Fence cleaning should be on any homeowner’s general maintenance checklist, along with cleaning your roof shingles, siding and deck. This guide will explain how to clean your fence, why it’s essential and tips for doing a thorough job.
Why Clean Your Fence?
Most fences need annual cleaning, though your approach may vary depending on the fence’s material. Do a visual inspection every few months. If you see mold or mildew growing, remove it before it does permanent damage.
Here are our top tips for cleaning different fence materials.
How to Clean a Wooden Fence
Wood fences provide a specific character to your home and can be durable if well-maintained. However, they show dirt more quickly, especially if you’ve chosen a light paint color.
If you have a wood fence, it is better to do several small annual washes than do an extensive clean once every few years. Mold and harsh weather conditions could cause permanent damage. The trick is to spot it early and resolve the issue before the wood rots, forcing you to replace entire boards or sections.
In addition to regular cleaning, many wooden fences require staining every two to three years to provide extra protection from weather and UV rays. Always clean a wooden fence before staining to remove all dirt and other buildup. After washing it, allow it to dry thoroughly so the varnish will seal correctly.
How to Clean a Vinyl Fence
Vinyl fences can resemble wood, but with less maintenance. Many vinyl fence manufacturers also offer recycling services to reduce your carbon footprint.
You don’t have to worry about water damage and rot with vinyl, but you should still inspect it periodically, since this material can stain easily. Keep your vinyl fence maintained by removing mildew, grass and dirt buildup from its surface with frequent washes, and it will last you years.
Fence Cleaning Methods
Walk around your fence and note what kind of buildup you have. Observe stains and clumps of mud and if mildew or mold is growing. Severe weather conditions will damage vinyl, wood and composite fences. Check for any soft areas in your wood or potential rot. The sun or heat can also do damage. You will have a good idea if you need to call a professional after you have assessed your fence.
Cleaning your fence will also take a day or two, depending on its length. Calling a professional is ideal if you lack time.
Tools for the Job
The usual culprits for marks and stains on fences include dirt, grass, mold, water stains and algae. These can result from lawn maintenance, rain, sprinkler systems and humidity.
You’ll need to round up a few tools before cleaning your fence. If you have stains or excess mildew, you might need a few more things, but this list is a good starting point.
- Garden hose: Your garden hose must extend to the farthest fence point. Make sure it is long enough to reach the outside as well. We recommend a nozzle to make a gentle spray for loose debris.
- Scrub brush and bucket: Stubborn spots will need a little extra elbow grease. A scrub brush and bucket of water will remove small clumps of dirt. Be careful not to push so hard that it chips your paint.
- Cleaning products: Ideally, you will choose an eco-friendly product to avoid damaging your lawn and landscaping. Children and pets are also a consideration.
Rinse, Wash, Repeat
The first step in cleaning your fence is to give it a good rinse. Put your garden hose on gentle pressure. You want it strong enough to wash off dirt, grass, mold and algae growth while keeping your paint intact. This stage will also reveal if any staining has happened underneath the buildup.
Keep the nozzle above the ground to prevent mud from splashing onto the fence. After the rinse, you can go back and gently remove any tough dirt or marks with your scrub brush.
You will also see damage and splinters when you do close-up work. Take note of spots you need to sand and repair later.
Areas completely covered in mildew or mold need a mild bleach wash or biodegradable cleaner to kill any spores and discourage regrowth or spread. If you use bleach, take steps to prevent it from running into your ground. Dilute the solution to prevent it from discoloring your fence. Solutions of diluted vinegar are also an option to consider. Ideally, use a biodegradable cleaner wherever possible.
Give your fence another soft rinse after cleaning.
Should You Use a Power Washer?
Power washers can damage your fence by wearing down the materials and compromising their protective layers. Instead, the soft wash method removes the dirt and keeps all protection intact. If you attempt to clean the fence, ensure you have the correct pressure and the proper nozzle. Wear safety glasses in case any splinters, dirt or debris kickback from the water. When in doubt, contact a professional.
Why Get Your Fence Power Washed by Professionals?
Thoroughly cleaning your fence can be time-consuming, cutting into the hours you usually spend relaxing at home with your family. Trust our team at Perfect Power Wash to do the maintenance for you. We have helped property owners get sparkling clean exteriors since 2000, using our tools and training to get any job done efficiently. We can even clean your fence while you’re at work or running errands! Our team will wash vinyl and composite fences.
- We will remove all the mildew and mold: Our soft wash technique, combined with our cleaning products, will gently remove mildew and mold and discourage it from returning.
- Our cleaning agents are biodegradable: They are ideal for tackling stubborn stains and buildup.
- Convenience: Our technicians are punctual, and our services will not interfere with your daily routine or busy schedule.
- Reliability: We have more than two decades of experience and have earned over 2,500 five-star reviews on Google, plus an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Our team understands the importance of having a beautiful, clean and well-maintained property. At Perfect Power Wash, we deliver the best possible results with our safe and effective methods. Request your quote today.