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  • Frank Trujillo

Tips for Wood Fencing Maintenance

Updated: Feb 20

DIY Fence Maintenance by True Fence LLC

Wood fences are a popular choice for homeowners who want to add privacy, security, and beauty to their properties. However, wood fences also require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition and extend their lifespan.

Stockade Wood Fence Installation w/ Pressure-Treated Pine
Stockade Wood Fence Installation w/ Pressure-Treated Pine

Here are some tips on how to care for your wood fence:

Tip #1 - Cleaning the Fence

One of the most important steps in wood fence maintenance is cleaning the fence periodically. Dirt, dust, mold, mildew, and algae can accumulate on the wood surface and cause discoloration, decay, and damage. To clean your fence, you will need a wood or fence cleaner, a brush, and a pressure washer.

  1. Apply the cleaner to the fence with a sprayer or a roller, working from the bottom to the top. Make sure to cover the entire fence and get behind tight areas with a brush. ¹

  2. Let the cleaner sit for 15 to 20 minutes or as directed by the product instructions. This will allow the cleaner to penetrate the wood and loosen the dirt and stains. ²

  3. Rinse the cleaner off with a pressure washer, keeping it about 2 feet away from the wood. Move the spray tip back and forth over the fence, avoiding staying in one spot for too long. This will remove the cleaner and any remaining dirt and debris. ³

  4. Let the fence dry completely for at least 24 hours before applying any sealant or stain. If it is humid or rainy, you may need to wait longer. ⁴

Tip #2 - Repairing Fence Damage

Another essential part of wood fence maintenance is repairing any damage that may occur over time. Wood fences can crack, split, warp, rot, or lean due to weather, insects, or accidents. To fix minor damage, you can use glue, nails, screws, or brackets. To fix major damage, you may need to replace some boards or posts.

  1. Use glue to fix small splits or cracks in the wood. Apply a waterproof wood glue to the damaged area and tape it together for 24 hours while the glue dries. Remove the tape and check for any signs of further deterioration. ⁵

  2. Use nails or screws to fix loose or broken boards. Hammer or drill them into place securely, making sure they are aligned with the rest of the fence. You may need to replace some nails or screws if they are rusty or bent. ⁵

  3. Use brackets to reinforce weak or leaning posts. Dig around the base of the post and insert a concrete spur next to it. Attach the spur to the post with brackets and screws. Fill the hole with concrete and let it set for 24 hours. ⁶

  4. Replace any boards or posts that are severely damaged or rotted. Remove them carefully and measure them to get the right size for replacement. Install the new boards or posts in their place and secure them with nails or screws. ⁵

"Wood fences can crack, split, warp, rot, or lean due to weather, insects, or accidents."

Custom Horizontal Wood Fence Installation w/ Stained Cedar Pickets

Tip #3 - Staining Wooden Fences

The final step in wood fence maintenance is staining or painting the fence to protect it from UV rays and weathering. Stain or paint also enhances the appearance of your fence by adding color and shine. You will need a stain or paint of your choice, a brush, a roller, and a polyurethane sealant.

  1. Choose a stain or paint that is suitable for outdoor use and matches your preference and style. You can also use a clear sealant if you want to preserve the natural look of your wood fence.

  2. Apply the stain or paint to your fence with a brush or a roller, working in sections and following the direction of the wood grain. Make sure to cover all sides and edges of each board evenly and smoothly.

  3. Apply two or three coats of stain or paint, letting each coat dry for 24 hours before applying the next one.

  4. Apply a polyurethane sealant over the stain or paint to add extra protection and durability to your fence. Use a brush to apply it in thin and even coats, letting each coat dry for 24 hours before applying another one.


By following these tips on how to maintain your wood fence, you can keep it looking great and lasting long for years to come.

Stockade Wood Fence Installation in Southwest Florida


Conversation with Bing, 6/24/2023

(1) Top 5 Maintenance Tips for Wooden Fences - Harrow Fencing Supplies.

(2) Care and Maintenace for Wood Fences | HGTV.

(3) 4 Ways to Maintain a Wood Fence - wikiHow.

(4) How To Maintain Wood Fence | Wood Fence Maintenance.

(5) How Often Should I Stain My Fence? | Wood Fence Maintenance.

(6) All About Wooden Garden Fence Maintenance - Wood Finishes Direct.

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