A timber fence can be stylish and attractive, as well as provide privacy for your garden. However, your fence will only last if you look after it. Here is a quick guide for keeping your timber fence in the best condition.

Keep pets away

Make sure your pets are trained not to scratch or mark the fence. Leave scratching posts nearby, and try to train them out of marking their territory on the fence as well. It will be much easier to prevent any damage rather than fix it after.

Keep it clean

You need your fence to be in a clean condition before you apply any stain or sealant. A power washer is the best way of cleaning a fence and should remove the old cells from the surface of the timber, exposing a fresh layer of wood underneath. If there is any green or black mould on the fence, scrub it off with bleach diluted in water. Make sure that the timber has dried completely before you stain the wood. This is also a good time to make any repairs to the fence.

Use the right stain

You will probably want to use a treatment that includes a mildew killer to protect your fence from mould. You should also use one with ultraviolet inhibitors to help slow down any future bleaching from the sun.

Stain the fence

The best time to do this is when the fence is in the shade rather than direct sunlight, which might cause the paint to dry too quickly. You will probably need to do it every two or three years, although it depends upon how much weathering your fence will experience.

The best way to apply the stain is with a paint roller, although you will need to use a brush to do the edges and some of the harder-to-reach areas. Work methodically from one side to the other and from the top to the bottom, painting along the grain of the timber. You should follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding how many coats to put on, although you will probably want to add more if the stain soaks in and looks dry. The aim is to add a hint of colour and protect the wood while leaving a natural look.

Regular cleaning and staining of your timber fencing will preserve the wood, and keep your fence in an attractive state for many years to come.