As a homeowner, repair and maintenance of your home can often seem like a full time job. There are so many things that can go wrong and require expensive updates. It’s tough to know how much to spend on certain things because of so much misinformation out there.
One of the questions we receive from our clients is whether or not to spend extra money on staining a new fence. Wood fence installations can potentially be costly and knowing that just a few years down the road you might be looking at replacing it again (thank you Texas sun!), do you really need to spend even more staining it?
Not all woods used for fences, like cedar or redwood, necessarily need to have a wood stain for longevity as they already have a natural resistance to weathering and decay. Pine or fir woods, however, definitely benefit from the added protection of wood stain.
Applying a wood stain and sealant to your fence provides protection from moisture, UV rays, and other elements that can cause damage to the wood. It also enhances the natural beauty of wood, deepening its color or changing it to match your surroundings. And let’s be honest, you want your fence to look good!
How Long Does Wood Stain Prolong the Life of My Fence?
When your fence has additional protection from UV rays, moisture, and more elements from wood stain and sealer, it can prolong the life of your fence by years or even decades. What?!
Yes, possibly decades! Especially if you apply it every few years with higher quality wood stain, providing better protection and durability.
The harshness of the Texas sun and high humidity are tough on …everything we know… but especially wood. Adding a wood stain to your fence will protect it. But how does it protect it?
What Type of Wood Stain Should I Use?
With so many choices out in the market, its hard to know which one to choose! Using a regular wood stain for you fence will definitely extend the life of your fence. But if you are looking to get the longest life out of your investment (and who isn’t?), a high-performance wood stain like Baker’s Gray-Away Stain and Seal from Texas Wood Products is the way to go.
This is our go-to product when staining and protecting freshly installed fences for our clients. It has an enhanced resistance to UV rays, moisture, mold, mildew, and fading because it is formulated to penetrate deeper into the wood fibers.
This provides longer-lasting protection against moisture, which can prevent issues like rot, warping, or cracking of the wood. It also enhance the stain’s ability to resist fading.
How Does Wood Stain Work to Protect My Fence?
Wood stain consists of pigments, solvents, binders, and addictive that work together to penetrate deep into the porous surface of wood.
The oil-based solvent of a wood stain helps carry the pigment and binders into the open pores and capillaries of the wood, bonding with the fibers, rather than forming a surface film like paint.
The binders hold the pigment together and adhere them to the wood surface. The stain’s solvent then evaporates, leaving behind the color, binders, and additives.
The additives contained in high-performance wood stain provide additional long-term fence protection. These can include:
- Moisture Resistance
Wood stain contains binders and resins that help seal the wood fibers, reducing its ability to absorb moisture. This helps to minimize the risk of water damage, such as warping, cracking, and rotting. By creating a barrier on the surface of the wood, stain helps to repel water and prevent it from penetrating deep into the wood structure.
- UV Protection
Many wood stains incorporate UV inhibitors or absorbers that help to protect the wood from the damaging effects of sunlight. UV rays can cause the wood to fade, discolor, and deteriorate over time. Stains with UV protection help to block or absorb these rays, reducing the impact on the wood and extending its lifespan.
- Fungal and Mildew Resistance
Some wood stains include additives that inhibit the growth of fungi, mold, and mildew. These organisms can thrive in moist environments and contribute to the decay and discoloration of wood. Stains with mildewcides help to prevent the growth of these harmful organisms, keeping your fence looking clean and healthy.
- Weather Protection
Wood stain forms a protective layer on the surface of the wood, shielding it from the effects of various weather conditions, including rain, snow, and temperature fluctuations. This protection helps to reduce the risk of cracking, splitting, and other weather-related damage.
- Enhanced Durability
The binders and resins present in wood stain help to strengthen and reinforce the wood surface. This can improve the overall durability and resistance of the fence to everyday wear and tear.
Who would have thought there were so many things that go into a fence wood stain?
Do Different Wood Color Stains Fade Faster?
Is the color choice really going to make that much of a difference? Yes, it can!
Darker colors like deep browns and blacks resist fading better than lighter or vibrant shades. They absorb more UV radiation, preventing it from penetrating into the wood fibers and causing color degradation. They tend to have a higher color pigment concentration and penetrate deeper, providing a more thorough color penetration.
How Often Should I Reapply Wood Stain to my Fence?
The type of wood, the quality of stain, and exposure to elements all work together to help determine how often you should reapply wood stain to your fence. Softer woods, like pine, will need more frequent applications when compared to more resistant woods like cedar.
Regularly inspect your fence for signs of fading, peeling, or discoloration. When you start to see signs of wear or damage, it is probably time to reapply.
In our experience, we find that reapplying wood stain to a fence every 2 to 5 years is what works best to preserve the appearance and lifespan of your fence.
We hope that we have been able to give you clarity regarding the question, “Do I need to stain my wood fence?”
While we absolutely respect any decision you make regarding whether to stain your new fence, we can tell you from experience, it will extend the life of your fence. Even if it’s only stained once when we build it for you!
If you decide to stain your fence, know that we locally source our fence wood stain from Texas Wood Products. You can rest assured that it hasn’t been sitting for years gathering dust before making it onto your fence. We only use products that make us look good, after all!