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  • Writer's pictureMidwest Fence & Gate

Top Fence Maintenance Tips for Erratic Springtime Weather

A fence during a snowy winter day.

From March through May, spring weather in Iowa can be unpredictable. The Midwestern climate is characterized by humid weather and unexpected storms. You can protect your fence and uphold your property's value with these springtime tips.

Remove Yard Debris to Prevent Damage

Springtime weather can take a toll on your fence. According to statistics, there are up to 50 severe thunderstorms throughout the year in Iowa, particularly in spring and summer. With time, numerous twigs and debris will impact the structural integrity of your fencing.

You can prevent future damage by identifying trees with weak branches. Trim the trees near the fence to minimize the risk of falling. Vinyl fences are the most susceptible to falling branches, but chain-link and ornamental fences can also sustain damage.

Some of the critical maintenance tasks in spring include pruning shrubs and vegetation and removing soil building up around the fence. The branches can lead to humidity accumulation in the muggy springtime weather. The moisture can damage iron fences, causing rust and chipped paint.

Perform Routine Cleaning and Fence Treatment

Regardless of the materials used for your fence, routine cleaning is essential for the structure's longevity. Debris and dust will cut down the lifespan of your fence. If you don't clear debris around your wood fence, it can cause rotting.

Soil and dust deteriorate the outer layer of protection in metal and expose the fence to corrosion. Routine cleaning prevents scratching and chipping the paint before it can escalate to full-blown rust.

Vinyl fences accumulate snow and ice that melts into muddy stains on crevices around the structure. Start by hosing down the grime with a garden hose or pressure washer. You can use detergent or vinegar and a gentle brush to remove mud on the vinyl surface.

Keep in mind that harsh chemicals can damage vinyl material. Pay attention to the product you use, and be sure to clean the fence every three to six months. When using vinegar, rinse the detergent thoroughly to avoid deterioration from the acidity.

You can use warm water and soap for metal fences. However, avoid using vinegar for aluminum fencing. The acidity can weaken the material and encourage rusting and chipping.

Otherwise, aluminum is weatherproof durable, and it can last for a lifetime. Its primary weakness is exposure to acidic chemicals.

Chain-link fences can be complicated and time-consuming to wash because of the cumbersome mess of wires. You can simplify cleaning by using a pressure washer to remove dust and grime. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove stains from the crevices.

You'll want to apply wax on your ornamental fence after cleaning. Make sure you first wipe off the dampness to prevent corrosion after cleaning. Waxing also protects your fencing from fading due to exposure to UV radiation.

Prevent Staining on Wood and Cedar Fences

A person painting a wooden fence.

It is also advisable to stain wood fences to keep their warm, rustic aesthetics in Iowa's unpredictable springtime weather. Dry and wet rot are the two most common types of rotting that may damage your wood fencing.

Wet rot is common among wood fences and often occurs near the ground. It is frequently caused by moisture saturation from snow and ice accumulation in winter. The dampness attracts fungus, which feeds off the wood and weakens the structure.

Dry rot is from a different type of fungus spore that reduces the strength of the timber. With the rising temperatures in spring, the wood becomes brittle and cracks.

Staining your wood prevents deterioration from wet or dry rot. You can treat wood with linseed oil to retain its beauty and minimize wind damage throughout the season.

Before you stain the wood, ensure it's dry and free from soil and debris. Repair rotting and broken panels or replace where there is extensive damage. You can rely on Midwest Fence & Gate Company for customizations to suit your privacy, security, or safety needs in Iowa.

After replacing the defective panels, you can stain the wood with a brush or roller. Apply the stain evenly across the structure. Apply another additional coat after 24 hours for extra protection.

Protect Your Fence From Corrosion

Snow subsides in springtime as the weather changes erratically. Unfortunately, the warm weather and excess moisture may trigger rust. Spots of brown on metal indicate corrosion is taking over your metal fence.

Rust weakens the metal, making the fence susceptible to damage during a storm. Corrosion can damage the coating, leaving ugly spots that ruin your home's curb appeal. That's why it is critical to inspect your iron fence for rust and restore its luster.

You can use sandpaper to clear the brown rust spots on the metal fence. Apply a fresh coating on the same area to prevent further rusting. Avoid painting if rain is expected within 24 hours to ensure optimal protection.

Thoroughly Inspect Hardware and Parts

Springtime temperature fluctuations may cause contraction and expansion that damage the fencing's hardware. Fast winds in spring can weaken parts of the structure. A broken part could cause further damage that extends across the fence.

Therefore, it is advisable to inspect your fencing in spring for any defects. Look for signs of termite infestation that can speed up wood rot. Also, check for deterioration on the hardware and other hidden parts that are often overlooked.

Check fence posts to make sure they are sturdy. High winds, snow, and ice buildup can compromise the integrity of the fence's structure. If you ignore the issue, storms could cause your fence to fall over.

Prompt repairs are essential to keep your fencing in immaculate condition through springtime. Make a point of examining your fence twice a year for damage.

Timely detection of defects and subsequent repairs can prevent premature replacements. You can minimize the cost of fixing your fence in springtime by taking the proactive maintenance steps listed above.

Call Midwest Fence & Gate Company for top-of-the-line fencing materials and outstanding residential services in Iowa.


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