Known for both its attractive reddish-gold color and fresh, woody smell, cedar wood is ideal for fences. Not only is the fragrant wood durable, but it's highly resistant to insects and warping. Even though a cedar fence will hold up well a variety of outdoor elements, it's still important to protect it with a stain and regularly maintain it. This is especially true if you live in an area that experiences harsh climatic conditions, such as high humidity in the summer or very snowy winters.
Here are some tips for keeping your home's cedar wood fencing looking its best year-round:
Depending on where you live, you may need to wash your cedar fence on a weekly basis. For instance if you home is in a rural area or on a farm, it may get muddy on a regular basis throughout the spring and summer months. If you live in a big city, pollutants such as car exhaust may build up on the wood over time.
An easy and effective way of rinsing the debris off is with a pressure washer, which will force-clean the wood using just water. To avoid damaging the fence, use no more than 1,500 pounds of water pressure per square inch of wood. Keep the the hose nozzle about 20 inches away from the wood as you spray it down.
If parts of the fence are heavily soiled, add a few drops of a gentle, eco-friendly detergent to a bucket of warm water and wipe it over the extra-dirty areas using a soft brush or sponge. Rinse the soap off thoroughly using a hose or the pressure washer.
Approximately once a month, inspect the fencing for any loose or rotting boards. If any are loose, you can secure them back into place using a nail and hammer; drill and weather-resistant, stainless steel screws; or wood caulk. This will help maintain the overall integrity of the fence and prevent sections from collapsing.
If a board has rotted due to moisture, replace the entire piece for best results.
On an annual basis, coat the cedar wood fencing with a fresh layer of an exterior semitransparent oil stain. The stain will help bring out the wood's natural color and grain patterns, as well as help protect it from moisture and sun damage.
Look for an oil stain that contains a fungicide, which will prevent or slow mold and mildew growth.