Because redwood has inherent oils that prevent rot and mold, it has become one of the most popular fencing materials. It also lasts longer outside than most other wood species. However, it discolors quickly in direct sunshine. Redwood tends to split and warp when it becomes too dry. Your fence will look its best with basic maintenance routinely carried out at regular intervals.
A thorough cleaning, repair of cracked and separating boards, and a touch-up finish should be part of this maintenance plan. Although redwood doesn’t require a finish, using a little stain will help to prevent discoloration.
A finish highlights the particular characteristics of the wood to keep the surface color of your deck or fence looking like new. Because of its distinct cell structure, redwood holds finishes better than other woods. Plus, refinishing it every few years will keep it appearing brand new.
Cleaning redwood, like any other exterior building material, is sometimes necessary. However, this isn’t a complicated task. In fact, it is as simple as rinsing your deck, retainer walls, porch, or other outdoor structure with a garden hose. Clean water helps to keep dirt and debris from accumulating on the fence line. Scrubbing the wood surface with a sharp bristle brush, a light detergent, and warm water will provide a more thorough cleaning. In most cases, this approach will eliminate built-up dirt and grime.
However, you might want to consider a pressure washer in some cases. This will make the process faster and easier and helps those stubborn areas. You will want to have a pressure of 1500-2000 psi, any higher will damage the wood, and you should use a 15-25 degree tip for the best results. A pressure washer is best for the hard-to-reach areas as well.
With the pressure washer and the 25-degree tip, wash both sides of the fence. Keep the tip approximately 18 inches from the wood’s surface and run it down the grain. To clean in nooks adjacent to posts, beneath rails, and remove any discoloration around the metal hardware or nails, switch to the 15-degree tip.
Next, you will want to allow the fence to dry. You should allow 48 hours for the fence to dry (or longer if the humidity is high) before making necessary repairs.
Repairing your Redwood Fence
If you plan to stain your fence, fill visible gouges or holes using epoxy wood filler, then fix cracks with epoxy cement and C-clamps. Any fence or trim boards that are beyond repair should be replaced. Use a screwdriver to tighten the hinge screws on a sagging gate during this time. Longer screws should be used to replace any screws that can’t be tightened.
If the gate is sagging or out of square, a turnbuckle, which is an adjustable metal rod, can be used to square up the gate. Attach it to the back of the gate’s opposite diagonal corners and tighten the adjustment nut with a tool to bring the gate back into square. Once everything is repaired, you can then proceed to stain. However, if you prefer to let your fence age naturally, that is also an option.