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  • Writer's pictureFadi Maksad

Seasonal Fencing Maintenance Tips for Your Coastal Home

Updated: Apr 18

Owning a coastal home comes with its set of unique challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining outdoor structures like fences. The combination of humidity in summer and cold, damp winters can accelerate wear and tear, jeopardizing both the appearance and integrity of your fencing. This guide provides essential maintenance tips to ensure your fence stands strong against the elements, helping you protect your investment and keep your property looking its best throughout the year.


Understanding the Impact of Coastal Climate on Fencing

Coastal climates are harsh on building materials. The high humidity levels can lead to the proliferation of mold and mildew, while salt from the sea can corrode metal components and fasteners. In winter, the cooler, damp conditions can cause wood to warp and metal to contract, potentially weakening structural integrity. Recognizing these challenges is the first step in developing a maintenance routine that safeguards your fence.


Spring Maintenance: Inspection and Cleaning

1. Thorough Inspection: Begin with a detailed inspection of your fence. Look for signs of rust on metal parts, check for loose or damaged boards, and ensure that posts are still secure. This is the time to address minor issues before they become major problems.

2. Cleaning: Wash your fence with a mild soap solution or a specially formulated fence cleaner to remove dirt, salt, and debris. For wooden fences, consider a soft wash to avoid damaging the wood fibers. This not only enhances the appearance of your fence but also prevents the build-up of harmful residues.


Here's a before and after of a fence installed in 2021 that we removed, reinstalled and cleaned recently.

A fence that's leaning and dirty
Before reinstalling and cleaning

A clean fence prepped to be stained
After reinstalling and cleaning throughly


Summer Upkeep: Sealing and Repairs

1. Sealing Wood Fences: Apply a waterproof sealant to protect your wooden fence from humidity and rain. Choose a product that offers UV protection to prevent fading caused by the summer sun.

2. Repairing Damages: Summer is the ideal time to repair any damage. Replace warped or rotten wooden slats and treat areas of rust on metal fences. Consider upgrading hardware to stainless steel or coated materials for better resistance to corrosion.


Autumn Preparation: Reinforcement and Protection

1. Strengthening Structure: Check the stability of fence posts and reinforce them if necessary. This can involve anchoring posts deeper into the ground or adding additional supports.

2. Protective Measures: Apply a fresh coat of paint or sealant to prepare your fence for the harsh winter months. Clear away vegetation that may retain moisture against the fence to reduce the risk of wood rot.


Winter Care: Regular Checks and Immediate Repairs

1. Post-Storm Inspections: After every major storm, inspect your fence for any new damage. Address issues promptly to prevent further deterioration during the ongoing cold and wet conditions.

2. Snow and Ice Removal: Keep snow from piling up against your fence, as the weight can cause structural damage. Use a broom or a plastic shovel to gently remove snow without scratching or damaging the fence material.


Tips for Long-Term Durability

  • Routine Maintenance: Schedule regular inspections and cleanings at least once a year.

  • Quality Materials: When repairs are necessary, use high-quality materials that are suitable for harsh coastal environments.

  • Professional Help: Consider hiring a professional for annual inspections or when major repairs are needed. They can provide expertise and handle extensive repairs or replacements safely and efficiently.

Conclusion

Regular maintenance of your coastal home’s fence is crucial for ensuring its longevity and functionality. By following these seasonal maintenance tips, you can prevent common problems associated with coastal climates and enjoy a beautiful, durable fence year-round. Remember, a little upkeep goes a long way in protecting your property’s curb appeal and value.


If your fence needs more than just basic maintenance, consider consulting with a professional fencing service. They can provide comprehensive care and advice tailored to your home’s specific needs and environmental challenges.


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