How to Safely Clean Your Fence
Spring cleaning isn’t just for the inside of your home. When you’re doing your spring yard cleanup such as picking up sticks, raking leaves out of garden beds, and power washing the sidewalks, take a good look at your fence.
Chances are good it accumulated some dirt, mildew, or green gunk over the winter. While you might be tempted to use a pressure washer on your fence after you’ve cleaned your sidewalks and patio, resist the urge. That may be too harsh of a cleaning method for your fence.
We’ve pulled together some tips to help you clean your fence safely.
Cleaning Trex® Fence
For guidance on how to safely clean your Trex® fence, we turn to the company’s Care and Cleaning Guide. They recommend:
- For simple dirt and debris, use a soft brush to remove loose debris. Then use soap and water to scrub away any other dirt. Rinse with a hose set on a gentle setting.
- For mold and mildew, use a fence cleaner that contains bleach (sodium hypochlorite) to clean the fence and prevent further mold and mildew.
- Trex® specifically says NOT to use a pressure washer on your fence. It could damage the fence and void the warranty.
Cleaning Vinyl Fence
For tips on how to clean your vinyl fence, we turn to CertainTeed, one of the major manufacturers of vinyl fencing products. In their vinyl fence warranties, they give recommendations for cleaning, including:
- Remove soil, grime, and chalk with a sponge and a bucket of soapy water. Rinse with your garden hose.
- Remove stubborn stains with a fence cleaner recommended by your fence contractor. Test it out on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t cause discoloration.
- For mildew spots, prepare a solution as follows, and apply it with a non-abrasive sponge. It’s a good idea to wear gloves and eye protection. Rinse with a garden hose.
- Mix together: 1/3 cup detergent (Tide®, for example), 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP), 1 quart 5% sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and 3 quarts of water.
If you choose to use a pressure washer, use the lowest possible setting, and keep the nozzle at least 3 feet away from the fence to avoid damaging the finish.
Cleaning Cedar Fence
For a cedar fence, spray the fence with a hose-end attachment filled with a gentle cleaning mixture of 3 qts. water, 1 qt. oxygen bleach (OxiClean), and ¼ cup dish detergent. Saturate the fence and let the cleaning solution sit for about 10 minutes. Use a scrub brush to scrub any tough stains, and then rinse the fence clean with plain water from your hose.
To remove mold and mildew, mix 4 oz. OxyClean and 1-gallon hot water in a bucket. Use a stiff brush to apply the solution to the stain and scrub. Rinse with plain water.
If you choose to use a pressure washer, use the lowest setting to avoid damaging the fence.
Related Reading: The Benefits of Installing Steel Ornamental Fencing
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If your fence is in good shape, proper cleaning can brighten its appearance. However, if you notice missing pickets, warping, or wood rot, it’s time to take action. We may be able to solve the problem with simple fence repairs, but depending on the age and overall condition of your fence, you may want to consider getting a new one.
The fastest way to reach us to schedule a fence installation quote is to call us at (720) 418-8194. You can also fill out the form and we’ll get back to you by the next business day. Building a fence that will last takes time and expertise. We have an abundance of both.
We serve both residential and commercial clients throughout the Denver metro area, including Lakewood, Wheatridge, Arvada, Littleton, Golden, and surrounding areas.