Gardens

How to Care for Your Wooden Lattice

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Having a wooden lattice around your backyard creates privacy for the family and gives your home a beautiful look. It is a relatively inexpensive fence, and quite easy to maintain. Even treated and quality wood, needs to be taken care of. If not, it degrades over time and the poor condition of your fence reduces the value of your home.

Due to water, sun light exposure, mold, mildew, algae and fungus, your wooden lattice can deteriorate rapidly. Even elements like contamination of food, dirt and atmospheric pollution are working to destroy it. Apart from that, the wooden lattice is also exposed to damage by shovels and other activities carried around it.

Wooden fences need regular maintenance, repairing, cleaning and staining or painting. By following these instructions, you will keep your wooden lattice in optimum condition.

Tools and Material Needed:

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Shovel
  • Level or Post Square
  • Sledgehammer
  • Pressure Washer
  • Lattice slats or panels
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Filler
  • Primer/Sealer
  • Staining or Paint
  • Paintbrushes and Rollers
  • Bleach

Step 1 - Maintenance and Repair

With routine check-ups, you avoid the wood degrading too much, and the upkeep of your fence will be made easier. Start by repairing any damage on the exterior surface. Inspect and replace, if needed, any broken or missing lattice, split wood and other parts. If the fence is wobbly or no longer in level, set it back in place. If you have premature failure of the posts, install steel posts on the construction of your fence. Check, and if needed, rearrange the gate. Make sure that it does not sag, stick or slip out of alignment.

Step 2 - Cleaning

Clean away any dirt with a pressure washer. Allow the fence to dry before scraping off any loose paint. Lightly sand the wood to even the surface. This is an important process before staining, since it helps the pores to absorb the paint better. Another way to clean the wood before staining is to use a combination of water and chemicals like chlorine bleach. After, rinse with water to remove all residue.

Step 3 - Apply the Sealer

To protect the lattice wood, use a good quality primer to seal it properly. Never try to stain or paint a raw, unpainted wooden fence without priming it first. Work around all surfaces and crevices. There are several types of sealants, including, open finishes (least effective against elements), closed finishes (water resistant), and Microporous (considered to be the best option). When you buy a sealer, get one with good quality, high resin content.

Step 4 - Staining or Painting

Finally, stain or paint your fence. Make sure that you buy a very good exterior paint, in at least a semi-gloss finish. It is up to you whether you choose to work with a roller or a paint brush. Another faster way to finish off painting is by using a sprayer, but this applicator may cause a lot of mess. Cover or remove anything near the fence before painting. Avoid rainy days, so you have enough time until the paint dries completely.

The process of staining lattice properly requires patience and precision. Uniformity on your wooden lattice guarantees attractiveness, while regular maintenance will put your mind at rest for unnecessary hard work and expenses in the near future.

Photo copyright Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org)

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