Rust on Iron Fencing

Wrought iron used to be a very popular material to use for fences.  However, as most metals do with time, it can rust.  If you have a wrought iron fence on your property and want to restore it back to its original beauty you can roll up your sleeves and follow this guide.  It will take a little elbow grease, but it is worth it to keep your fence looking great.

How to Restore a Rusty Wrought Iron Fence

A wrought iron fence is meant to last for years with proper care, but if you aren’t careful, your fence can suffer from its worst enemy: rust. Rust can severely damage wrought iron and completely ruin its appearance. Fortunately, you can restore this metal to its original look and also protect it from future damage with the right steps and tools.

Step 1 – Remove Rust and old Paint

Use a paint scraper to remove any loose or peeling paint and a wire brush to scrub away loose rust and old paint. If the rust is heavy, use a drill with a wire wheel instead. Make sure to get into tight areas and joints where rust is most likely to be found.

Follow up with a coarse-grit sandpaper over the entire fence, concentrating on the affected areas. Some deep rust may require sanding all the way down to the metal, so you may want to use a drill with a sanding wheel to save yourself some pain. When you can’t see anymore rust, go over the fence again with a medium-grit to take care of anything that remains and smooth the surface.

Finally, buff the entire fence with fine steel wool in a circular motion to smooth and prepare it for painting. Rinse with clear water to get rid of dust that remains.

Step 2 – Neutralize Rust

The key to restoring a wrought iron fence is to remove all the rust, not just the loose stuff. Any left behind will continue to spread and ruin the metal even after you refinish it. Although you may not see any, there can be some tiny particles remaining. Mix a commercial rust neutralizer per package instructions in a bucket. Dip the wire brush into it and scrub the entire fence in a circular motion.

For those who prefer not to use chemicals, you can use a solution of half lemon juice and half white vinegar to neutralize any remaining particles. Wipe down the entire fence with the solution and allow it to dry for one hour. Wash off with soapy water and let the surface dry completely.

Step 3 – Prime and Paint

Paint the entire surface of the fence with an even coat of rust-inhibiting primer for metal and allow it to dry at least four hours. Apply two fairly thick coats of rust-resistant paint over the primer using a medium-bristled paint brush. Use smooth, even strokes to cover all areas, and allow the paint to dry completely between coats.

Step 4 – Maintain

Now that the rust has been taken care of and the fence is repaired, it is important to perform regular maintenance to keep it looking great. Wash your wrought iron fence with soapy water twice a year, and oil latches and springs with mineral oil. Also use steel wool to buff any scratches or beginning signs of rust and neutralize with lemon juice and vinegar again. Touch up scratched areas with matching rust-resistant paint after neutralizing.

Source: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-restore-a-rusty-wrought-iron-fence

Privacy Outdoors

Many homes have outdoor spaces that are open and allow little privacy.  If you spend a lot of time outside and want more privacy in your yard or simply don’t want passersby to see in your house, this article will be useful to read.  There are several options for outdoor privacy.  Read about them all below and decide what works best for you.

3 Privacy Options You Can’t Afford Not to Have

By: Sandra Karnes


As the world population grows, we lose a little more of our privacy every day. Whether you live in an urban or rural area, there always seems to be a car driving by or a nosy neighbor. Here are some of the things you can do to have a private backyard retreat that doesn’t cost a lot.

Natural Privacy

Trees, shrubs and even tall plants can give you the semblance of privacy. Trees that are bushy and full, such as evergreen trees, provide the most coverage. One such variety is Blue Spruce, which stays full from the top all the way to the ground. In addition to keeping out prying eyes, they can also protect your yard from blustery winds. However, they take a while to grow and need plenty of room because their bottom branches can grow up to 20 feet in diameter.

A faster growing evergreen that can be trimmed to whatever shape you want — or left to grow on its own — is the American Arborvitae. This evergreen can grow up to 18 inches per year, making it a good choice if you want natural privacy, but can’t wait a generation for it to develop. Their final height is about 7 or 8 feet tall. To make a quick hedge, plant them 2-3 feet apart. If you buy a taller plant to start with, in one or two summers your yard could be a private haven.


An even faster growing privacy plant is ornamental grasses. The Calamgrostis is a feathery reed that grows in zones 5-8 and can reach 48 to 60 inches tall by early summer. As a perennial that won’t spread by seed, it will stay where you want it to stay. In the winter they have a beautiful golden hue like wheat. When you see new growth in the spring, cut the old growth down. This way the reeds dance with the slightest breeze, which is very relaxing to watch.

Fencing in Your Privacy

Although going the natural route is attractive, fence panels have their place and are much faster than waiting for plants to grow.

If you don’t want to cut off your whole yard and feel boxed in, just put up one or two panels on each side of your yard. You will instantly have a place to sit and enjoy your morning coffee, or to have guests over for a barbeque and still have the feeling of privacy from your neighbors.

Fence panels usually come in 6-foot widths, up to 8-feet tall. To satisfy your artistic desire, there are several designs available including dog-eared, shadowbox and stockade varieties. Wood panels start around $40 each. Don’t forget that you will also need posts, screws or carriage bolts and cement mix, which will add to the cost.

Besides wood fence panels, there are also vinyl fence panels that start around $80 per panel. Composite panels start around $140 per panel. Another alternative is chain link fencing. A 6-foot tall by 50-foot long roll of chain link starts around $220 per roll.

If you want a more attractive panel with a dash of nature intertwined, get a lattice panel and grow a perennial vine on it for the best of both worlds.

Least Expensive Privacy

One very quick way to get privacy is with a canvass gazebo. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be put up in an afternoon — they’re basically like a glorified tent that can stay up all summer, provided there are no wind storms. Some have retractable screens, while others have fully enclosed sides that can protect you from wind, rain, high temperatures and bugs. They can actually add a little charm to your backyard space.

If you don’t want to go the canvass gazebo route, how about using tarps or shade cloth for a quick and inexpensive way to provide privacy? Just run a line from your house to a post or other tall solid structure and hang the tarps or shade cloth with shower curtain hangers. This method provides privacy when you want it, but can also be opened up when you don’t want it. Tarps start around five bucks for a 9×12 piece and shade cloth around $65 for an 8×12 foot section. Shower curtain hooks vary in price by how decorative you want them. If you live in a windy area, keep in mind that you may have to anchor the bottom as well.


Source: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/3-privacy-options-you-cant-afford-not-to-have

Fence and Deck Inspections

Keeping an eye on the structure of your deck and/or fencing is important in upkeep if you want the structures to be safe and in tact for a long time.  You can always consult professionals like us to do the job, but this blog post from Pro Referral explains how to do it yourself.  It points out what to look for and how to begin.  Check it out below:

What to Expect When You’re Inspecting: Decks and Fences

Techshed Devops | May 3, 2016

As with any structure exposed to the elements, decks and fences should be inspected for rot, rust and rickety supports. Far too many homeowners never take this simple step. As a result, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors estimates that of the 45 million existing decks in North America, only 40% are completely safe.


Walk your fences and decks once a year or so to look for signs of decay or structural failure, and schedule maintenance accordingly. You can perform this inspection at any time, but I’ve found the best time of year is normally spring.

Spring is when any snows have melted off, but before new plant growth has risen up, giving an excellent view of fence and deck supports that might otherwise be obscured. Spring is also a good time to check decks for structural issues, as most decks fail during the summer, when crowds gather on them to enjoy the weather.

Decks

A deck that’s twelve inches off the ground has very different support and safety concerns than one that’s twelve feet overhead, but the basic issues to watch for are the same. You’re primarily looking for signs of rot, and any structural shortcomings.

Rot

Using a screwdriver or awl, probe the decking material. Wood decks should feel solid when tapped, and splinter when gouged. Rotten wood will easily give way to a probing, and fibers will pull loose without splintering. Keep an eye for holes or small piles of sawdust, which may indicate insect activity. Composite deck materials are resistant to rot or insect activity, but should still be looked over for signs of damage, such as warping or bowing. Damaged structural materials will need to be patched or replaced, depending on how widespread the damage is.

If you do find signs of rot, don’t stop your inspection there. Decks are designed to be able to withstand weather, and they can take getting wet. However, they are not able to be consistently wet over a long time. Look for water sources that don’t allow deck materials to dry out, such as sprinklers, improper grading, or downspouts that keep the decks wet.

On decks, proper flashing is essential to shed water off of wood surfaces and to prevent rot. If the wood surface being protected is pressure-treated, check to see if the flashing is aluminum. Aluminum corrodes when placed in contact with pressure treated wood, so flashing will degrade over time.

Deck Structure

The methodology behind deck structures varies according to the deck material, type of connection to the home, size of the deck, and local ordinances. There are enough variables in that equation that we can’t cover the entire topic in this article, but even a casual inspection can be helpful to identify trouble spots before they become major issues.

As you look over your deck, give the structure a shake. Support posts should look and feel solid. If you sense a ‘wobble’ when you shake them, or if it looks as if a footing is coming out of contact with the ground, then bring in a pro ASAP.

Look for any materials in the deck structure that aren’t designed for exterior use. For example, all fasteners on your deck should be corrosion-resistant. (If you see rust stains around fasteners, take this as a warning sign.) In addition, any wooden posts in contact with soil should be pressure-treated AND rated for ground contact.

Deck hand rails should be about 3’ high, and pass the 4” ball test—a 4” toy ball should not be able to fit between the railings. (In this test, the 4” ball is a stand-in for a toddler’s head.) Your local code requirements may have different requirements for these measurements; if so, follow their guidelines to be sure you’re in compliance.

To check the condition of the deck’s surface, spray it with water. Whether it’s painted, stained, or composite, the water should bead on the surface, rather than soaking into the material.

Lastly, a note about hot tubs. Hot tubs are a popular feature, but unfortunately, many hot tubs are added after the deck construction, and the decks they sit on are not designed to hold their weight. A gallon of water weighs just over eight pounds, so a hot tub holding a couple hundred gallons of water, plus half-dozen people, can easily top the scales at over a ton. That’s like parking a compact car on deck. If you have any doubts about whether your deck can hold that kind of weight, bring in a pro to do a thorough analysis.

Fences

Fence inspections are a little easier to conduct than deck inspections. Walk the fence line with a screwdriver or awl (I like to use a multi-tool for this), as well as a hammer and a spray bottle.

Fence Structure

Look over the fasteners to make sure they are securely seated. If you see any popped nails, now is a good time to give them a tap back into place. If the nail is still loose, try a different angle, longer nail, or different fastener location.

As you walk the fence, reach out and give it a gentle shake from time to time. If any sections feel weak, try to find out if it’s a fastener issue, or something else. Give the boards a poke with the screwdriver or awl, checking to make sure the material is firm.

Examine the fence posts during your walk, as well. Inspect the base of the posts for signs of rot or decay. The most important aspect of fence posts is that they are seated far enough in-ground to be below the frost line for your climate. Look for any posts that are starting to heave up out of the ground. If you see this happening, chances are that those posts will need to be replaced and installed properly.

Fence Surface

If you see any excessive moss or mildew growth, look for the cause. You may find a simple solution, or it may be something you can’t modify—such as a shady run along your neighbor’s home. Clean off the growth, and consider touching up any stain or paint as needed.

Speaking of stain, the best way to check whether the stain on your wood fence needs a touch-up is to spritz it with water from the spray bottle. The spray should sit on the surface in beads. If it soaks into the wood, it’s time to refresh the stain.

I’ve mostly been talking about wood fences so far, but the same techniques apply to metal or composite fencing. Any metal fencing material is designed to withstand the elements, but damage like scrapes or dings can leave them vulnerable. Rust in its early stages can be cleaned off and the fencing can be re-treated with a protective coating. If the fence has lost its structural strength, it’s time to replace the affected section.

A special note: Pool Fences are a separate creature, with concerns beyond simple physical condition. Local requirements vary widely, so you’ll have to check with your local regulatory agency in order to be sure that your pool fence meets all requirements.  Common problem areas include height, railing gaps, gate swing, and latching mechanism.

Hopefully, your decks and fences pass your inspection with flying colors. Take care of any maintenance as needed, and you can look forward to another year of enjoying your yard!


Source: https://blog.proreferral.com/expect-youre-inspecting-decks-fences/

Picket Fence Maintenance

Maintenance on any kind of fence is important if you want it to last a long time.  If you have a picket fence there are things you can do, as pointed out in the article below, that will keep it looking great and doing its job for as long as possible.  Check out the tips below for a simple DIY project.

How to Maintain Your Picket Fence

Having installed the picket fence in the home has already fulfilled the aim of giving an artistic enhancement to the overall appearance of the property. Knowing tips to maintain the picket fence is helpful so that it lasts a long time without extensive repairs being done. Below are the materials needed as well as the instructions on how to maintain your picket fence.

Step 1-Paint Maintenance

If painting is needed on the picket fence, repaint or refresh the paint originally applied to have the fence regain its vibrant color. The original color of paint must be used for the repainting. Brush thinly on the whole fence area if needed with a paint brush or just retouch at some areas only. It is best to always keep an extra can of the paint used as well as paint brushes so these materials are readily available once repainting is needed.

Step 2-Damage Check

During the regular maintenance check on the picket fence, examine thoroughly especially on the fence’s bottom areas. These are the areas that are strongly prone to damage and decay because they are in contact with the ground. If signs of decay or damage are seen, those areas must be immediately cleaned and repaired.

Step 3-Pressure Washing

A good maintenance check on picket fences is cleaning it thoroughly. A way to do this is to pressure wash the fence. With the use of a pressure washing solution that may be mixed using cleaning agents found in the home or a solution that may be bought at home improvement stores, pressure wash the fence using a hose with a hose sprayer attachment. The washing will give the picket fence a glow because it will be cleaned of any dirt or stain that developed over time.

Step 4-Sanding the Wood Picket Fence

Check picket fence for any wood blisters that have stuck out. Wood sticking out may be trimmed using any wood trimmer. A sander may be used to rub the wood to smoothen and level out the surface.

Step 5-Distance Fence from Chemical Source

Since the picket fence is installed in the yard, there are other essentials that are in consideration like the use of some type of pesticides that may be used to treat the garden. It is recommended that a considerable distance be placed between the picket fence and the grass or plant area to protect the fence from the harsh effects of the chemicals.

Step 6-Doing Regular Inspection of the Fence


It is a good practice to regularly check and inspect the picket fence so that any damage or maintenance that needs to be done will be immediately addressed. This routine will prevent further damage to the fence if it exists and it can remain relatively maintenance-free because of the regular inspection that is done.

Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-maintain-your-picket-fence

Automatic Gate Openers

If you choose to have an automatic gate installed on your property you have to think about entry accessories and the kind you want.  There are different types of gate openers, and with advancing technology, there are even ways to open gates with your phone.  Learn about the different gate openers in the article below and decide what would work best for you.

Electric Gate Openers: Remote vs Keypad

Electronic gate openers are a common convenience in gated households. With the help of electric technology and hydraulics an electric gate opener is a luxury thing to have. Nowadays there are various types of electronic gate openers and can also be found with solar power energy. As mentioned before at this day and age there are a lot of models and complex technologies you can choose from. Some examples of which are motion sensors, light sensor, infrared, bump sensor, remote, keypad and even using your own mobile phone to open your garage or gate. In this article we will focus on two main types of open devices, a remote and a keypad.

Remote

This is the most traditional and most common electronic gate opener device used. Obviously with the advancement of technology, remotes have come a long way and improved a lot. Still very much in use, are the push button remote controllers, that is, the battery operated type where there is only two buttons, or in some cases, even one in some cases, being the open and close button. The latter are the most common of remote electronic gate openers.

Radio Frequency or Bluetooth

One type of remote can either work on radio frequencies or on Bluetooth. Today the majority of remotes work on Bluetooth, especially if they don’t need an extensive amount of distance but require a rapid clear response.

Infrared

Another method is infrared. Infrared technology is quiet cheap to build and can last a long time. The down side of infrared technology is that you have to point the remote (which is the transmitter) directly or approximately in line with the receiver which is normally found at the bottom or at the side of the automatic gate.

Security

Today’s remote transmitters are very much secure because they have a strict algorithmic procedure of radio or Bluetooth frequency, so there shouldn’t be any fear regarding security. But that being said, it is always advisable to ask the person you bought it from to ensure peace of mind.

Keypads

An alternative way to open your electric gate or door is by making use of a keypad. When selecting a keypad controlled electronic gate opener you have to keep in mind what type of motor you have installed on your gate or garage door.

Security

A keypad is very secure because it uses a digit password, normally from 3 to 6 digits, to open the gate. It can easily be changed from time to time for more security and there is no risk of loosing your gate opener and risk end up being unable to enter your own home. The more sophisticated and expensive the equipment is, the more secure it will be since it can easily be connected to an alarm.

As you can see there are advantages and disadvantages to whatever technology you choose, but remember that you have to select the most appropriate system for your lifestyle. A keypad is ideal when you need to go out of the house but don’t want to carry a key.

Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/electric-gate-openers-remote-vs-keypad

Vinyl Fence Positives and Negatives

If you have been on the fence (pun intended) about installing a classic looking, new vinyl fence this spring but want more information, then this article will be worth the read!  Much like any other fence material, there are pros and cons to vinyl fencing for various scenarios.  Read the pros and cons described in this article and decide if a vinyl fence is right for your yard!

The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Fencing

By: Amy Jensen

Forget about building, hammering, painting, or lacquering your fence to get the look you desire — vinyl fencing is an easy way to create a beautiful fence around your home without much work on your part. There are many vinyl fencing styles to choose from, from a white picket fence to a stone wall. Vinyl fencing may seem like an easy choice and a dream come true, but before you order the materials for your next fence, make sure you’re aware of all the pros and cons of vinyl fencing before you make your final choice.

The Pros

  • Vinyl fencing looks as if it took a lot of work to build, but is premade and only requires installation.
  • The installation of vinyl fencing is much easier than building a fence.
  • Fencing comes in many designs and colors.
  • Prebuilt gates can be ordered to match your vinyl fencing.
  • Vinyl fencing has a longer lifetime than many wood fences which can fade, crack, and rot.
  • Vinyl fencing is easy to clean and requires almost no maintenance.
  • Many manufacturers have lifetime replacement for their vinyl fencing in the case of cracking, fading, or other types of natural damage.
  • Specific kinds of fencing are designed to keep out sound, while others have very specialized resistance to high wind speeds.

The Cons

  • The cost of vinyl fencing is much higher than the materials used to create a fence out of wood, rock, wire, or cement.
  • Vinyl fencing will not last as long as fencing that is made out of rock or stone, which is very solid and can last generations.
  • Vinyl fences do not have a long lifetime in very sunny climates because too much exposure to sunlight can cause them to crack and crumble.
  • While putting up a vinyl fence does not take much effort, it also does not give you the satisfaction of a heavy duty DIY project, since the fencing is premade.
  • Installing a vinyl fence requires at least two people and a few days to complete.
  • Different styles of fencing have different types of assembly and installation.
  • If a vinyl fence becomes damaged, it can be tricky to repair, depending on the fence style and manufacturing company.
  • To install a vinyl fence, posts must be placed in cement that takes time to dry. Posts cannot be moved after that, so installation must be correct the first time.
  • Vinyl fences are not good for temporary use, due to the posts and concrete. They cannot be moved after they are installed.

Vinyl fencing is great if you have the money to splurge and don’t want use the time and energy required to build your own fence. The money may be worth the effort, as it takes a lot of work to keep a fence in nice condition. If you really want to create a fence you can be proud of, you may want to build a fence the old-fashioned way with materials from your local hardware store.


Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/the-pros-and-cons-of-vinyl-siding


Decorating Your Fence

Fences can easily blend in to your outdoor space.  A lot of people want their yards to look great and inviting so they add decor to a fence or that compliments the fence.  If you have been thinking about doing this this spring to enjoy in the warmer months use the ideas in the article below.  At least one should stand out to you.

9 Tips for Decorating a Wood Fence

If you have a wood fence, you already know that it adds charm and curb appeal of your home. For added interest, you can also decorate the fence. Here are 9 tips for decorating a wood fence.

1 – Gates and Doors

You can use an old wooden door instead of a traditional gate in a privacy fence. It gives the illusion of a space beyond full of whimsy. If you have a shorter fence, consider using an ornamental metal gate for a sophisticated welcome.

2 – Flower Baskets

Hang flower baskets or boxes around the perimeter of the fence with bright flowing flowers. You can use any kind of containers for this project as long as you have holes in the bottoms for drainage. Incorporate some hanging plants in it for a waterfall effect.

3 – Climbing Plants and Flowers

Using string, attach one end in a stake in the ground, and the other end at the top of the fence. You can criss-cross the string or just hang it up and down. Plant climbing flowers such as morning glories, clematis, and ivy, which will grow up the string and cover your wood fence in spectacular color.

4 – Metal Finials

Add finials to the top of your wood fence for a regal look. They are available in different patterns and metals. This looks especially nice on a fence with scalloped edges on the top.

5 – Year Round Wreaths

Hang several wreaths around your wood fence in a material that will last year round in most climates, like grapevine. Leave them plain for a natural look, or add flowers and vines for additional color. You can even decorate them for holidays by adding different colors of bows, Spring flowers, hearts, battery powered lights, or pine.

6 – Iron Wall Hangings With Candles

Adding iron wall hangings that hold candles will give your wood fence ambiance at night. You can place citronella candles in the wall hangings as well, which will keep bugs at bay when you are enjoying time outdoors in the evenings.

7 – Bird Houses

If you love to watch the birds, hang several on your fence. You can paint them in bright, decorative designs to match your porch or patio. Use bird houses for different types of birds, and keep them filled with food. If bird watching is not your thing, plant a butterfly garden along the fence with plants that grow tall and produce nectar such as day lilies, heliotrope and goldenrod.

8 –  Add a Beautiful Arbor

You can attach an arbor to your fence. They are available pre-made in home improvement stores. After installation, you can plant grapes, flowers or ivy, to grow up the arbor. You can also add a seat in the center of the arbor for a little nook to read or just relax.

9 – Flag Bunting

Hang flag bunting around the center or the top of your fence. You have many choices in designs and color in departments stores or online. You can also change it out for Independence Day, using red, white and blue, or other holidays.

Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/9-tips-for-decorating-a-wood-fence

A Facelift for Wooden Gates

If you have a gate as a part of your wooden fence it might require more maintenance than the rest of the fence because it has more components.  There are tips in the article below from doityourself.com that can guide you through fixing worn down parts of the gate.  Read on if you need this guidance.

Solutions for Sagging Wooden Gates

Wooden gates are obviously an important part of your wooden fence, but because they are the most used part of the fence, and hopefully the only section that moves, they are usually the first part of the structure to suffer wear and tear. If you notice your wooden gates sagging or otherwise not fitting properly with the rest of the fence, consider the following points to be able to troubleshoot and fix the problem.


Screws

If you notice your wooden gates are sinking or crooked, first inspect the screws holding the hinges in place. Chances are some of the screws are either missing or have worked themselves out partly. Tighten up the screws and then monitor them over the next few weeks. If you notice the screws falling out again, choose different screws, maybe larger ones, or add a nut to keep them in place.

Hinges

Your wooden gates could be sagging because the hinges themselves are broken or worn out from too much use. If changing the screws does not seem to straighten out the gates, it may be time to replace the hinges themselves. Go for more robust hinges that will last longer than the previous ones and use heavy-duty screws or bolts to keep them in place.

Posts

The wooden gates will be attached to posts, which generally should be bigger and sturdier than the rest of the fence posts. Sometimes, the gates will sag, sink or become crooked because the posts are no longer straight. To fix the gate posts, first remove the gates and then either remove the posts to re-set them completely, or simply push them into a vertical position. To reinforce the posts, you can pile dirt or rocks around them or even pour some cement to make sure they stay where you put them. Re-attach your gates, and they should no longer be sagging.

Braces

If your wooden gates have no kind of extra support, they could sag no matter how straight the posts are or how tough the hinges are that hold them to the rest of the fence. If your wooden gates are simple solid pieces of wood or only have thin decorative wooden beams, you’ll need to add some kind of bracing or support. Do this by attaching sturdy pieces of wood to the back of your gates, either a single piece diagonally, three pieces in a “Z” shape or two pieces in an “X”. If you elect to add a single diagonal support, make sure you attach it from the bottom hinge at the gate post up to the opposite side of the gate.

Tension Rod

Another fairly straightforward way to secure your sagging wooden gates is to attach a tension rod to each gate. This works similarly to a diagonal wooden brace, but is made of cable and uses tension to hold the gates straight. There is a turnbuckle in the middle of the cable which you can tighten to increase the tension if needed. These turnbuckle tension rods are available in most home improvement stores.

Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/solutions-for-sagging-wooden-gates

Keep Your Wooden Fence Looking Great

With time, wooden fences can wear down with exposure to the elements.  The good news is that there are easy tasks you can do to improve the appearance and structure of the fence.  Read the article below from doityourself.com to learn more about this.

Wood Fence Maintenance

A wood fence is a great way to keep your property private. However, the nature of the wood means it’s not indestructible. It needs to be regularly maintained. This does take some work, although if performed on a regular basis, it needn’t take up too much time. The tasks are very simple.

Step 1 – Pickets

Check all the pickets on the fence to make sure no nails have come out or that none of them have started to rot. Hammer in any loose nails or replace with new ones. Where a picket is rotting or broken, put in a new one. Where you have sectional fencing, test each of the sections to check that it’s secure. If any are leaning, you’ll need to ensure they’re replaced in the ground properly so they’re straight. 

Step 2 – Cleaning

Where there’s mildew on any sections of the fence, you’ll need to clean it off. You can use a purchased mildew cleaner for the job or go with soap and water and a scrub brush. Hose the area down afterward with clean water.

Periodically, you should also scrub the entire fence with soap and water to remove all the dirt and grime that’s built up. This will help the fence last longer. Be aware that you will always need to inspect the area where the wood fence meets the ground to check for any signs of rot. Rinse it clean with cold water from the hose. If you have one within range, you can also use a pressure washer on the wood fence.

Step 3 – Painting

Every few years, your wood fence will need to be repainted or stained. You can do this with a roller, a brush or a paint sprayer, but be aware that there can be problems using a sprayer, as there will inevitably be overspray. You can place cardboard behind the fence and above it, but the simpler solution will be to go with the brush or roller, as this will allow you to get into all the nooks and crannies of the fence, especially down where the fence meets the ground.

Put on two thin coats of paint or stain and give the first ample time to dry before you apply the second. If you haven’t used paint or stain on the fence, you should use sealer, and this should be reapplied every year to give the most effective protection. Don’t skimp on the water seal. Buy the best you can afford to give really good protection for the wood fence.

Step 4 – Caulk

Using caulk helps with wood fence maintenance. Every year, you should put caulk between the wood fence and concrete fence posts. This will keep out the moisture and help give the wood fence a much longer life. By performing all these tasks, you can greatly extend the life of your wood fence and keep it looking good for as long as it lasts.

Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/wood-fence-maintenance

Snow Fences

There is another kind of fence you have probably seen throughout the winter that serves a pretty important purpose. They are called a snow fences, and they are sometimes bright orange. They stop snow from blowing into areas where it could be hazard. Snow fences can be purchased at most hardware and home supply stores (like Home Depot) and can be set up by anyone. If you have ever been curious about the purpose of snow fences, read the article below.

Snow Fence

Big piles of snow: inconvenience or death hazard?
Well, both really. Blowing snow can get onto roads and property that
could lead to a ton of shoveling, or at worst an auto accident or a
snowing in of a log cabin or a home.

How Does A Snow Fence Work?
Luckily there is a
safe and easy way to divert the flow of snow that uses simple physics.
No chemicals, no contractors and absolutely no shovels. Snow fences are
extremely easy to install and you can use just about any material you
want, as long as it is sturdy enough to stand up to the elements in your
area.

How a snow fence works is remarkably simple. Whenever the wind blows
over a fence or wall, it forms an eddy current behind that wall.

An eddy current is a rolling wind current that flows downward and
back to the back side of the fence. Therefore it causes fast and slow
places to develop in the wind. It makes a drift form in front of the
fence on the windward side.

This process empties most of the air of snow before it can cross
road. It also fascilitates fast air to form, as it is drawn downward, a
little farther away so that it blows the snow away from that entire
area.

The snow fence relies on the fact that the wind that deposits the
material you want to control directly in the path of the other snow you
want to control, thus reinforing the barrier.

In Canada, the winter snows blow mostly from one direction, west. So
it is easy to predict where to build the snow fence. While in the
winter we all know that it seems like snow flies in every direction, it
will only bring in small particles. Any other snow accumulation is
inconsequential.

Snow fences really don’t stop snow from blowing across the road or on
top of your home, they simply pile it along-side and like a leaf blower
they blow any snow off the road.

Hopefully this can help you understand the function of a snow fence.
This is quite similar to the building of groins or jetties along the sea
coast to control the deposition of sand on beaches and harbors.

Article sourced from: http://www.repair-home.com/fences/snow-fence.html