Home & Family, home improvement

Fence Stain – What Every Homeowner Should Know

Choosing the right fence stain for your residential privacy fence depends on a number of factors.  Cedar, Douglas fir and spruce are all good choices when picking a type of wood to be used for a privacy fence. There are also considerable differences in the longevity and resiliency of fencing built with each of these particular materials.


Comparing the price of materials reveals yet another concern you should think about when choosing the type of wood to be used to build privacy fencing around a backyard. Many home owners spend valuable time and effort choosing the fence style wood species, and fencing contractor to construct fending around their backyard.

Once the decisions are finalized and the fence is constructed the question is what can they do to protect their new investment and prevent it from being destroyed by the elements?

Staining and sealing your new privacy fence is the most effective and efficient way to extend its life and safeguard your investment. Picking the correct fence stain will make the job easy and the fence more attractive.  By re-applying the stain every 4-5 years, you’ll ensure that the fence will last a lifetime.

Even though there are a number of differences between wood types used to build a privacy fence they all have several things in common. For example, they will all be at the mercy of the elements.  Wind, rain, mold, mildew, extreme temperatures and the sun’s harmful rays will take their toll and will, over time rob the fence of its value and beauty.  Choosing a stain that specifically fights each of these damaging forces will help to keep nature at bay.

Take a quick stroll through your neighborhood or even a glance out your back door and you’re likely to see unsightly gray fences.  I’m often asked, “What’s causing my wood fence to turn gray?”

The answer is simple. {Mold and mildew | Mildew and mold use the fence as a source of food, feeding on the dead, dry wood fibers. It is important that any fence stain selected contain a mildewcide that will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Moisture is also one of the primary causes of fence deterioration. When wood fencing material is dry it shrinks. When it is wetted it expands.  This continuing process of drying (shrinking) and expanding from moisture causes the wood to crack, check, and split.

Selecting a stain that is rich with oils and natural wood preservatives helps to lessen the effects of this natural aging process. Many of the stains available to consumers do an adequate job of sealing the wood.

Sealing the wood with a penetrating stain provides the best protection from the elements and eliminates the chance of locking moisture in and allowing your fencing materials to rot from within.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays are also very harmful to wood fencing and can accelerate its decline. Ultraviolet rays from the sun will dry out the lumber making it more susceptible to mold and mildew. The drying effect of the sun also leaves the wood in a state where it will quickly absorb and hold moisture.

Most reputable brands of wood stain include a trans-oxide pigment or iron oxide that will help to protect your fencing from harmful U.V. rays.

Selecting and applying a high quality fence stain that incorporates the necessary ingredients to fight Mother Nature will extend the life of your fence.

With a single application of stain, a home owner could expect the fence to last between three to five years longer than if it was left untreated.  By re-applying a quality stain and sealer every three to five years the forces of nature can be stopped and your valuable fencing could last a lifetime.

Author Bio:

By Todd Steen and Brent Turner. Brent and Todd are dedicated to serving Wood Defender’s loyal customers and to helping new participants get started in the company’s exceptional outdoor business opportunity.

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