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Is Staining A Fence Worth It?

Summer weather brings sunshine and moisture, depending on where you live. When you go out in the field, you are advised to take care to avoid sunburn and keep your skin safe. The same applies to just about everything else that might possibly be harmed by the heat – and that includes your fence.


If we're talking about staining and sealing, we're talking about wooden fences. Here are some helpful tips for this.


Staining and sealing of wood fencing not only keeps it looking good, it also ensures that it lasts longer, particularly if softwood such as pine has been used for construction purposes.


While pine is usually pressure-treated to protect it from infestation and rot, it can warp if it gets very wet, particularly if it dries out very quickly in the sun. This could be very harmful. Sealants not only prevent water from entering the wood, they also shield the surface from harmful UV rays of the sun, preventing discoloration and the breakdown of the fibers.

The problem, however, is that if the wood has been handled with pressure, the chemicals moisten the wood and prevent stains and sealants from entering – for a while anyway.

Hardwoods like cedar do not need to be pressurized because they contain natural oils that resist bug infestation and rot. This means the hardwood can usually be sealed immediately. Sealing doesn't make a structural difference, but the wood ages physically and turns a dark gray color.

The question that customers often ask is if the fence should be sealed on both sides. Typically, this is the right way, but it's not cast in stone. In fact, if one side of the fence faces a neighbor and they choose not to stain or seal their side, it will discolor and not yours, without affecting the structural integrity of the structure.


When to Stain and Seal Fences

A wooden fence should be handled with paint or stain every two to three years. Five Star Painting experts suggest staining due to its toughness on wood exposed to the elements. Factors influencing this maintenance interval include:

  • The fence is facing south and exposed to maximum UV light.

  • There's mold or mildew on the boards

  • Boards rot or destroyed

  • The Wood Type

  • Softwoods such as pine will need more regular maintenance than fences built from hardwoods such as oak.

  • Naturally, rot-resistant wood, such as black locust or cedar, can last longer between treatments. Only make sure that the wood is the heartwood, not the sapwood, which is more likely to rot.


How Often to Stain and Seal Fences

Although you should always obey the advice of the maker, the general rule is that wood fences should be painted every five years and sealers should be added every two to three years. Of course, if you're staining and sealing, it makes sense to seal after staining and vice versa. If you can do it in the summer, so do it.

Do You Need a Fence Contractor You Can Trust?

Why pay more when you can restore? That's our motto and the way we approach every project. Fresh Coat Restoration specializes in new deck builds, new fence builds, deck repairs, fence repairs, arbor restoration, fence restoration, deck restoration, pressure washing and sealing/staining. If it's in your backyard chances are we specialize in it! When you call FCR you will be working with a licensed, insured, honest and reliable contractor with years of experience and thousands of satisfied customers.  We are the top Fencing contractor in the Vine Hill neighborhood of Martinez, California, serving the fencing installation and restoration needs of homeowners throughout Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda Counties. Contact us today to start your project!

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