Although vinyl fences have become a popular choice for fencing in recent years, wood fences still occupy a significant place in people’s perception. When you mention the word ‘fence,’ people still tend to picture a wood fence first. Wood fences indeed add warmth, beauty, and privacy to our outdoor spaces. However, the classic good look of wood fences comes with a pitfall: the maintenance effort required is an absolute PAIN compared to vinyl fencing.
Furthermore, in Edmonton’s variable climate, where temperatures fluctuate and harsh winters prevail, proper maintenance becomes essential to protect and preserve your wood fence. In this article, we will provide you with practical tips and techniques to ensure your wood fence remains resilient and attractive throughout the changing seasons in Edmonton. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that your favorite wood fence stands strong and in good condition in your backyard for many years to come.
Edmonton experiences a range of weather conditions, including pouring rain, heavy snow, extreme coldness, and intense sunlight (whew, what a suitable place to live!). Weatherproofing your wood fence is crucial for its longevity. Here are some weatherproofing tips:
a) Sealant: Applying a high-quality waterproof sealant is essential to protect the wood from moisture infiltration. Look for sealants specifically formulated for exterior wood use. These products create a barrier that prevents water from penetrating the wood. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding application techniques, drying times, and reapplication intervals.
b) Regular Inspections: Make it a habit to inspect your fence regularly, especially before and after extreme weather events. Look for signs of damage such as cracks, gaps, or loose boards. Repair any issues promptly to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood and causing further deterioration. Use wood filler or epoxy putty to fill cracks and gaps, and replace any damaged boards if necessary.
c) Painting or Staining: Painting or staining your wood fence not only enhances its appearance but also provides an additional layer of protection against the elements. Choose a high-quality exterior paint or stain that contains UV inhibitors. These products help shield the wood from the sun’s harmful rays and minimize the risk of fading, cracking, or warping. Before applying paint or stain, ensure the fence is clean and dry. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application techniques, including the number of coats recommended and drying times between coats.
2. Stain Selection
Choosing the right stain for your wood fence is essential for both aesthetics and protection. Keep these factors in mind when selecting a stain:
a) Transparency: Determine whether you prefer a stain that is transparent, semi-transparent, or solid in color. Transparent stains allow the natural grain of the wood to shine through, while solid stains provide more coverage and color consistency.
b) UV Protection: Look for stains that offer UV protection to prevent fading and sun damage. Many exterior wood stains include UV inhibitors that help shield the wood from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
c) Application: Consider the ease of application when choosing a stain. Some stains require multiple coats for optimal coverage and protection, while others offer one-coat coverage. Take into account the level of maintenance and effort you are willing to invest in the long-term upkeep of your fence.
If you feel like saving yourself the trouble in this step, we welcome you to reach out to our sister brand, Colour Envy Painting, for professional wood fence staining and painting services! Their team specializes in providing perfect finishes for wood fences, ensuring long-lasting protection and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your fence.
3. Pest Prevention
Wood fences are susceptible to damage from pests such as termites, ants, and wood-boring beetles. Here’s how to prevent pest infestation:
a) Clear Vegetation: Trim shrubs, vines, and tree branches near the fence to eliminate potential pathways for pests. Overhanging branches and dense vegetation can provide easy access for pests to reach your fence. By keeping the area around your fence clear, you create a barrier that deters pests from crawling onto or burrowing into the wood.
b) Remove Moisture Sources: Standing water or damp soil can attract pests. Ensure proper drainage around your fence by redirecting water away from the base. Fix any leaks in nearby pipes or sprinkler systems promptly. By eliminating excess moisture, you create an environment that is less appealing to pests.
c) Treat with Insecticides: Apply an appropriate insecticide to the wood, following the instructions provided. There are various options available, including eco-friendly alternatives. Consider using insecticides specifically designed for outdoor wood use and follow the recommended application techniques. For severe infestations or if you prefer a professional approach, seek assistance from a pest control expert who can assess the situation and recommend the most effective treatment methods.
4. Winter Protection Strategies
Edmonton’s winters can be particularly harsh, posing challenges for wood fences. Protect your fence during the winter months with these strategies:
a) Snow Removal: Clear snow away from your fence to prevent excess weight and potential damage. Use a plastic shovel or a broom to gently remove the snow. Avoid using metal tools that can scratch or chip the wood.
b) Ice Prevention: Prevent ice formation along the fence line by installing heating cables or using salt-free ice melting products. Look for ice melting products specifically designed for use around vegetation and avoid salt-based products, as they can cause corrosion and damage to the wood.
c) Winterizing Sealant: Before the onset of winter, apply a winterizing sealant to your wood fence. This will provide an additional layer of protection against moisture and the freeze-thaw cycles that can occur during the winter months. Choose a winterizing sealant suitable for exterior wood and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.
d) Temporary Windbreaks: Install temporary windbreaks along the fence line to reduce wind exposure and prevent potential damage. Burlap or privacy screens can serve as effective windbreaks. Secure them tightly to the fence, ensuring they are properly anchored and can withstand strong winds.
e) Avoid Piling Snow: When shoveling snow, be mindful not to pile it against your fence. Piled snow can lead to moisture retention, which can promote rotting or warping of the wood. Instead, clear the snow a safe distance away from the fence to allow for proper drainage.
That’s it for all the helpful tips we have for maintaining your wood fence in Edmonton! Clearly, maintaining a beautiful wood fence takes loads of work and effort. If you would like to inquire about assistance, fence replacement, or if you are considering switching to vinyl fencing after reading through this article (hahaha), please don’t hesitate to contact us at Everlast Fencing! We are here to help you with all your fencing needs and ensure that your outdoor space remains secure, attractive, and well-maintained.