A nice fence not only improves the value of a property, it can also improve the well being of the people living on that property by bringing a sense of security and peace. On the other hand, a worn-down rickety fence not only shortens the life of the fence, but also is unattractive to potential buyers of that property. Thus it is important to keep your fence maintained in order to save you lots of hassle in the future!
Some fences requires more maintenance over other fences depending on the material. Typically a wooden fence would require more and frequent care than a higher quality material like concrete.
Here are some DIY Fence repair tips that can save you money in the long run!
1. Visual Inspection
This applies to all types of fencing material. The purpose of this is to jot down all visual damages so you will know what you need to repair. Be on the lookout for staining around nails and screws, cracks, dulled or dirty patches, and rot. A visual inspection at a minimum of once a year (but hopefully done every few months) will and can prevent troubles. If you see unwanted vegetation growing near the fence, it is best to get rid of it!
*Find problems at an early stage and fixing it will prevent big problems down the road.
If you own fencing like concrete, vinyl, or composite, cleaning is pretty much all the short term maintenance you will have to do. Cleaning your fence is as simple as it sounds. Hosing the fence down with some scrubbing will usually do the job. However, if you have some dirt and grime built up, it is better you pressure wash the fence. This will restore your fence to its former beauty! Be careful to choose a pressure washer that operates at a relatively low pressure (between 1,500 and 2,000 psi) since high pressure can damage your fence. Always read the manual before operating a pressure washer.
If you own a cedar/wood fence, a weekly scrub with lukewarm water and mild detergent should keep the fence clean. Remember to wipe down with clean water and a dry rag to soak away excess water. If the fence is really dirty, consider also using a pressure washer to clean it. Again, be careful of the pressure setting.
*A good scrub or pressure washing should do the trick
3. Get Rid of Molds/Stains
Removing mold from a fence with cleaning products should be simple. Using a pressure washer mentioned above with a cleaning agent should the trick.
With older Cedar/wood fencing, a stronger cleaning agent such as bleach can be mixed with lukewarm water for a good scrub. Depending on the condition of the wall, it may not be best to use pressure washer on it.
If the fence has signs of rot, it is probably better to replace that part.
Realize that if there are damages or cracks to a fence, it is only going to get worse and not better. This also applies to any type of fencing. If the damage is as small as a hairline crack, simple repainting and a sealant should do the trick. If the cracks are mild to midsize on a concrete/vinyl or composite fence, consider patching it with concrete epoxy or silicon based sealer that are available in most local hardware stores. Depending on the material, you should clean the crack, chip away loose material prior to applying the patching. And remember to sand down afterward!
If there are cracks to a wood fence, consider replacing that particular piece as it may be cheaper to do so.
If you have substantial damages to the fence, it is recommended that you just replace the damaged sections.
*Depending on size and severity of your damages, different patching material and system is available.
5. Painting and Sealant
One of the most important things one can do to maintain a fence is to stain or paint it. Stains will provide more protection and ease of fence maintenance because a stain can seep further into the wood/concrete itself than just painting can. Additionally, when one chooses to stain a fence, they will not have to deal with chipping paint, making fence repair easier in the future. It is important for one to apply stains and paint evenly when they are maintaining a fence so that the final fence repair job looks uniform. One should also make sure that the temperature outside (in addition to the humidity) is compliant with the specifications on the back of the product. Most stains and paints will not take, and will look poorly if applied in extreme heat or cold.