If you’re one of the 65.1% of Americans that calls themself a homeowner, you likely are continually looking for ways to improve the look of the home. So in this post, we are writing about cleaning fences. So if you are wondering how to clean your particular type of fence and what steps do you need to take, keep reading cause we have the answers.
Though every fence we install across St Louis is a maintenance-free fence, you’ll still need to wipe them down every once in a while. Read on to learn how to clean every type of maintenance-free fence to ensure that the most extended life from your fence.
Cleaning Vinyl Fences
As one of the most popular fences on the market, vinyl fencing is a staple of many people’s homes. It’s versatile, comes in many different colors and styles, and is easy to clean. Read on to learn how to get your lovely vinyl fence in top shape this spring so that you can keep your yard looking great!
To clean a vinyl fence, you’re going to want to get:
- A bucket of warm water
- Vinegar OR bleach (not both!)
- A pressure washer
Although vinyl is one of the most weather-resistant materials out there, it’s bound to get a bit dirty during the winter. Ice and snow accumulate on it and then melt into muddy slush. Mud gets slung upward and splashes onto the vinyl pickets. It’s easy to get this grime off- you just need to know how!
You have a couple of options for how to do this. The first is to use a pressure washer and hose down your fence. Cleaning will go much faster. Just make sure that you remember to wash it from all angles so that the grime gets off both the inside and outside of your fence as well as between the pickets!
If you like, you can even include cleaning solutions to many of the pressure washers that are on the market today.
After you’re done hosing your fence down, you may want to wipe it down a little more. This will ensure that you don’t miss any spots of grime on your fence. Mix a little vinegar or bleach (not both) with warm water and wipe the fence down. After that, rinse it with water again to make sure that the acidity of the vinegar or bleach doesn’t sit on the fence for too long!
Cleaning Aluminum Fences
While vinyl fences are incredibly quick and easy to clean, aluminum fences need next to no maintenance. If you have these installed outside your home, your spring cleaning is going to be a whole lot easier than any of your neighbor’s. Read on to learn the straightforward steps that you’ll need to take to keep your metal fence shining.
Cleaning an aluminum fence is easy, but you’ll still need:
- A soft cloth
- A bucket of warm water (maybe)
Even though aluminum fences are incredibly durable, they do require very little maintenance. All you need to do is really to wipe it down with a soft dry cloth, paying particular attention to areas that have additional dirt and grime on them. When it comes to these areas, you can also use a bit of plain warm water.
That’s it! It is that simple.
There are, however, things that you distinctly must know NOT to do when it comes to cleaning an aluminum fence. Do NOT attempt to clean your fence with something acidic like vinegar. And although vinegar is a critical ingredient in many metal cleaners (including those for cleaning steel and simulated stone fences), aluminum isn’t a strong enough metal to weather its acidity without corrosion. While aluminum is durable and weather-resistant, acidic compounds are a weakness that will cause rusting.
Cleaning Steel Fences
Steel fencing is one of the sturdiest types of privacy fencing on the market. While it’s significantly more challenging to clean than aluminum is, it’s worth the effort if you want a metal that will last you for many decades without needing to be replaced. Read on to learn how to clean your steel privacy fence and ensure that it has as long a lifespan as possible.
To clean a steel fence, you’ll need:
- A bucket filled with warm water
- Household dish detergent
- A soft cloth
- A fine-bristled toothbrush
While it’s easy to get moss and algae off of aluminum fences, it’s a bit more challenging to scrape this grime off higher-quality metals like steel. Pressure washing a steel fence may sound like a good idea- after all, steel is incredibly durable- but this is a huge mistake. When you spray steel with a pressure washer, the surface protection is likely to come off, opening the fence to the possibility of future erosion.
Your steel fence may be painted. Pressure washers are notorious for chipping the paint off of things that they spray and causing an incredible amount of surface damage. It’s best just to avoid attempting this altogether.
Instead, you’re going to want to wash your steel fence by hand. Mix some dish detergent into your bucket filled with warm water until soap bubbles to the surface. Once this happens, you can get to work by dipping your cloth in and gently wiping the fence down. Be sure to start at the top and work your way down to the bottom to ensure that you don’t get the lower parts of the fence dirty immediately after being cleaned!
Once that’s done, scrape any hard-to-reach, ornamental places on your fence with the toothbrush. This will ensure that you get moss, algae, dirt, and other sorts of grime off every part of the fence without missing any spots.
Cleaning Simulated Stone Fences
Our simulated stone fences are visually appealing and promote privacy in all areas of your life. They’re made of polyethylene, but they’re also reinforced with galvanized steel, preparing the way that you want to clean them somewhat similar to the idea that you clean steel fences. Read on to learn more specifics on how to clean your simulated stone privacy fence!
You’ll need these materials to clean a simulated stone fence:
- Two spray bottles
- Two soft cloths
- Warm water
While reinforced with steel, your simulated stone fence is made of more materials than a simple steel one would be. This means that you’re going to want to clean it by hand, as you would with a steel fence. However, you’ll need to use a special cleaner if you want to get the dirt and grime out of every nook and cranny.
A homemade stainless steel cleaner is the most effective way to get your simulated stone fence clean. To create this cleaner, the first thing you’ll need to do is put white vinegar into a spray bottle. The first step to cleaning your simulated stone privacy fence is to spray this vinegar onto the fencing. After that’s done, wipe them dry with a soft towel (it can be made of either cloth or paper- it doesn’t matter.)
After that, fill a second spray bottle with water and repeat these steps with the water! Doing this ensures that the acid from the vinegar will be removed from the fence and prevent any possibility of poor reactions with the metal over time. You don’t want the acid to discolor your beautiful simulated stone surface, after all!
More Tips on Cleaning Fences
While dirt and grime coating your fence over time is a natural development, it doesn’t need to stay that way. There are effective ways to clean every material that might make up your fence so that you can ensure that it looks clean and beautiful going into the new season.
Now that you know how to clean a privacy fence made from any given material, it’s time to check out the resources we have on our St Louis fence company webpage.
Click here to browse our resource center for more on how to maintain your fence and much more!
Not yet convinced? Dig deeper with The Ultimate Guide to Fencing!