Depending on what type of fence you decide to install or is already installed on your property, there are varying amounts of maintenance you will have to perform to keep them looking their best. Although there are some fence materials, such as vinyl and PVC, that require very little maintenance and provide a lot of privacy, they may not be the look you’re wanting. If privacy is less of a concern, then you may be looking for an ornamental fence. Ornamental fences, whether they are aluminum or wrought iron, can provide both elegance and security. Here are some tips to keep them looking their best.
Inspect Your Fence
Like with any type of fence, if you make sure there’s nothing wrong with it, you’ll need to inspect it regularly. This is as easy as going for a walk around the perimeter of your fence. Not only do you get the change to stretch your legs, you also get to appreciate your yard and make sure your fence is holding up.
Although it’s a good idea to give your fence a once over every few months, it is especially important to do so after any inclement weather you’ve had. Metal and wrought iron fences aren’t subject to cracking like wooden and vinyl fences, but they can still be damaged by any significant weather events. If you live in an area with high humidity or large amounts of rainfall, wrought iron fences will be more susceptible to rust.
If you find rust on your wrought iron fence, you’ll want to know the best way to remove it. As long as you catch it early, all you’ll need is fine-grit sandpaper or a stiff wire brush. These will allow you to scrub off the rust. Once you’ve scrubbed away any light rust, you will be able to use commercial rust cleaner. If you are using a wire brush, you can dip it directly into the rust cleaner to apply it to your fence.
However, if your rust is starting to flake and break loose from your wrought iron fence, you will need a sandpaper with more grit. You may even be able to use a paint scraper or putty knife to scrape away the flakes. Make sure to use protective equipment, such as a face mask and goggles, to cover your mouth and protect your eyes from any rust or chemicals.
Cleaning Your Fence
Whether your fence is aluminum or wrought iron, it can always do with a good cleaning. If you just removed rust from your wrought iron fence, giving it a good hosing down can help to get rid of any leftover rust or rust cleaner. No matter the type of fence, dust and dirt are bound to build up on it, especially if you have a garden that butts up to the fence. Rainfall can splash mud and debris onto your fence during more intense weather events.
Luckily, usually all it takes to get your metal fence clean is a garden hose. However, if you have more stubborn grime, such as bird droppings or sticky tree sap, you can use a mild detergent and a scrub brush. If the dirt or grime persists, go through your cleaning routine again. Running steel wool over the surface of a wrought iron fence can help to restore its original color.
Painting/ Sealing Your Fence
Although aluminum fencing doesn’t need nearly as much maintenance as wrought iron, both types of fencing can benefit from a protective finish. A protective finish, such as paint or sealant will create a barrier between your fence and any extreme weather or oxygen exposure. It is the oxygen exposure that can lead to the rusting of your wrought iron fence.
One sealant you can use on your fence is wax. Not only will it keep out oxygen, it is also water resistant. Think of a freshly waxed car. A freshly waxed fence will have the glistening sheen. Unfortunately, also like your car wax, fence wax wears off over time and will need to be reapplied every year or two.
If you’re looking for a longer lasting solution, there are metal sealants. Not only do they keep moisture and oxygen away from your fence, they often contain UV blockers to help protect against the sun fading the color of your fence. These sealants come in a variety of colors or can act as a clear topcoat.
Looking to install a metal fence?
If you’re looking to install a custom metal fence on your property, look no further than Clarksville Fencing! Our ornamental aluminum fences aren’t subject to rust like wrought iron and come in a wide array of styles and colors. We can even powder coat them to increase their weather resistance. Request a quote today!