How to get rid of moss and mildew on your cedar fence

Pacific Horizontal Fence

Does your cedar fence have the green fuzzies? Maybe it has the black slimies? The Pacific Northwest’s rainy climate is responsible for green trees, verdant lawns and, unfortunately, conditions ripe for moss, mildew and mold.

Lacamas Cedar Semi-Privacy Fence
Proper care keeps your cedar fence looking good. Prevent moss and mildew with a yearly cleaning and an application of a waterproof sealer.

Cedar is an ideal material for Washington and Oregon. It resists rot and insects. Still, your fence will last longer with the proper care. Here’s what to do if you have moss, mildew or mold growing on your fence.

Keep It Clean

Remove fungi and algae as soon as possible. Anything growing on your fence can damage the wood.

To spot clean mold, mildew or moss from a cedar fence, use the following technique:

  1. Wear protective eyewear and gloves.
  2. Protect nearby plants by wetting them with plain water.
  3. In a bucket, combine ½ cup oxygen bleach and 1 gallon hot water.
  4. Scrub the affected areas with a stiff brush dipped in the solution.
  5. Rinse with water.

A yearly cleaning of the entire fence can nip problems in the bud. Here’s how to wash your fence:

  1. Wear protective eyewear and gloves.
  2. Protect nearby plants by tying and covering them. Remove other items that could be damaged by washing.
  3. Prepare a mixture of 3 quarts warm water and 1 quart oxygen bleach. Add ¼ cup non-ammonia dish soap.
  4. Using a garden sprayer, saturate the fence with the solution.
  5. Wait 10 minutes.
  6. If stains remain, use a scrub brush to remove them.
  7. Rinse with water.

You can also clean your fence with a power washer. Follow steps 1-2. Set your machine on a low setting. Stand a few feet away and clean with slow, steady sweeps. Follow the powerwashing with spot cleaning of any remaining stains.

Inspect and Repair

Take care of small repairs after your fence’s annual cleaning. Fix nails or screws that have come loose. Sand where needed. Make note of damaged boards. A broken board may need to be replaced.

Seal the Deal

Protect your fence with a waterproof sealer. Consider a product that contains a fungicide which will help prevent the return of mold and mildew. Treating your fence will also help preserve cedar’s natural color. In addition, warps and cracks are less likely in a treated fence. Untreated cedar will age naturally to a gray color.

Climate Control

You can’t control rain, but you can protect your fence by pointing sprinklers and irrigation systems away from the structure. Leave room for air to circulate between the fence and your landscaping. While climbing vines look great on wood structures, keep them off the fence to minimize damage.

With proper care, a cedar fence can last as long as 30 years. Cascade Fence and Deck only builds wood fences using cedar. This superior material is not only durable, it’s eco-friendly and beautiful.

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