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How to Take Care of Your Fence for Summer

Summer can be a favorite season of the year because it’s the time you can enjoy the outdoors on your porches and sprawl on the lawn. 

 This season brings in the sunshine and moisture that’s been craved for during winter.  

It also makes you take precautions to prevent any damages that can be caused by being exposed to the sun.

These precautions are not limited to humans but included structures that provide protection and safety, like fences.  

What work is needed to maintain the integrity of fences during summer?  

What type of fence will withstand the scorching heat of the sun?

Staining and Sealing Your Wooden Fence for Summer

New Orleans Wood Fence Repair

Time and weather conditions dictate when you should stain and seal your fence.  

These are the most effective methods of treating a new or existing fence to make them more durable and weather-resistant.

The rule of thumb for checking if your wooden fence is ready for staining or sealing is the sprinkle test.  

Sprinkle some water on your wooden fence and if the drops of water bead up, wait a few days before trying again.  

You will know it is time to seal or stain if the wood absorbs the water

Forest Products Laboratory reported that wood can start showing signs of damage with as little as three weeks of exposure to sun and rain.  

Wood treatments retard the degradation of wood which begins one to two weeks before it is painted.

Sealing for Wooden Fences

Wood sealers provide longevity and durability for your fence.  

It does this by sealing the wood in a clear, waterproof substance like polyurethane. 

Sealing will prevent your wooden fence from rotting.  Sealers are applied using a standard paintbrush or a foam brush.

Because a fence is exposed to the elements, the best-quality sealer should be applied.  

The best outdoor wood sealers for 2020 according to Wood Improve are:

Staining for Wooden Fences

Wood staining improves the color of the natural surface of your wooden fence.  

Stains preserve and highlight the grain of the wood while giving it a more appealing hue.  

The right stain can significantly improve the outdoor appeal of your home or property.

Wood stains come in varying tones depending on how solid you would like the color to be.  

The lighter-colored stains will make the wooden grains more visible when it is applied.

The top picks for the best wooden fence stains for 2020, according to The Spruce are:

Sealing and/or Staining your Wooden Fence the Proper Way

New Orleans Simple wood fence designs - Big Easy Fences

Extending the life of your wooden fence will need some elbow grease if you plan to DIY.  

Otherwise, you can save time and effort by hiring a fencing contractor.  

Here are the necessary steps for sealing or staining your wooden fence or both:

  1.  Clean the wooden fence for the seal to penetrate and adhere to the surface of your wood.  Use wooden cleaners to get rid of old sealers, stains, molds, and mildew.  
  2. Apply an acidic wood brightener to neutralize the pH from the acidity of the cleaners you used.  This will also allow the sealer to penetrate the wood.
  3. Make sure that your wooden fence is completely dry, especially between slats and near the ground surfaces.
  4. Apply the wood fence sealer or stain to protect your fence from the ultraviolet rays of the sun and other elements like humidity and rain.  The color pigments of a wood stain repel UV light, preventing your wood from turning gray.

Use a medium-napped roller followed immediately by a brush to spread the product evenly covering the slats and into the grain of the wood. 

Apply your stain and/or seal generously making sure that it goes deep into the wood.  It is best to apply two to three heavy coats for maximum durability and protection.

Stain or Seal Your Wooden Fence Or Both?

The answer to whether you will apply a seal or a stain or both will mostly depend on your needs and situation.  

These processes for maintaining a wooden fence are very important for many purposes.

Staining and Sealing will both protect and prolong the life of your wooden fence, thus saving you money in the long run.  

If you prioritize maintaining the integrity of your wooden fence for years, all you need is good sealant.  

But if you prefer an aesthetic appeal, applying a stain is important.  However, you can apply both if you like a sturdy fence that will improve your home’s curb appeal.

When is the Best Time to Apply a Stain or Seal?

The worst times to stain a fence are early spring and summer.  

Since wood absorbs humidity, applying a stain or seal early in the spring will not let the wood absorb it properly because the wood pores are too saturated already.  

High temperatures during summer will also make the seal or stain product evaporate when applied before it even penetrates deeply into the wood to lock out moisture.

The best conditions you should consider before applying a seal or stain on your wooden fence would be:

  • Both air and wood surface temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees
  • Not under direct sunlight
  • Rain-free weather for at least 48 hours

Maintaining Your Wooden Fence

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for every sealing or staining product that you apply on your wooden fence.  

The general rule for these processes though in order to keep a well-maintained fence is to stain every five years and apply sealants every two to three years.

A wooden fence can last up to a functional lifespan of 20 years through rain, snow, and sun if it receives regular staining and sealing along with other routine maintenance.  

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