As with other portions of your home, each year your home’s fencing should be inspected and maintained. Even if you have low maintenance fencing such as vinyl or aluminum, an annual inspection to be sure that your fence is secure and that there are no damaged areas is wise. Here is what we recommend for fence maintenance in Maryland.
In Spring, walk your fence line and do a visual inspection, as well as a stability inspection. Look for any areas that appear weak or have suffered damage from weather. Any badly damaged posts, pickets, boards or rails should be replaced. Portions of the fence with minor damage should be noted so that you know what to watch for down the line.
If your wood fence is being used to keep pets inside (or other animals outside) of your yard, be sure that there are no breaches such as loose boards or holes that have been dug or eroded under the fence. If your wood fence is a private or semi-private fence, be sure to walk both sides of the fence to do your inspection.
To keep your wood fence looking good, sealing or staining it may be necessary. If your wood fencing is pressure treated, applying a sealant should not be necessary. Fence posts are generally pressure treated due to the fact that a portion of them is underground. Pickets or rails, however may or may not be. If they are not, applying a stain or sealant helps keep it looking good, and will help it last longer.
Other tips for helping to keep your wood fence looking good include making sure that vines, bushes and other vegetation are not growing on or too close to your fence, which can attract moisture and insects; minimizing the wood’s exposure to water by keeping sprinklers and drain spouts away; and addressing any areas of concern sooner rather than later.
Aluminum / Metal Fencing
As with wood fencing, a metal fence should also be inspected annually, particularly for stability. It is also a good idea to thoroughly check your metal fence for areas where its coating or paint has been damaged. Exposed metal is susceptible to rust, which will deteriorate your fence. Metal fences that are in close proximity to grass are particularly vulnerable to nicks and scratches from mowers and trimmers. Metal fencing that are too close to bushes and trees may also become scratched by branches. If you see that there is metal exposed, touch up the finish with a product that is recommended for metal, and will withstand weather. Also inspect any gates to ensure that locks are functioning properly.
Although vinyl fencing requires very little maintenance, an annual inspection can help ensure that it is stable and has not suffered any damage during the winter months. As with other fences, walk the fence line and inspect the front and the back of the fence for damage and instability. Be sure to take steps to secure any loose posts, pickets or rails, and inspect locks for security.
To help keep your vinyl fence looking great, gently wash any stains or mildew from your fence regularly with soap and water. Be careful not to use any cleansing products that are harsh or not approved for vinyl. Chemical products can damage the finish of your vinyl fence, or cause discoloration.
That should do it! A little maintenance each year will help keep your fence looking and functioning its best. As always, if your fence or fence gates are in need of repair or replacement, contact the fence pros at Tri County Fence & Decks. We are here for you year ’round!