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About Jim Locksley

One day when I was walking around my college campus, I saw a group of people with these yellow tripods. At first I thought they might be photographers, but they sure looked like strange ones! I went up and asked them what they were doing, and it turns out they were a group of students from a construction class who were surveying the land for a project. I was fascinated. I was able to sign up for the class the next semester, and while it didn't stick or change my professional trajectory, it did create a new hobby for me! Ever since then, I've been interested in construction, from surveying to management to the actual building. I figured running a blog about it would give me a nice excuse to keep up my interests!

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A Simple Maintenance Technique That Adds Years To Your Wooden Fence

by Mike Brewer

Wooden fences are a retro and stylish addition to your backyard, but they can be hard to maintain. Though treated lumber should last more than 20 years, a poorly maintained fence is likely to degrade much quicker. Follow these basic steps to make your wooden fence last a lifetime.

1. Trim Bushes and Trees

Start by trimming the bushes and branches that hang near your fence. Though hanging branches can actually form a natural sun barrier over your fence, dead branches may collapse and seriously damage your fence.

Excessive bush growth against your fence can scrape against its surface and cause minor damage. This minor damage may be all a burrowing insect needs to creep inside your fence and eat it from the inside out.

2. Eliminate Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew growth on your fence are both ugly and harmful to its surface. Harsh chemical cleaners may eliminate these problem substances, but they can actually release toxins in the air and may harm any creature that contacts it.

That's why you should use one of these natural mold and mildew eliminators to clean your fence:

  • Vinegar
  • Tea tree oil
  • Vodka
  • Rubbing alcohol

Just apply one of these cleaners over the mold and mildew on your fence and scrub it away with a heavy bristled brush.

3. Give it a Quick Wash

Once you've eliminated the mold and mildew from your fence, you can move on to a basic cleaning job. You don't really need anything special for this step: simply a long bristled brush, a bucket of hot soapy water and a hose.

Spread the soap all over the fence and scrub gently. Don't scrub too hard, as you may pull off paint and stain. Hand dry your fence with a towel to avoid excessive dampness.

Avoid using chemical cleaners that utilize any one of these toxic cleaning chemicals:

  • Chlorinated phenols
  • Diethylene glycol
  • Phenols found
  • Nonylphenol ethoxylate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Petroleum
  • Perchloroethylene
  • Butyl cellosolve

4. Staining the Wood

Polishing or staining wood can add years to a fence's life. Thankfully, staining a fence is not a difficult process. All you need to do is gently rub the stain on the surface of the fence with a clean cloth. Brushes aren't necessary when staining a fence, as they are designed for more difficult and hard to reach areas.

Always add the stain quite heavily; this lets it soak into the wood grain. Wait at least a day for the stain to dry and add another coat. Add at least two to three coats to fully protect your fence.

Once you're finished with these steps, make sure to follow a regular staining and painting routine to keep your fence sealed and free from damage. If you notice any serious damage to your wooden fence, call a fencing expert, like those at Carter Fence Co, to help get it back in tip-top shape.

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