Just like a house or any other construction, a fence needs a certain amount of maintenance if it is to last well. What you’ll need to do depends on what kind of fencing you have, but fencing contractors will tell you that a steel panel fence is one of the easiest to maintain.
Here are some tips on how best to maintain your fence
- Steel panel – the main problem with a steel fence is rust, but if you keep the bottom clear of soil and mulch, it shouldn’t rust for many years. Never bank soil up so that it rests against the bottom of a steel fence, and don’t dig a channel for it to rest in when erecting it. Once the newness wears of and the colour starts to fade, it can be painted, but use a paint that is suitable for steel. Don’t use water based paint. Never paint over any rusted surface as the paint and rust will just come off.
- Timber – timber must always be protected from wet, whether that is from rain or from watering the lawn or garden. Moisture will quickly rot the timber, so it must be painted on a regular basis. If this has not been the case and parts of it rot, you can usually remove the rotten part and insert a new piece.
- Wire netting – netting fences are often used to contain hens or dogs, or they may be used around a vegetable garden to keep animals off. Netting will often rust, even when it is galvanised. Even though it is rusted, it will still last for a while, however, eventually it will need replacing, since it’s impossible to repair it properly. Netting that has been buried into the ground at the base will usually rust more quickly, since soil is often wet.
- Chain link – while similar to netting, chain link fences are more rigid and stronger, so last much longer. They may eventually rust, especially if near the coast, so the only thing to do is replace them. However, if some part rusts before the rest it would be possible to cut that part out and wire in a new panel to replace it.
- PVC – some fences these days are made from recycled plastic or PVC. They do last well, but once they wear out the only thing to do is replace them completely. Painting them will likely void the warranty, but once that date is past you can go ahead and paint if it looks old and worn. Wash the fence thoroughly and wipe it down too. Then use epoxy based exterior primer and paint.
- Powder coated steel – this is one of the best types of fence as far as long lasting and low maintenance go. There is a range of colours you can choose from and the only reason you’d want to paint it is because you are tired of the original colour.