, depending on the size of the project and any needed repairs.
Contact us today to get a free personal estimate for your project and get back to enjoying our turn into fall.