Is your fence looking drab and dirty? Whether you have a decorative picket fence or a tall, wood privacy fence, maintenance is required to keep it looking like new and in good condition. If you have peeling paint, discolorations, or your wood fence has turned gray, it is time to clean and recolor your fence. Pressure washing is the first step to restoring your old fence to like-new condition, but it does require a little know-how to do the job right.
Fences, especially the wood variety, need constant maintenance. They look wonderful for the first year or two, but can quickly deteriorate without maintenance. To prevent rot or discoloration, you should be cleaning your fence every year. To protect it further, paint, stain and sealant can help prevent premature rot and keep it looking like new. Vinyl needs less maintenance, but still should be cleaned each year to maintain its beauty.
Pressure Washing Basics
Pressure washers are the ideal equipment for cleaning large surfaces like your siding, roof and fence. However, they are powerful and can cause damage if not used correctly. It is important to know what setting to use when cleaning your fence to remove only what you want from the surface. If you are removing dirt and debris, you should be using a lower setting that will not remove paint or damage the surface. However, if you want to remove paint, a higher setting is required.
Before you begin your fence cleaning project, try your pressure washer in a small area that is out of sight. This will help you determine the right setting for your purposes. Since all pressure washers are different, with varying levels of pressure and settings, it is important to find the one that does not remove more than you want. For washing, a lower setting with a larger spray is best; removing paint will require a higher-pressure, more direct spray.
One other factor to consider before you begin is safety. Wear goggles to protect your eyes when using a pressure washer. Debris can fly off the surface and a misdirected spray can damage your eyes. Also, never point the pressure washer at plants or animals that can be harmed from the powerful stream.
Before your you begin pressure washing, prep the area for ease. Remove any obstacles that could get in your way or cause a safety hazard. Also, cover or remove anything that could be harmed by the pressured water, like fragile plants or decorations. You should have easy, direct access to the fence area so that you do not need to stop and move items while you are trying to complete your project.
Cleaning Your Fence
For wood and vinyl fencing that just needs to be cleaned, using a detergent with your pressure washer is the best way to get grime and dirt off your surface. Use the appropriate cleaner for your surface and pressure washer. Most pressure washers have a cleaner reservoir and soap nozzle that are meant for this type of project. Apply soapy water from the bottom to the top of the fence, using a scrub brush to remove stains. You may need to do only a few panels at a time and then rinse before moving on to the next area.
Once the fence is cleaned with the soap/water combination, it needs to be rinsed. Don’t let the soapy water dry – make sure to rinse before the soap dries on the surface. When rinsing, start at the top and work your way down. For wood fencing, make sure to work with the grain of the wood to prevent damage to the surface. As you get to the bottom of the fence, be careful not to hit the dirt with the pressure washer stream; it will splash mud up onto your newly cleaned fencing and cause you more work.
Painting, Staining or Sealing
If your fencing needs a new coat of paint, stain or sealer, plan to apply two days after a thorough cleaning. You want the surface to be completely dry before adding any color or sealant. Make sure you follow the directions for whatever product you are applying to ensure you get the right coat for your fencing.
Save Time and Effort With Professional Pressure Washing
Want a clean, beautiful fence without wasting a day of your weekend? Give us a call at The Painting Company. We can pressure wash, paint or stain your fence for you. We have the right equipment and experience to help you maintain a gorgeous fence around your Vegas home. Contact Arizona or Nevada today to get a free quote on our pressure washing and painting services for your next fence or gate maintenance project. We are your local house painting experts for all your interior and exterior painting needs.