Fence Maintenance: Keep Your Fence Looking its Best!

Taking care of your home is a full-time job, and it's not only the interior that needs constant upkeep but the exterior too. Particularly, if you have a wood fence it'd be wise to stay on top of regular fence maintenance.


Sunshine, wind, rain, snow and pests all take a toll on the structure—and it's easy to forget that it needs TLC from time to time. When it looks dilapidated, your curb appeal suffers (possibly annoying your neighbors) and it may even be unsafe—especially for playing children.


With the help of the team at Mr. Handyman, you never have to worry about a lack of routine care causing serious problems for your fence. Our team can complete a wide range of services guaranteed to keep your posts and pickets looking great year round. There are many ways you can maintain it yourself as well, including the following strategies:

1. Repaint/Finish Every Two Years

Sun exposure, weather, and pests all take a toll on your fence—impacting its paint job. Peeling paint and chipped stain is unattractive, and can also cause further issues to develop. For instance, paint and wood stain both help reduce the amount of moisture infiltrating your posts and boards. Even treated wood can be subject to moisture, and over time, this may lead to wood rot and mold.


By refinishing or repainting it every few years, it's restored to its former glory. Your neighbors are happy because your curb appeal is maintained, and you're happy because you've lowered the chance of serious damage impacting your property.


Although this is a simple repair, it can be very time-consuming. After all, you have to wash, sand, prime and then apply a new coat throughout the entire fence. Rather than complete this back-breaking task on your own, our team of experts will happily take care of it for you.

2. Don't Hang Items

It can be tempting to hang planters and other items from your wood fence. However, these items can cause the posts to warp and sag. Water might get trapped beneath the fasteners and cause these areas to rot. Also, since the sun will bleach your fence as time goes on, the facade will look mottled if there are items in the way blocking the sunshine.

3. Don't Plant Vines

Don't long, spiraling vines make you envision a quaint British cottage or stunning Georgian manor? Although vines like ivy and sweet peas are very pleasing to look at, they will damage your wood fence. Plants are moist and tend to make a cozy home for many kinds of pests, including bees, wasps and mice. Instead, perhaps consider building latticework near the fence, but not touching it directly to get the same effect.

4. Point Sprinklers Away

As you've likely realized by now, moisture will create all kinds of problems for your wooden fence. Water damage can cause boards to get soggy, mold to develop and rot to spore. That's why it's integral you try to avoid pointing your sprinkler directly at your fence. Not to mention, watering wood is a waste of water.

5. Watch Out for Wood Rot

Wood rot is one of the worst problems that can be caused by water damage. Although it's a natural decomposition process meant to clear fallen logs from forest floors, in your home it's not desirable. Wood rot will eat away at damp wood until it's no longer structurally sound. This could cause your fence to deteriorate. As soon as you notice any signs of wood rot, call our efficient repairmen right away. We'll replace any affected areas so it does not spread.

Signs of Wood Rot:

  • Discolored wood that looks yellow or white.

  • Wood that is soft and spongy; you could push a screwdriver through it.

  • Crumbling or splintering timber.

6. Invest in Power Washing

A power washer is one of the most “powerful” (excuse the pun) ways to clean your fence. But why bother cleaning it anyway, you might ask? Doesn't the rain do that? Actually, no. Rain is full of dirt and pollutants that will build-up on the structure. This is detrimental because the more grime, the more likely it will become damaged or infested with pests. While you could clean your fence by hand—at the bare minimum hosing it down with a garden hose—this takes a lot of time and effort. Rather, a pressure washer will be able to blast away stubborn dirt deposits, moss, fungi and mildew.


That said, a pressure washer is not a tool to be used lightly. Power washing blasts water at a strength of 1,300 to 3,000 PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch). This is strong enough to cut skin and damage property, if used incorrectly and/or unsafely. That's why you should hire our team of experts to complete this task on your behalf.

7. Keep Your Grill Away

Barbecuing during long summer evenings is the perfect way to entertain friends and family, or even to whip up a quick week-night dinner. However, grills can also cause damage to wood fences; the smoke and grease may build-up on the structure. This looks unattractive and could cause it to deteriorate. It's best to keep your grill at least a yard or two away from the fence.

8. Make Repairs Promptly

Like anything else in your home, it's important to make repairs before the damage gets worse. Since it's easy to neglect your posts and pickets, try making fence maintenance part of your spring cleaning routine. Take a moment to inspect the structure at least once a year (although you could also do so while readying your property for winter). That way you can spot any missing slats, leaning posts or exposed nails and have them repaired promptly by the team at Mr. Handyman.

9. Hire the Pros at Mr. Handyman!

Proper maintenance is key to keeping your fence looking and working its best. And the team at Mr. Handyman is here to help keep your outdoor structures in excellent condition. Whether you want to hire our power washing experts or need a leaning section up-righted, we're here to help.


Our team is proud to serve clients throughout Wheaton-Hinsdale and the surrounding areas, including: Villa Park, Roselle, Westmont, and Schaumburg. Book an appointment today by calling or texting us. You can also reach our team online by submitting a service request form.