A wooden fence is a beautiful addition to any yard, but over time it faces normal wear and tear like anything else, and it has to be cleaned and maintained. A great way to safely clean mold and mildew from your fence is to power wash it, but there are steps you need to take to ensure that power washing the fence doesn’t damage it.
Carnahan-White has great tips on safely power washing your fence.
Why Should I Clean My Fence?
Wooden fences, like everything else, get dirty. Being out in the weather leaves them exposed to rain, heat, wind, and dirt, and over time the wooden boards need to be cleaned of mold buildup, debris, and dirt, so they are not damaged in the long term.
How Often Should I Power Wash My Fence?
It is good to clean your fence about once a year, depending on what kind of weather it is exposed to. You will know your fence needs a good cleaning if the boards are tinted green from mildew or if areas are coated in dirt, mud, or clay.
Leaving mildew, mud, or other debris on the fence for long periods of time can cause the wood to rot, warp, or become permanently discolored. You may even have to end up restaining or repainting your fence.
How Do I Safely Power Wash My Fence?
Power washers can be powerful tools, so it is important to approach cleaning your fence slowly to avoid removing paint or stain.
Step 1: Wet an Area of Fence
Wet down the area you are starting with before doing anything else. Use a low-pressure setting to soak the boards. If it is a very hot day, you might just do small sections at a time to avoid the boards drying before they can be rinsed.
Step 2: Apply Bleach or Detergent
Use products specifically designed for wood fences to avoid damaging the boards. Follow the instructions on the packaging for application. If this is your first time using a product, test it out on a very small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn’t stain or discolor the wood.
Apply the wood detergent (or a small amount of bleach mixed with water if the fence is heavily stained with mildew) and let it set. You may have to scrub areas with a lot of dirt buildup.
Step 3: Rinse Fence
After the detergent has soaked for the recommended amount of time, use the power washer to thoroughly rinse the fence. Start on a very low setting and gradually increase up to medium to see what your fence can handle. High settings on a power washer can damage or strip the wood.
Step 4: Let Dry
Let it dry completely, then inspect it. You should be able to see any areas that may have been missed, or that might still have some discoloration. Repeat the steps again on those areas to get them clean.
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Carnahan-White in Springfield, Missouri
Carnahan-White has been in business for over 60 years. We offer various services, including ironworks, fence maintenance, installation, access control systems, and landscapes. For more information, visit our website or call us at (417) 883-0733 to contact our representatives.