How to Maintain Your Wooden Fence

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A wooden fence needs care and attention to make sure it stays as strong and stable as possible throughout its lifespan.

Wooden Fencing - RTC Fencing

Leaving your fence to face the unforgiving elements alone is a sure fire way of seeing it rot or collapse where it stands. You should keep a regular eye on how your fence is holding up, and implement these easy maintenance tips to keep your fence standing tall for as long as possible.

Damaged panels

Much of the maintenance of wooden fencing involves repairing any damage to panels. At worst, you will need to replace entire panels if they are totally defunct – this is pretty straightforward, especially if you’re just replacing one or two panels at a time. If it’s just minor damage like splitting or broken pieces, then you can glue them by applying waterproof glue and clamping/taping the broken sections together while you wait for it to dry. Make sure you do this when the wood is totally dry in the first place.

Mildew and nails

Basic maintenance checks should be carried out regularly to reveal any damaged or loose nails or a buildup of mildew on your fence. Hammer in loose nails and replace broken or rusted ones. If you spot any mildew on your fence, clean it off by scrubbing affected areas with soap and water. You should regularly scrub the rest of your fence in the same way to stop the buildup of dirt, algae and grime.

Seal and stain

Protecting your fence from the weather is the most important factor in the long term upkeep of your fence and this can be done with relative ease. Staining your fence will help preserve the wood and protect it from water damage. Make sure to choose wood stain containing UV inhibitors, this will help combat bleaching from prolonged exposure to the sun. Before you start sealing, be sure to strip the wood of any previous finish – a power washer will deal with this effectively – and make sure to apply at least two coats. Fence stain will offer a touch of colour to the wood while working to protect it at the same time.

Post to post

The trickiest part of DIY fence maintenance is definitely trying to maintain the fence posts themselves. They influence the structural integrity of the fence more than anything, and if they haven’t been properly installed then your fence won’t stay standing for long. Fence posts are more prone to rotting than panels – in large part due to long lasting groundwater finding its way to the base of the post – but there are steps you can take before you install them to protect them from this:

  • Coat the posts in wood preservative before you put them in the ground – thoroughly soaking the base of the post is especially important. This will help fight off moisture infiltration, either from the ground or from any water running down the post itself.
  • Make sure the posts are strong to begin with. Don’t compromise on cheaper, lighter sapwood, use heartwood to give your fence a stronger, denser foundation.
  • Slope the concrete when planting the fencepost, so that water can drain away from the base of the post, absorbing into the soil around the post instead of into the concrete surrounding the post itself.
  • Apply caulk to the base of the post to seal any gaps between the concrete and the post itself.
  • If your fence is leaning – and hasn’t fallen over completely – then you can fix it without having to replace any panels or posts. Just dig around the post until you expose the concrete layer, then you can easily straighten the post.

The main thing to remember is how properly protecting your fence from the elements and adverse weather prolongs the life of your fence by a significant amount. Proper installation and regular maintenance and care will solve many niggling problems, so you won’t have to totally replace or rebuild it every couple of years.


RTC Fencing are professional, reliable and experienced fencing contractors, serving commercial clients in Nottingham, Leicester, Melton Mowbray and Derby. With over twenty years of experience, you can trust our expert team to carry out any fencing job you need, so don’t hesitate to get in touch today to ask about our products and services.

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