How often should a wooden fence be cleaned and stained?

fence with paintbrush
If your fence is looking a little dull, a new stain or sealant could be the most cost-effective way to update it. Ensure you have inspected your fence, completed the repairs and cleaned it prior to applying any paint or sealer.

Fencing that is only dusty or moderately soiled can be cleaned by simply spraying down with your garden hose. You can use a power washer in order to remove more serious dirt, stains, rust, or discoloration, as well as mold, moss, etc. Power washing is good in the case of an aging wooden fence, it will also strip off the discolored top layer of wood. If your fence is still under warranty, make sure that power washing will not violate the manufacturer's terms and conditions. After washing, thoroughly dry the fence before you stain or paint.

It is recommended to use sealer on your fence. If the wood in good condition and you're happy with the color, you can use a clear sealer instead of a stain. If you're looking to add some color, and the fence is in good condition, you can use a semi-transparent stain that soaks into the wood and keeps the wood grain visible. Regular painting or sealing will help to protect your wood fence against wood rot and other damage in the future.

Be careful with mowers and string trimmers around fences and posts. Avoid letting mulch or soil pile up against the bottom of fence posts and panels. Keep hinges, latches and any moving parts well-lubricated with grease or oil.

For fence repair and maintenance, keep in mind these helpful hints from the deck repair experts at Mr. Handyman.