Chain link fencing and vinyl fencing may be inexpensive and easy to maintain, but many homeowners still prefer the look of a classic wooden fence. If you’ve had your first successful wood fence installation, it may be tempting to sit back and enjoy the classic style in your yard. However, wood fencing requires a little more maintenance than its vinyl and metal counterparts. Here are a few ways to keep your wood fence looking good for years to come.

Keep it Clean with a Power Washer

Not only can fences become dirty and discolored, but wood fences may also develop mold and mildew. If your fence is in need of some TLC, apply a fence cleaner or mild soap before using a power washer. Wood fencing behaves much like living cells, in that the external layers may chip, dry, or become discolored. Power washing strips away the damaged outer layer to make your fence look like new.

Beware of Pests and Weather Damage

If you live in an area with hard winters or a significant problem with pests, it may be wise to ask your fence installation company if they have tips to keep your residential fence looking good. In general, you should remove any nests or animal dens in your fence and use insecticides to keep termites at bay. Use wood glue to seal any damage from pests or the elements and to prevent further damage.

Stain or Paint the Posts

This is particularly important in humid climates, where residential fencing can degrade when exposed to the elements. Experts recommend staining your fence once every three years, if not more often. It’s best to use the same brand of paint or wood stain, as varying chemical compositions can cause discoloration on your fence.

Of course, always ask your fence installation company how they recommend maintaining and repairing the fence. For serious damage, such as from wood rot, mold, or termites, it’s always best to bring in a professional to perform repairs or replace an existing fence. With that said, a little preparation and work on the front end can preserve your fence no matter the environment.