Fences are mainly installed to protect you from intruders outside your house. Even though this part of the house is durable, sometimes, a fence’s quality will decline over time due to the fluctuation of weather and climate. Algae are some of the most common enemies of lawn owners and brings an unpleasant odor to your lawn or to the entire backyard.
To get the algae off your fence, you can clean it using a pressure washer or scrubbing it manually. Once you’ve cleaned the algae, make sure to repair any damages on the fence and apply wood preservatives or paint to conserve its lifespan. Conduct regular maintenance to prevent it from growing back.
In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of algae from your fence, the damages they may cause, the signs of damages, as well as four ways to protect your fence from algae.
How to Get Rid of Algae from Your Fence
There are two methods to get rid of algae from your fence. You can either use a pressure washer or clean it manually by brushing it. If you don’t have enough equipment, then the second option works just fine.
The only way to remove algae is to clean it. Algae are slippery and expel bad odor, which is annoying and unattractive to your garden or lawn. Thus, you better get rid of it as it also covers the damages to the fence.
Fences are more than just boundaries between lots. They provide protection against animals and trespassers, secure your privacy, and improve the overall look of your property. If you are planning to sell your house, your fences are a part of your property that should not be ignored. Read our article to find out what you need to know about backyard fences and property value.
Use a Pressure Washer
If you have a pressure washer at home, it is a no-brainer. Although there is still some preparation you should do before using it, it will make your work fast without any hassle. Algae sticking on the fence requires force for it to be removed.
1. Cut and tie the plants
Since you’re going to use a pressure washer to clean your fence, trimming the plants and tying them can prevent damages caused by the equipment. Your plants are indeed likely to die once the pressure washer hits them if you leave them as they are. To ensure your plants are left unharmed, trim and tie them, so they can have a grip if they’re unintentionally sprayed by the pressure washer.
2. Cover soft plants
Some vulnerable plants are prone to damages, especially when you hit them. To avoid damaging them, cover them with plastic or a tarp. You can also use some pail or any tubs to shield them from a pressure washer.
Cutting and tying them is mostly applicable to growing and strong plants. For softer plants, it is best to put full protection on them before you start the cleaning process.
3. Start spraying
Before you hit the algae on your fence, make sure you set the pressure washer to 1,500 or 2,000 psi. This only provides low pressure, which is recommended for the cleaning of your fence. Remain about 2 feet away from the spot of the fence you’re spraying.
Since you set the equipment into a specific setting, the force sometimes won’t remove the algae. Always note not to increase the pressure and just move the spraying direction to control the strength of the pressure washer. If you think you need more power from it, you can gradually step closer to the fence to put more force on it.
4. Dry the fence
If after you’ve dried the fence, the algae still show up, then brush it manually. To do so, mix bleach with water with a ratio of 1:2 on a bucket. Avoid stirring the mixture after you’ve poured it and directly use a brush to remove the remaining algae sticking to the fence.
When applying the solution and scrubbing the fence, be careful not to splash the mixture to the plants. It will harm them, or worse, kill them.
5. Apply finishing touches
After you’ve dried the fence, check whether some parts are rough and scrub those with sandpaper to smoothen them. Fix any issues and damages you notice on the fence. Use wood preservatives to preserve the life of the wood and prevent algae from coming back.
Manually scrubbing the algae on your fence is a great alternative if you don’t have a pressure washer. This method is applied whenever there are algae left on the fence, even after spraying it with a pressure washer.
1. Cover the plants
Before you start cleaning, make sure to protect the plants near your fence. Using some cleaning substances may affect the plants if you don’t cover them. Protect them with plastic to avoid accidental splashing that might lead to damages and their death.
2. Prepare the solutions
The solution you need to prepare is similar to the mixture we provided above. Mix one part of bleach with two parts of water. The only difference in this mixture is that you should add a bit of mild soap and chlorine.
3. Scrub and rinse the fence
Once you’ve prepared the solutions, you can proceed to clean the fence by scrubbing it. Brush the fence with algae, and be cautious not to splash it to your plants. After you’ve removed the algae, rinse your fence with a hose or splash it with water.
4. Dry and repair
If the fence is already dry, proceed to sand the rough areas and fix the damages on it. Paint it or apply wood preservatives to improve your fence’s longevity.
What Causes Fence Damages and What Are the Signs
The most common causes of fence damages are brought by the weather, temperatures, animals, and pests. If you notice unusual signs on the trees of a fence, you should apply some repairing and cleaning measures immediately. Green algae will make your fence look unpleasant, or worse, bring about a bad odor.
Fences serve as protection against intrusions that cause harm to you and your family. Over time, they weaken and get exposed to several outdoor elements that can damage them. But what are these elements?
The factors that can greatly affect your fences included pests, sunlight, wind, snow, rain, moisture, and hail. Pets and animals trying to break into the fence can also inflict damages to it. Mostly, the damages are caused by natural causes which we can’t stop on our own.
The damages of a fence also depend on its type. If you have a fence made of iron, it is probably prone to rust. Wood and vinyl types, on the other hand, are most likely to fall victim to mold and algae. These are some of the damages you must take note of so you can immediately find a solution to resolve them.
If you have pets, they might sometimes break the fence to access the outdoors, or an animal outside of your property could try to break in.
Wooden fences are a great choice for a home’s first line of security. They are aesthetically appealing and complement our landscape and house design well. However, unlike other fences, wooden ones have a certain lifespan. How long does a wooden fence last? Read our article to find out.
Signs of Damages
Before the damages can intensify, it is best to detect them early. There are signs you must take note of to prevent the total impairment of your fence. Check your fence and see if it shows signs of:
- Warping of the wood fence
- Rust for iron fence
- Buckled wood
- Tarnished colors
- Pest infestations, including bad smells, pest imprints, and the shrinking and swelling of the wood.
If you notice the following signs on your fence, it’s time to clean it up and apply maintenance to it. Don’t leave it as is because you never know if your fence might suddenly give up. In some instances, damages are already so big that you should conduct full repairs to guarantee these won’t affect the rest of the wood on the fence.
Bear in mind that the formation of algae is a sign that your fence needs maintenance. The main disadvantage algae will bring is bad odors. You may not want to enter your place having a disgusting smell that makes it unattractive to other people.
The warping of wood fences seems to sound common and natural, especially if they frequently get wet. Don’t be complacent and ignore this as you can still salvage your fence if this happens. If you are still about to install your fence, you can also paint it with wood preservatives so it can withstand the changing weather and temperatures.
4 Ways to Protect Your Fence from Algae
The four ways to prevent algae formation on your fence is to keep your plants away from the fence, conduct regular maintenance, and apply a stain and paint. Wooden fences are prone to algae, so if you have this type of fence, have a look at it. You must clean and repair the damages immediately if you notice any.
Since you know now that algae may appear on your fences in no time, all you have to do is administer proper maintenance before everything develops into more serious damages.
1. Apply stain to the fence
Applying stain to your fence can greatly extend its lifespan. The purpose of stain is to shield the wood from the effects of moisture and sun exposure. These effects may result in cracks and splits on your wooden fence.
By staining your fence, you can guarantee it will be more durable than without it. Wood stains are available in stores, and you can ask for an expert’s advice on what is the best thing to consider whenever you start to stain your fence. We advise you to research its long-term effects and what are the proper ways to apply it.
2. Paint the fence
Staining is part of the steps of painting the fence. Before you apply paint, it is recommended to cover it with a stain first. To fully cover your fence, make sure to apply layers of paint so that if it dries up, you won’t notice paint-less spots.
You can hire a painter if you don’t know how to paint. Although it might cost you money, it is better to have someone who is well versed in that kind of work so the product stays protected longer. If you don’t want to, you can consult an expert or do in-depth research about the process.
3. Keep the plants away from the fence
Keep your plants away from the fence as those can formulate and develop more algae. Remove the obstacles that may bridge the spread of algae all over the fence. Ensure that there is some space left between the trees and plants from the fences.
Trim your plants consistently so they won’t extend anywhere on your yard or lawn. The best thing you can do is constantly check the plants and maintain their growth. It will not only benefit the fence but also prevent the plants from getting exposed to other outdoor elements.
4. Conduct maintenance
There is no better method to prevent algae from appearing on your fence than to conduct regular maintenance. Watch out for signs of damages and the formation of algae so you can apply preventive measures to it. Repair and clean your fence immediately so you can ensure its long lifespan.
Apart from algae, termites are another enemy you must mitigate and remove. They will consume the woods on your fence and will mutilate it the longer you will ignore it.
Fences are the first line of defense to protect you from trespassers, burglars, intruders, and even give you some privacy from nosy neighbors. Some people hire professionals to build their fences, while others prefer to build one themselves. If you are on a budget, is it cheaper to build your own fence? Read our article to find out.
Algae are not that bad. In fact, they can provide oxygen to the atmosphere. The only problem is that they inflict their slippery texture and odor to fences, and damages can hide behind it. If you have a wooden fence, the presence of algae is a sign that you need to do a thorough cleaning and maintenance of your fence to make sure that it is still in good working condition.
You should immediately take action if you are starting to see algae on your fence. Wooden fences are known to be prone to algae smells, so if you have this kind of fence at home, start checking it now and apply solutions to it. Make use of the information that we shared in this article to improve and maintain the looks and longevity of your fence. A little algae is not that bad, but you shouldn’t let it overrun your fence.