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  • Writer's pictureMidwest Fence & Gate

Top Tips to Maintain Your Fence This Summer

A white picket fence with tulips.

Summer is here, bringing longer days, backyard barbecues, and quality time spent outdoors. As you enjoy the warm weather, don't forget to give your fence some much-needed attention! A well-maintained fence not only enhances the aesthetics of your property but also provides privacy, security, and a safe enclosure for your loved ones. To help you make the most of this summer season, we have compiled a list of top tips to maintain your fence. So, let's dive in and discover how you can keep your fence in top shape throughout the sunny months!

Clean and Clear Debris

Keeping your fence clean and free of debris is a crucial maintenance task that should be performed regularly, especially during the summer months. Accumulated dirt, leaves, branches, and other debris not only detract from the appearance of your fence but can also cause long-term damage if left unattended. Here's a detailed explanation of this top tip to maintain your fence this summer:

Start With a Visual Inspection

Take a walk along the length of your fence and carefully examine it for any visible debris, such as fallen leaves, twigs, or grass clippings. Look for any signs of mold, mildew, or algae growth—particularly in areas that receive less sunlight and have higher humidity levels.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin cleaning, gather the tools and materials you'll need. These may include a broom, a garden hose with a spray nozzle, a stiff-bristled brush, a bucket filled with a mild detergent solution, and a scrub brush or sponge.

Remove Loose Debris

Using a broom or a handheld brush, gently sweep away any loose debris from the fence's surface. Pay special attention to the corners, crevices, and the bottom of the fence, where leaves and dirt tend to accumulate.

Rinse the Fence

With a garden hose fitted with a spray nozzle, rinse the fence thoroughly to remove any remaining dirt or dust. Start from the top and work your way down, ensuring that every section of the fence is properly rinsed.

Clean Stubborn Stains

If you notice any stubborn stains, such as bird droppings or mold, prepare a solution of mild detergent or fence cleaner in a bucket of water. Dip a scrub brush or sponge into the solution and gently scrub the stained areas. Rinse the fence again to remove the cleaning solution entirely.

Adjust Hardware

Adjusting the hardware of your fence is an important maintenance task that can help ensure its stability, functionality, and overall durability. Over time, factors such as weather conditions, temperature changes, and regular usage can cause hardware components to loosen or become misaligned. Here's a detailed explanation of this top tip to maintain your fence this summer:

Tighten Loose Screws and Bolts

Using a screwdriver or a wrench, check and tighten any loose screws or bolts you come across during the inspection. Pay close attention to hinges, as loose ones can cause misalignment or sagging of the fence gate.

Align Gates Properly

Misaligned gates can make opening and closing difficult, leading to potential damage or accidents. To ensure proper alignment, check if the gate is level and plumb. If it's not, use a level and adjust the hinges or supports accordingly until the gate hangs evenly.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Moving parts such as hinges, latches, and locks should be lubricated regularly to ensure smooth operation and prevent rust or corrosion. Apply a suitable lubricant to the hinges and other hardware components as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Replace Damaged Hardware

If you come across any hardware that is severely damaged, rusted, or beyond repair, it's important to replace it promptly. Broken or weak hardware compromises the integrity of the fence and can lead to further issues.

Don’t Hang Items on Fence

A run-down fence with a teddy bear on it.

While it may be tempting to utilize your fence as a convenient spot for hanging decorations, plants, or other objects, doing so can have negative consequences for the fence's stability and longevity. Read on for more details on this tip.

Avoid Unnecessary Weight

Hanging heavy objects on your fence can put undue stress on its structure, especially if the fence is not designed to support additional weight. Over time, the weight of the objects can cause the fence to sag, lean, or even collapse.

Prevent Damage to the Fence Surface

Sharp edges, hooks, or nails used to hang objects can scratch, puncture, or chip the paint, or stain, or even damage the protective coating on the fence. This can compromise the fence's resistance to weather elements, increasing the risk of deterioration.

Maintain the Fence's Visual Appeal

Hanging objects on the fence may alter its aesthetic appeal. The accumulation of items can create a cluttered and disorganized appearance, detracting from the fence's intended design and detracting from the overall beauty of your outdoor space.

Avoid Interference With Functionality

Depending on the type of fence you have, hanging objects may interfere with its functionality. For example, if you have a gate, hanging items too close to it can obstruct the gate's range of motion, making it difficult to open or close properly. This can lead to operational issues and even damage to the gate mechanism.

Minimize Risks to Personal Safety

Hanging heavy or bulky items on the fence can pose a safety hazard. Unstable or improperly-secured objects may fall unexpectedly, potentially causing injury to individuals nearby—especially to children or pets who may be playing in the vicinity of the fence.

Seek Alternative Hanging Options

Instead of hanging items directly on the fence, consider using alternative methods to display decorations or plants. You can utilize freestanding structures, hooks mounted on exterior walls, or specially-designed plant hangers to maintain the aesthetic appeal without compromising the integrity of the fence.

Stain and Paint

Applying a fresh coat of stain or paint to your fence not only enhances its appearance but also provides essential protection against the elements, preventing damage and extending its lifespan. Here's how you can do this:

Prepare the Surface

If you're painting a previously painted fence, scrape off any loose or peeling paint using a putty knife or a paint scraper. Sand the surface lightly to create a smooth base for the new paint. For staining, sanding may not be necessary unless the wood has rough areas or splinters.

Choose the Right Stain or Paint

Select a high-quality stain or paint that is suitable for outdoor use and compatible with the material of your fence. Consider factors such as the fence's exposure to sunlight, moisture levels, and the desired color or finish. Opt for products that provide UV protection and are resistant to mold, mildew, and water damage.

Apply the Stain or Paint

Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for applying the stain or paint. Use a brush, roller, or sprayer, depending on the size and design of your fence. Start from the top and work your way down, applying an even coat. Pay attention to the edges, corners, and hard-to-reach areas.

Allow Proper Drying and Curing

Allow the stain or paint to dry and cure according to the manufacturer's instructions. This usually involves waiting for a specific period before exposing the fence to moisture or heavy use. Avoid touching or placing objects against the freshly painted or stained surface during this time.

As the sun shines brightly and the summer breeze beckons you outside, now is the perfect time to give your fence the care it deserves. By following these top tips to maintain your fence, you can ensure its longevity and beauty for years to come. However, if you find yourself in need of professional assistance or require expert advice on fence installation, repair, or maintenance, look no further than Midwest Fence & Gate Company. Our dedicated team of experts is ready to assist you in all your fencing needs. So don't hesitate—contact Midwest Fence & Gate Company today and let us help you create the perfect outdoors for your summer enjoyment!

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