A key part of wood fence maintenance is keeping your fence well-protected with a good stain, varnish, or sealant that is reapplied as necessary over time.
Before reapplying your next protective coating or even just because your fence is looking grimy and dirty, a good cleaning is usually needed.
Follow these easy instructions for two different ways to clean your wood fence so it looks good, clean, and ready for that next protectant coating if it’s time to refresh the stain.
Cleaning Wood Fences By Hand
Although pressure washers make cleaning wood fences a quick and convenient task, fence companies do suggest cleaning a smaller length of fencing using a few common household items and a little bit of elbow grease to see how much work cleaning the entire fence might be:
- Scrape and Brush Pre-Wash - Start off with a paint scraper and wire brush, then go around the fence removing stuck on clumps of mud as well as other dirt and gunk so you have an easier time with the actual washing.
- Apply A Cleaning Solution - Using a large paint brush, apply a cleaning solution made of oxygenated bleach and water or a commercially bought solution that will start lifting up the deeper dirt and get the surface of the wood looking clean.
- Scrub with A Brush - Scrub the solution on the fence using a plastic fiber bristle hand brush or a brush on a pole; be sure to get into the corners and pay particular attention to places where there is mold, mildew, or moss growing.
- Rinse - Spray off all the solution with a hose and cold water. If you’re planning on putting on a new coat of stain or wood preservative, first let it dry a few days.
Cleaning Wood Fences With A Power Washer
You can clean your wood fence using a pressure washer just like the fencing pros do using basically the same process:
- Scrape and Brush - Repeat Step 1 above to remove all the caked-on dirt and grime.
- Pre-Rinse - Rinse and wet the fence with a hose and cold water. Use a medium pressure nozzle so the surface dirt will start coming off with just your hose.
- Pressure Wash - Using a 25-degree fan tip on the sprayer and setting the pressure between 1,500 and 2,00 PSI, wash the fence with cold water from a distance of about 2 feet. Use long vertical strokes to clean the fence and avoid stepping too close as this can leave gouges in the wood. As above, let the fence dry a few days if you’re planning on staining or sealing.
Keeping Your Wood Fence Clean Is A Breeze
When your wood fence is starting to look dirty and dingy, give it new life with a good cleaning.
Whether you do it by hand, rent a power washer, or hire a fence company to do it for you, cleaning your fence should be a regular part of any periodic wood fence maintenance and the first step to take before refreshing the stain or applying a new coat of wood sealant.
After a good washing, that fence on your property will look brand new all over again!