It had been a few months since you installed your fence last August, but the Minnesota weather and elements were not kind to it. What was once a pure white fence now had dirt and grime. Caked mud covered the fence panels after the rain and snow. You knew you should have cleaned it, but you weren’t sure how to do such a task. With spring approaching, you wondered if now was the right time to clean your fence.
In the past year, people in Minnesota have been increasing their search for a “pressure washer” on Google. While a pressure washer can be beneficial in cleaning some fences, it can harm others. At Northland Fence, all our employees are paid year-round and will work during the off-season. Having people available allows us to install fences in the off-season and answer questions you have about caring for your specific fence type whenever those questions arise. When it comes to fence cleaning, knowing the proper steps and supplies can ensure your fence stays in good condition for longer.
Your once beautiful dirt-free fence now has grime and dirt all over it. You wonder why you even tried to have something so beautiful when it is at the mercy of the outside world. You may have thought about cleaning it, but figuring out how to get started or even what you need to clean your fence seems daunting.
There are several methods someone might utilize when it comes to cleaning their fence. While pressure washing is most straightforward, you can wash your fence with a cloth and cleaning solution. Washing your fence can seem complicated and time-consuming, but it can bring back the appeal it had before.
Depending on the material of your fence determines what you need to clean your fence. However, some standard supplies will be beneficial to have on hand. If you have a pressure washer, you can use it with a scrub brush, water, and detergent. If you are washing your fence by hand, you may also need soap, a soft sponge or washcloth, and a hose. However, you will also need time and motivation to clean your fence. Depending on your fenced-in area's size, it may take most of the day. You should keep some other cleaning products in mind when cleaning your fence.
Here are some cleaning products you will need to clean your fence
It is essential to remember that depending on the material of your fence, you will only need some of the items listed. For example, bleach and water can clean some fences, while others use vinegar and water. Use only one, never both.
Cleaning with a pressure washer should be done when it is not windy and the sun is not directly hitting the fence. This weather keeps the spray off you and prevents the cleaner from drying quickly. You will start by rinsing your fence with the lowest setting on your pressure washer. The higher settings may cause damage to your fence, especially if it is wooden. You will then want to put fence cleaner into the reservoir and apply it to the rinsed fence. Your next step is to use the scrub brush to remove stains, mold, and tree sap and let it sit for five minutes. While sitting, flush out your pressure washer to remove the detergent. Your final step is to rinse the fence with clean water. Continue these steps until your entire fence is clean.
On the other hand, you can still clean your fence if you don’t have a pressure washer. It just takes a bit more work. Often, it requires getting mold and mildew cleaner and a sponge or cloth. These products will typically come in spray bottles that you spray onto the fence, let it sit, and then scrub off. The product might advertise that you don’t need to scrub, but scrubbing can easily remove dirt and grime. The downside to these products is that they are not environmentally friendly, but there are some methods you can use that are more ecologically conscious than these chemicals.
If you have a considerably large amount of mildew on your fence, you might think you need heavy chemicals to remove it. While those chemicals cut through, so do vinegar and baking soda, which are less corrosive than the mildew sprays you see in the store. Combining vinegar and baking soda can do this because vinegar removes mildew, while baking soda can remove dirt.
However, if you only have a small amount of mildew, spray a mix of vinegar with a touch of water and let it sit for a few minutes. You will want to scrub it with a fine-bristled toothbrush. If it doesn’t come off, add more vinegar and baking soda. Scrubbing is the most time-consuming part of this method.
If you don’t have mildew but the dirt on the fence is causing you concern, soap, water, and scrubbing work just as well. Using a deck brush can make scrubbing easier if your back is hurting from bending over the fence to scrub it. Getting the kids or other helpers can make the job go faster.
Cleaning a composite fence is relatively easy. Mix a mild cleaning detergent with water and spray it onto the fence. Next, use a soft cloth or brush to scrub the fence gently. After scrubbing the dirt and debris, rinse the fence with clean water. You can also use the lowest setting on your pressure washer to gently clean the fence. Putting sealant on your composite fence after it dries completely is also recommended.
Pressure washing can cause erosion to a wrought iron or steel fence. Instead, wash these types of fences by hand. You will need a soft cloth, dish detergent, and a fine-bristled toothbrush for this task. Dip the soft cloth in the sudsy water and gently wipe the fence from top to bottom. Use the toothbrush to scrape any moss, dirt, or grime off the fence. You will also want to apply rust protection spray to protect it from rust.
The best way to clean your chain link fence is by pressure washing on the highest setting. Pressure washing will make the process faster and remove dirt and grime from each chain. Use a wire brush to remove stubborn areas in your chain link fence. However, be careful not to get dirt inside the links while cleaning. You can also cover rusty spots with paper towels soaked in vinegar. Leave the towels on for around 30-45 minutes. Afterward, dip a brush into more vinegar and scrub the rust off.
Vinyl fences are one of the most accessible fences to clean. There are several ways you can clean a vinyl fence. One of those ways is by using biodegradable soap mixed in water. Then, you use a soft brush or sponge to scrub your fence. Afterward, rinse the fence with water from the garden hose. The garden hose should be able to remove the grime independently if you have minimum dust and debris on your fence.
Like many other fence materials, vinegar and water with a sponge can also clean a vinyl fence. Also, products like Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and pressure washers can do the job. If your vinyl fence is white, you can use water downed bleach. You want to ensure it is 5 parts water for every 1 part bleach, and always wear gloves when scrubbing your vinyl fence.
When installing your dream fence with a fencing company like Northland Fence, choose one that can teach you how to clean and care for your fence correctly. By cleaning and caring for your fence, you can ensure it remains as perfect as it was when installed.
In Ramsey, MN, Northland Fence provides high-quality American-made fences with best-in-class customer service. We always have supplies in stock and will never have hidden fees. For more information or to install your fence today, call us at 763-316-4881.
Should I pressure wash my fence?
When pressure washing your fence, it is best to ensure it is in the lowest setting. High settings on pressure washers may cause damage.
What is the best way to clean a wood fence?
Using a wire brush or a garden hose is often the best way to clean a wood fence. While you can clean a wood fence with a pressure washer, it must be on the lowest setting to avoid damage.
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