Deciding Whether to Stain or Seal Your Fence

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Should you stain a fence or call in professional fence sealing? It’s a decision that homeowners wrestle with nearly every day. The fence around your home has many purposes and you want to help preserve the look and functionality of the wood to keep your fence from aging prematurely. While you may be wondering if stain or seal is best, that means you have all but ruled out painting the fence.

Painting is a good option but it requires a lot more upkeep and maintenance than staining or sealing. Depending on the amount of wear and tear your fence receives you could be repainting the fence on an annual basis. That sounds like a lot of work and most homeowners would rather have a beautiful fence without all of the hassle.

So that leaves sealing or staining. But which is best for your particular situation? Let’s compare these two options so you can decide for yourself. You won’t want to completely ignore your fence after you’ve applied one or the other, but you won’t have the same breakdown in appearances that paint can experience in a relatively short period of time.

Stain Your Fence

Fading is something you need to be worried about no matter what kind of covering you apply to your fence. When you stain a fence, you’re giving it a whole new look but you’re also taking important steps for ensuring that your stain remains in place for the long-term. Stain lasts a lot longer than paint and while stain does cost more than sealant or paint, it’s an investment in the aesthetic of your fence.

Stain won’t peel off nor will it start to show signs of cracking. You also won’t have a lot of preparation work for reapplying the stain or, should you decide to paint at some point, placing a coat or two on the surface instead. You just need to power wash the surface to clear the stain away and you have a fresh fence to work on.

Seal Your Fence

This is the option to choose when you want a natural appearance for your fence. Stains can come in different colors and shades so you are changing the aesthetic of the surface when you go that route. But with sealants, you’re going with a clear option so the natural colors and grain of the wood can shine through.

The thing to keep in mind when you go with sealant over stain is that you will need to check the integrity of the material every once a year. You may not to reapply it, but you do want to ensure that your sealant is able to retain its resilience. The way to do that is by splashing some water on the fence, if you notice that the water beads up then your sealant is still in great shape.

However, if you notice the water being absorbed by the wood, the sealant has weakened or even been worn away and your wood is no longer being protected.

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