Wood fences are attractive options in residential fencing available for homeowners like you. Yet as classic and sturdy as these installations may be, they do require quite a bit of fencing maintenance. Mildew is one common problem you may encounter if you have a wood fence surrounding your property. If not corrected, problems with mildew can eventually cause damage that requires expensive fencing repair.
Is There Mildew On Your Fencing?
Mildew is a type of fungus that can grow on surfaces that provide a good environment for its survival. It is commonly seen on wood fencing and doesn't always look the same. The first signs of mildew on a fence are black, brown, or gray spots.
Untreated, mildew will grow and spread over a surface, affecting larger areas as time goes on. Not only is mildew unsightly, it can damage your installation so badly you may need to call a fencing repair company.
What Causes Mildew?
Mildew is a living fungal organism that thrives in environments that are moist and have a source of food. Because it naturally absorbs water, wood can be a suitable host for this fungus if it doesn't dry out completely.
Fences that are constantly wet or damp without a chance to fully dry out or don't receive appropriate fencing maintenance are most at risk of getting mold. Installations in shady, rainy, or humid areas or when surrounded with foliage that prevents drying out are commonly affected.
Although pressure-treated wood is less susceptible to mildew-causing fungus because it absorbs less water, any wood can be affected if it stays damp long enough.
Mildew Can Be Damaging to Wood Fencing
Like any other living organism, mildew fungus requires a food source to stay alive. The spores slowly eat away at the moist and soft wood fibers for nourishment, causing the fungus to spread. This also causes a slow weakening of the wood, which begins rotting away.
Over a long enough period of time, wood fencing affected by mildew can become so damaged that it splits or starts to fall apart. As the structure begins losing its integrity, fencing repair to replace affected parts becomes necessary.
Remove and Prevent Mildew with Good Fencing Maintenance
Removing mildew from wood surfaces is actually quite easy. All that is required is a good cleaning with bleach and water or a solution that kills mildew as well as a pressure washer or stiff scrub brush. Occasional cleaning is an important part of fencing maintenance to remove and prevent mildew and keep the fence looking its best.
Once the fence is clean, it should be allowed to dry completely. You can prevent regrowth of mildew by trimming back grass and other foliage, then coating the wood with a preservative or sealant.
If you are seeing black or gray spots on your fencing, you may have a mildew problem that needs fencing maintenance to remove the fungus and prevent permanent damage. Whether you do it yourself or call a fencing repair service, a mildew problem must be handled right away. Protect your fence with good maintenance so it gives you the full service life that it should!