Maintaining a fence

Although fence panels and posts are normally supplied treated and therefore with some degree of protection from the elements, you still need to re-coat the wood periodically in order to protect it. Maintaining a fence correctly therefore means applying a wood treatment or wood preserver, ever few years. You may choose to apply a clear wood preserver or, as shown below, introduce a colour to revive the look of the fence as a whole.

using a sprayer for fence 1. If you decide to use a sprayer, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines precisely for assembly and for how to use the sprayer safely.
 cleaning and brushing down fence 2. A fence must be clean and dry before applying any protective or waterproof product. Brush it down thoroughly with a stiff hand brush.
 mixing wood preserver 3. Ensure that only recommended treatments are used in the sprayer. Mix products well before use and do not overfill the spray unit.
 spraying fence 4. Spray edges and struts before turning your attention to the central parts of the fence panels. Use long sweeping movements.
 painting fence with brush 5. You could also simply use a large paintbrush. Whichever method you use, ensure complete coverage and apply the recommended number of coats.

Maintenance tips

  • If you choose to use spray equipment for fence maintenance, make sure that you take precautions to protect adjacent surfaces. For example, lay dust sheets on a path by a fence.
  • Fences, and especially panel fences should have gravel boards fitted along the base of the fence at ground level. This is the area that tends to rot first with fences, and so by using gravel boards you simply replace these rather than the whole fence panel. For more on gravel boards see my guide – ‘Erecting a fence on soft ground’.

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