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Wood Fence Winter Maintenance Tips

Are you looking for ways to extend the life of a wood fence? Winter weather in the Pacific Northwest is hard on all types of structures. Months of wet weather leaves its mark.

Whether your fence is cedar, pressure treated or some other type of wood, it will last longer if you take simple precautions.

Heads Up!

Storms blow through Oregon and Washington all winter long. Rain, wind, snow and freezing conditions cause tree branches to break and debris to fall.

Snow on a rural rail fenceTrim overhanging branches to keep them from crashing down on your fence during a storm. Even a minor grazing by branches has the potential to put a scratch on a fence. Pruning trees ahead of winter will minimize the risk. After a storm, remove damaged limbs from the tree.

Keep your fence clear of organic matter such as leaves, pine needles and twigs. Don’t let debris accumulate near the bottom of the fence. Wet material that wedges between boards, collects on top of rails and piles up around posts promotes rot.

Check for Damage

It’s a good idea to inspect a fence regularly. Take a look at your fence after periods of prolonged rain or heavy wind. This gives you a chance to fix small problems before they become major repairs.

Broken boards should be replaced right away. Problems with nails or other fasteners should also be fixed as they crop up. If plants are growing near the fence, make sure the wet foliage isn’t touching the fence.

Check knotholes. They may expand or react to cold, moist weather differently than the rest of the board, possibly leaving a hole in the fence. Holes and other weak spots in a fence create opportunities for insects to take hold.

Use Wood Stain

Stain preserves the color of an unpainted wood fence and protects against moisture. Cedar is naturally resistant to rot, but will last longer when stained. A new application of stain every couple of years protects your fence. Wet, cold weather isn’t the ideal time to stain a fence. If you need to reapply stain, do it ahead of the season.

The wet conditions in the Pacific Northwest can cause a fence to gradually deteriorate. Pacific Fence & Wire can repair or rebuild your damaged fence. Contact us today for more information about our services.