Fences are an important component of your property whether they are used in a domestic setting to outline your boundaries or in a farm or smallholding setting demarking and providing security for fields and land, or penning livestock.
For whatever function you are utilising wooden fencing you need to make sure that you are maintaining the wood of the fence properly. Here are some of the things you need to think about when you are aiming to maintain the timber of your farm or garden fencing which should be considered alongside our back door guide.
Always choose high quality
One of the most important things you need to do before you install any wooden fencing is to ensure that you are buying the best possible quality of fence for the budget you have available. A wise investment from the outset will save you a small fortune in on-going maintenance costs and provide a stable, effective fence that should last for many years.
Key to this is the type of wood you are using for your fence – for example hardwood v softwood as well as how this might have been pre-treated for protection by the manufacturer. Hard woods tend to be more expensive than soft woods but are naturally longer lasting. Typical varieties include Iroko and European Oak. Soft wood varieties include pine, larch and spruce.
Apply the Right Treatments
Some but not all wooden fencing comes pre-treated with wood preservative, they can be dip treated or pressure treated, which is generally more effective. But whatever you go for, check with the supplier about what additional treatments might be required over time to ensure the fence remains fully protected. Unprotected wood will more easily be compromised by the wet or insect infestation. Also, always keep an eye out for signs of aging or breakage along the run of your fencing. An alternative to preservative is to paint or varnish wood fencing. This, in addition to providing weather protection, can also help to improve the aesthetics of the fence overall.
Regularly Inspect your fence
You need to make sure that you are committed to regularly checking your wooden fencing for any sort of damage – particularly if the fence is going to be used to hold livestock. In a livestock pen, you ideally want to be checking very regularly for damage. Just walking around the pen each morning should be more than satisfactory. However, this becomes even more important if you have had a spell of bad weather. A storm can cause damage to a fence that livestock can then make worse. What you might think is a break that will hold could often be the perfect opportunity for livestock to escape. You need to also look out for overhanging tree branches that might fall during a storm or strong winds to compromise or damage your fence.
Clean your fences properly
Most wooden fences will not require a regular wash or clean, but it can be wise to give them a clean down at least once a year with a special wood cleaning solution or with water. It is vitally important that you learn how to clean them correctly so you do not damage them accidentally. Cleaning muck and debris off your fences will help to protect them while also maintaining their appearances. Make sure that you leave wooden fences to dry out fully before applying any further treatments such as paint or preservative.
Don’t overload your fence
You need to ensure that you do not over-burden or overload any wooden fence you install. Beware of things you might wish to hang from your fence such as feeding stations for your livestock, and be careful of leaning anything against the fence. Also ensure tree branches aren’t lying on your fence because if too much weight or pressure is put on a wooden fence it might compromise it over time and possibly buckle, warp or even cause a collapse.
If you do need to add something substantial to your wooden fence, always consider checking and improving the foundations first. Fences are incredibly important, and you need to make sure that they are always well-maintained. It can end up being incredibly costly if you do not address even something as simple as a wobbly post or a loose board. Make sure you always stay on top of your fencing maintenance.
Before you decide on any particular wooden fence it’s always worthwhile speaking to a specialist wooden fence supplier who can advise you on all the different benefits of wooden fencing as well as outlining the types of treatment and maintenance that will need to be undertaken to preserve its longevity.