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How to Look after Your Wooden Fence

21 August 2019


Applying protective varnish on a wooden texture

Wooden fences have a timeless quality on any property, and so it is ideal when they are properly maintained and can last for a long time. The best way to keep your wooden fence looking new is to regularly clean off the mould, algae, mildew and general dirt which accumulates on fences over time. You should also perform other regular maintenance checks to keep it looking its best. 

In this article, we explore fence maintenance tips along with some tips to help you learn what the best cleaning methods are and which ones you should avoid. 

A handy infographic awaits you at the bottom!

How to Maintain a Wooden Fence

  • Check regularly for ivy growth, vines or encroachment of bushes. If left alone they could threaten to overtake the fence. 
  • Also, occasionally check for any loose nails or boards. You may wish to affix them back in place, or consider a total replacement, especially if they are old or damaged. 
  • After heavy rain, take a look at the posts and ensure the fence posts are still firmly in the ground and that the soil has not been washed away. High-quality installation should prevent this from being an issue, but it’s still worth checking. 
  • You may also want to check for insect damage – this may be especially prevalent with old or rotting fences. You can treat the infestations with insecticide or decide that this could be a sign it’s time for a new fence. 
  • Cleaning is the single most important thing you can do to maintain the beauty and performance of a wooden fence. Read on to see our cleaning tips and tricks. 

Why Is It Important to Clean Wooden Fences?

When wooden fences are not regularly cleaned and looked after, they can become unsightly, due to looking aged and becoming covered in algae and various other things. However, this is not the worst consequence of poorly maintained wooden fences, as when they are left alone the biological growths that form on them can cause wood rot and decay which shortens the lifespan of the fence. Once these growths have overtaken the fence and it has begun to fall apart, the only solution is to get a new fence. So it is imperative to maintain your fence from day one, to make sure your property is protected by a solid, secure, and aesthetically pleasing fence. 

How to Clean Wooden Fences


  • Make sure you hose down the fence before doing anything else.
  • To clean the fence by hand, use an appropriate cleaner, then scrub the area and hose it down.
  • Remove large chunks of dirt with a wire or stiff plastic brush.
  • White vinegar and a sponge is perfect to get rid of mildew.
  • If available, instead of cleaning by hand, use a power washer to hose down the fence in long even strokes.
  • If you have noticed water is soaking into your wooden fence instead of beading up and rolling away, it is time to stain or seal the fence again. This needs to be done every one to five years.


  • Be careful if you are using a power washer or chemical cleaners and make sure you  cover the surrounding plants and lawn so they aren’t harmed.
  • Ensure you don’t use a power washer with more than 2,700 PSI, hold the nozzle too close to the fence, or only hose one area, as it will damage the wood.
  • Avoid letting the cleaner dry on the fence, make sure you wash it off after 15 or 20 minutes.
  • We recommend not to paint wooden fences, because the paint traps moisture in the wood and it will rot quicker.

Whatever technique you use, always take care with the products and methods you use to keep your fence in prime condition. If in doubt, do your research or consult a professional on the matter. 

Click here to download our handy infographic!

Harrow Fencing Supplies are a family-run business with over 50 years of experience. We are one of London’s largest fencing stockists and suppliers for both domestic and commercial customers within 25 miles of our base. If you are looking for reliable service and quality wooden fencing, we are the right choice, so don’t hesitate to get in touch today. 

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