Get your fence summer ready!

Your fence is an important part of your home. It provides security, privacy, and—with proper care—a great deal of curb appeal. Once you have invested in a fence, routine maintenance can keep it strong and looking good for years. By maintaining the finish, you will be preventing damage from rot and insects and helping to slow decomposition.

How Often to Paint Your Fence

Where fences are concerned, moisture is the enemy. Proper staining or painting creates a barrier that prevents moisture from doing damage to the wood. How often to paint or stain your fence is largely determined by the weather in your region. In particularly rainy regions you may need to do it more frequently, while arid regions may require less frequent maintenance. Many experts recommend every 2-3 years, but a better way to determine your need is to check for beading. On a stained and sealed fence, if water no longer beads up on the surface, but instead soaks in, it may be time for maintenance. Check painted surfaces for cracks, chips and wear.

Types of Paint/Stain to Use

There is some debate on whether to paint or stain a fence. Either choice will provide protection from the elements, insects and normal wear to extend the life of your fence. While this is a personal choice, there are some things to consider:
  • Painting a fence can be less expensive, but may require more frequent maintenance depending on your region and the quality of paint used. Painting will also require some additional preparation before re-painting.
  • Staining can be more expensive initially. The stain may cost less per gallon than paint, but you may need more of it to complete the job. On the other hand, stain absorbs into the wood better than paint. Instead of chipping and peeling like paint, the color will just fade away over time.If you are concerned about color, stain now comes in a variety of color and opacity options.

Source: http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/fences-and-walls/fence-revival-a-guide-to-painting-and-staining