We have said it time and time again: fencing is vital for your home and yard’s safety, looks, and functionality. But what we haven’t talked about lately is how to care for your fence after it is installed and the best ways to do so. Routine fence care is extremely important to avoid the inconvenience of fence fixing, to increase the life of your fence, and to help keep fence maintenance costs lower in the long run. As you know, Montana faces many harsh climates, wildlife, and other factors that can take a toll on your fence. At Montana Fence, we want to maximize the value of your fence and help with annual checkups and typical fence maintenance to avoid factors like wood rot, damage, rust, and more. Our team has come together to create a guide for fence maintenance based on the type of fence materials you are using. These tips and tricks can help your fence last longer and stay looking brand new.
Guide to Fence Maintenance for Every Material
Each fencing material is built for certain climates, serves different duties, and has some type of maintenance required. For more populated cities—like Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Kallispell—our professionals recommend fencing materials that are easier to clean and have less maintenance, like ornamental iron and chain link. Wood fence material is perfect for more rural and smaller towns around Montana (such as Three Forks, Shepard, and Big Fork) because it is durable but may require more color maintenance. Vinyl fence materials are great for areas that are both rural or populated since they are durable, easy to keep clean, and simple to install. Below, we’ll lay out the details of each fencing material, the maintenance involved, and our fencing tips for every fence type.
Garden, Farm & Ranch Fence
There are many different fence materials that fall under the category of garden, farm, and ranch fencing: barb wire, horse fence, high tensile smooth wire, and more. Each material is meant to withstand harsh weather conditions, wildlife, and livestock. Below we have provided a few general maintenance tips for this category of fencing.
Annual Inspections: You will hear us say this multiple times throughout our blog—annual inspections are the best thing a homeowner can do to maintain their fence. Walk around the fence line. Take note of any loose or broken wires, bent or broken posts, stability of existing braces, and make sure all gates are operable. It’s impossible to have eyes constantly on your fence, but checking it annually will help gauge any work that may need to be done.
Stay Ahead of Repairs: When finding something in need of repair—big or small— we recommend fixing it right away. Repairs may include a fallen wire, cracked board, or wood rot. Fixing the problem immediately after finding it can prevent the damages from spiraling out of control.
You can never go wrong with a wood fence. Wood fencing is cost-efficient, interchangeable in color, versatile in shape, and environmentally friendly. Although wood fencing may require restaining to maintain its color and may undergo rot (this is rare but possible), it is durable in a Montana climate. Here are a few simple tips to help your wood fence look fresh and stay sturdy over the years.
Point Sprinklers Away from Fencing – Water can be very damaging to wood and cause rotting and fading. Keeping sprinklers pointed away and any other water sources off your fence is a good way to lengthen the lifespan of your wood fence.
Clean Your Fence Every 2-3 Years – It is easy for dirt and debris to build up on a wooden fence, especially in rural Montana towns. Cleaning your fence with a wire brush, power washer, or oxygenated bleach will properly remove buildup and keep your fence looking new.
Don’t Wait to Fix a Problem – It is easy to put off minor issues, but this can cause a domino effect of problems in the future. By staying up on minor issues and fixing problems when they arise, you can boost your fence’s longevity and save time and money down the road.
We love the look of a simple vinyl fence in any setting—the upkeep is easy and simple! Vinyl fences come in many different styles and colors and are known for their flexibility, strength, and low maintenance. Bonus, vinyl is a great material to outlast rain and snow in the winter/spring months of Montana.
Routinely Spray Your Vinyl Fence Off – As easy as this trick is, it is vastly overlooked. A quick spray down will keep your vinyl fence clean and prevent damage-causing buildup.
Clean with a Simple Green – This tip is one of our favorites. Using a Simple Green Spray works like a charm to keep vinyl clean. It really doesn’t take much to maintain the look of this fence. Even soapy water can be enough to clean vinyl fence. Soft Scrub is also a great option to get any scratches out of your white vinyl fence. Trust us on this one: your fence will stay shiny and look brand new!
Fix the problem right away – Vinyl fence can be quirky and issues are hard to find with annual inspections. In most instances when a problem occurs, such as a picket coming undone, it is easiest for a homeowner to have it repaired right away. Extreme weather can be a pressing issue for vinyl fence so keeping up on repairs in the winter months is very important.
Ornamental iron fencing is known for its durability, long-lasting material, and high security. But like any other type of fence, ornamental iron also needs maintenance—although, the maintenance is on the lower end of the spectrum compared to other fencing products.
Keep Up with Repairs – We may have mentioned this tip many times already, but it’s true! Keeping up on smaller repairs can prolong the life of your fence. A trick we love is to use a black acrylic-based paint from the manufacturer for any scratches that may come from installation or normal wear and tear. It’s safe to use on the coating and makes the fence look brand new!
Chain link fencing is very similar to ornamental iron fencing—long-lasting and low maintenance. A chain link fence is an inexpensive fence option known for high visibility, low maintenance, quick installation, high durability, and high security.
Clean Your Fence Regularly – We suggest weekly fence cleaning (mostly in the summer). Simply spraying your fence with a hose can keep your fence looking brand new.
Avoid Growth of Plants and Trees – Vines, flowers, and sucker trees can displace your fence and cause damage by lifting and displacing links. Removing these plants and trees immediately after finding them will help prevent growth and ensure the safety of your fence.
Let Our Montana Fencing Professionals Lend a Hand
At Montana Fence, we value fence maintenance because we know it can increase the longevity of your fence. Fencing is an investment, so we want to grow the value you get out of your fencing through regular maintenance and repairs. Our team of skilled professionals is happy to give advice on repairs to fence of any material. We want your journey of being a homeowner to be easy and don’t want your fence to be a stumbling block or burden. If you’re looking for help keeping up with your fence and fencing projects, contact us with any questions or to discuss any repairs your fence may need!