Fences are great for increasing the privacy of your home and adding value to the property. However, there’s more to owning a fence than the initial building process. Here’s what you should know about fence maintenance so you can pick the best option for your home.

Moisture Is the Enemy

While some types of fences resist moisture better than others, they all deteriorate over time if you don’t keep up with the maintenance. Whether it’s rust, mold, or cracked paint, you’ll need to carefully research the type of fence you want and consider the upkeep intensity.

Wooden Fences

Wooden fences are incredibly common because they’re inexpensive and can fit the design of almost any home. To keep a wooden fence looking its best, wash it at least once a year to remove dirt and debris. Then, repaint and reseal it to keep away mold, rot, and insects.

Another important thing to know about fence maintenance is that you should turn your sprinklers so they face away from your fence and into the yard. Having water spraying constantly on your fence speeds up the maintenance cycle and creates more work for you.

Vinyl Fences

Many people choose vinyl fences because they take less maintenance than wooden ones, but they’re not exactly maintenance-free. Give them a gentle wash in the spring and use a magic eraser to remove any stubborn stains. No matter what, don’t be tempted to paint your vinyl fence—it may look pretty, but the paint won’t stick for long.

Metal Fences

Metal fences can be some of the more expensive types of fences to install on your property, but that’s because they’re long-lasting and weather-resistant. Rinse your chain link or ornamental steel fence in the spring and keep an eye out for any rust spots. After washing, use a gel-based wax to protect your ornamental fence from fading.

Regardless of which kind of fence you choose, you’ll need to know how to take care of it so it lasts as long as possible. Don’t forget to prepare your fence for extreme weather, either. Doing so may take a bit of effort, but you’ll be happier with your fence installation in the long run.