Tips on Building a Dog Run

It is no secret that we treasure our relationships with our fuzzy canine friends and in northwest it can be a love and hate relationship.  Dogs are great, but with them come a long trail of dirt and mud, especially during the wet winter months.  So how can you have the best of both worlds? Build a dog run, of course.

The problem with dogs in a backyard is that during the winter they can track up your lawn and bring dirt and mud into your home.  Not to mention that fact that if you have a large yard you have to go hunt down their business and we all know that in itself can be a challenging task.  By building a dog run you not only give your friend a place to run, but you confine their bathroom space to a manageable area.

So how do you build a dog run?  It’s a lot simpler than you would think.

First, you need to pick out a decent sized space in your yard that you don’t mind giving up to Fido.  A lot of times a good spot for this could be in a side-yard along the side of your house.  You want to make sure the run is at least 10 feet wide and as long as your yard will permit.  If you want to save on materials it could help to build the run along the edge of an already built fence or as mentioned before, alongside your home.

happy golden retrieverNext you need to choose your ground material- a feature that is particularly important here in the damp northwest.  If your dog run is going to be on grass, now is the time to come to terms with the fact that it may not last very long in that area.  Dogs tend to tear up grass and in the winter can destroy it simply by playing on it.  A good solution is to lay down wood chips to cover the mud and keep your pooch’s paws clean in the winter.  This will also help out when cleaning up after your dog.  If wood chips aren’t your thing you could lay down some gravel, sand or concrete.  (Tip: if you are using gravel make sure it is not the sharp kind or you could end up with a dog that has cut up paws).

There are several options when it comes to enclosing a dog run and they run the gambit from cheap to semi expensive.   If you really want to save money you can run a cable with a leash attached to it but that does not allow your dog much freedom to run.  Ideally you would want to build a small fence that is just high enough to keep them in the run.  For a quote on a dog run fence contact us today as we would be glad to help.

For those of you who really like to spoil your dogs you can get creative and fun with the dog run. Try adding a covered space for when it’s raining or integrating a nice dog house in to the space.  Overall your dog run is going to help keep your pet happy, you happy and your house and yard much nicer.  Trust us, your dog will thank you.

Tips for Painting and Staining A Fence

Let’s face it, painting a fence is one of those daunting tasks that no one looks forward to.  It is tedious, can go on forever, and can turn into backbreaking work.  But regardless of all the downsides it is one of the most important things you can do to keep your fence lasting a lifetime.

Properly painting or staining your fence can seal off the wood from the dangerous elements surrounding it and can help prevent rot and decay.  The number one enemy to a wooden fence is moisture and if you can keep that out of the wood then you will be able to enjoy your fence for years to come.

Here are some tips to make painting your fence a breeze:

  • Clean the fence thoroughly before applying any paint or stain
  • Cover any areas with a tarp that you do not want to get paint on
  • Invest in a Good Quality 3-4 inch brush and a smaller 1 inch brush (for tighter spaces)
  • Research the paint or stain you are using and make sure it can hold up to the elements in your area
  • Work on one section at a time and make sure you get the bottom and top of the fence where moisture could seep in

If you clean your fence with water beforehand, be sure to allow time for it to dry out.  The idea is to keep moisture out, not lock it in.  Another good idea is to paint your fence in moderate temperatures.  You do not want to be painting in weather that is so hot the paint dies in minutes as this will prevent it from creating a solid bond with the wood.  As always if you have questions on anything fencing related contact a professional at Pacific Fence.

https://www.pacificfence.com

Spring Cleaning your Vinyl Fence

Vinyl Fence has become increasingly popular as a low maintenance, decorative enclosure

How to Clean a Vinyl Fence

solution. It tends to last longer than wood and is relatively low in maintenance. The actual vinyl material lacks a porous makeup which keeps it cleaner longer makes maintenance easier.

After awhile, though, your vinyl fence may begin to build up dirt, algae and grime on it taking away from that nice and clean look you like. Lucky for you, it is very easy to clean and if you maintain your vinyl fence it will last for decades.

Cleaning a Vinyl Fence is pretty straight forward. You should start by washing off loose debris with a garden hose and a soft brush. This will reveal your problem areas that you may need to give more attention to. A household cleaner like Simple Green will work fine with a brush. Apply the cleaning solution and let it sit in for a couple of minutes. Scrub with a soft brush as needed and wipe clean with a cloth.

For more stubborn stains you can use a small amount of bleach water and a brush. When using bleach keep in mind that it is a good idea to test it on a portion of your fence that is not visible to make sure it will not remove the natural fence color. It is also a good idea to make sure you are not harming any vegetation beneath the fence.

Finally, for those really tough spots like tar or paint you can remove them by chipping at it with a plastic tool. With vinyl it is a good idea to keep hard metal away from the fence as it can cause damage and instead use soft scraper that will not mar the material or leave marks.

To keep your fence in top notch condition try to clean it at least once a year, preferably in the spring. This will help extend the life of it as well as help keep that nice and clean look you want. Always test your cleaning solution on a part of the fence that is not clearly visible to make sure it will not damage the material and if you are unsure about something be sure to consult a professional.

Making the Best of the Spring Rain

Rain Falling off GutterIn the Northwest it is no secret that it rains a lot but these past few weeks have been very trying even on the best of us.  Spring is here we have been teased by a few glimpses of sun and then tortured by weeks on end of heavy rain.  The do it yourselfer in all of us wants to get out and clean up that backyard in preparation for summer BBQ’s and parties.  But we can’t.  We are trapped in doors with nothing to do.

Well here is something you can do and probably should do during the rainy months heading into spring.  After a heavy rain has drenched your property go outside and inspect the area surrounding your home.  Look for areas where water is pooling and possibly draining under your home that could create problems down the road.  The spring is the perfect time to take note of these things and fix them before it turns into costly structural issues.

Another thing you can do is locate your gutters and look directly below them.  Is there standing water?  Is there a line running parallel to your gutter in the dirt that looks unnatural?  If so, your gutters are most likely clogged and not draining properly and are overflowing.  Again, take note and wait for a nice and sunny day to get up there and clean those gutters out.

Things to Know Before Building a Fence in Oregon

Are you aware of the fence height regulations in your area?  Depending on where you live and where you are putting your fence there are certain regulations you need to know before you begin.  Here are some resources that can help save you time, headaches and money.  Of course, if you call Pacific Fence we can take care of all of this for you.

Portland Fence Resource Page:  http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=38153

Digging Safety: http://www.callbeforeyoudig.org/

Building Permit Application: http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?a=71706

Simple Tips for Extending the Life of your Wooden Fence

Keeping a wooden fence in top shape is important when it comes to extending the life of your fence.  Unfortunately, many fences will have a shortened life span because they were neglected and not taken care of in a proper manner.  There are a number of things you can do to keep your wooden fence from rotting and all it takes is a few materials, some time and a bit of elbow grease.

For starters, make sure your fence in professionally installed.  In addition to the items we are going to discuss it would be a good idea to ask your contractor for suggestions on how to take care of the fence.  Many contractors will include a post sealant/preservative with the fence installation.

Once your fence is installed you will need to decide if you want to paint it or stain it.  This is important step in ensuring your fence lasts and putting it off can create rot so don’t wait to do this.  Make sure to research different paints or stains and make sure they are rated for outdoor use.

Depending on the type of paint or seal you use you will need to reapply a coat to your fence every 3-5 years or sooner if you live in a particularly wet area.  This is a good time to check for rotting areas and treat them as soon as possible.

If you do find rotting areas you can treat them to prevent further rotting.  Check for chipped and peeling paint areas.  Also look for mossy or areas that may have been effected by insects. You will want to scrape off any loose or peeling paint and remove all moss on the fence.  Scrape these areas clean until you can see the wood again.  You can treat the damaged area with a product called copper green if you are going to paint over it.  You may want to test the copper green in an area that cannot be seen as it tends to put a dark spot on the wood and should not be used if you are using a clear wood stain.  This can help prevent further rot in the effected area.

Keeping your fence clean from moss and debris is a good idea and it is important to reapply a coat of paint or stain preservative every few years.   For more information on fence maintenence or for professional assistance visit our website at https://www.pacificfence.com .

Preparing Your Fence and Yard For Winter

Preparing your yard for the winter elements can be a daunting task, especially if you live in an area with extreme weather.  It is important to take preventative measures in order to protect your investments especially if you have a large fence enclosure in your yard.

If you have an old fence it is a good idea to check how stable it is and make sure it has not weakened due to rotting.  Give it a good shake and get a feel for how it will stand up to a strong wind storm.  If you find that your fence is weak it may be a good time to either re-enforce it with additional posts and rails or to invest in a new fence altogether.  There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning after a strong winter storm to find that the dog is gone and your fence is blown over.

You will also want to check for aerial hazards hanging over your fence.  Are there any trees that could be a potential threat to your fence?  How about loose limbs and branches?  We have all seen the news stories showing a residence after a strong wind storm with a destroyed yard because a hazardous tree branch came toppling down.  Now is the time to take care of those threats before they damage your property.  Remove loose tree limbs and check the ground for over saturation near the base of leaning trees.  Call a professional if you are unsure about the condition of a tree or overhanging branch.

Should you have overlooked something and you fall victim to mother nature in the middle of the winter its time to call for help.  At Pacific Fence we have crews ready to assist you during your emergency and would be happy to assist you – even during a rain storm!   Call us today or jot down our contact information for future reference.  It’s always good to have someone on your side!