A common issue with garden fence panels is the development of mould, algae, fungi or mildew. This is more common with garden fences situated in shaded or damp conditions and can eventually result in wood rot. So how do you protect fence panels and posts to keep them looking good and protected for longer?
Why clean mould and algae from garden fence panels?
In short, apart from looking unsightly, any type of biological growth that forms on wooden fence panels will eventually promote wood rot and decay, shortening the life of fence panels and posts. Using a dedicated fungicidal wash or mould and mildew cleaner will not only remove and clean the growth from the wood, but will also kill off any active or dormant mould spores in the surface grain of the timber, therefore helping to prevent re-growth.
If fence panels are cleaned off without using a mould and mildew cleaner or fungicidal wash, and then painted with a fence paint colour, fence stain or oil-based fence treatment, mould and algae will simply grow back in a short period of time, once again spoiling the appearance of the fence.
Recommended wood and fence cleaners
- Pro-Kleen Spray and Walk Away Green Mould and Algae Killer: Pro-Kleen is a super powerful outdoor green mould and algae removing solution – the intense cleaning fluid revives patio, decking, fencing, outdoor furniture, and more and is safe for children and pets once dry!
- Dirtbusters Spray Today Gone Tomorrow: Patio Decking Fence Drive Cleaner extra strength formula which removes Mould Mildew Moss Algae Lichen Killer Green Growth Remover
Once treated, fence panels and posts can be re-treated with a clear or coloured fence preservative to prevent future instances of mould, algae, wood rot and insect attack. If the fence is to be treated with a water-based garden or fence paint or fence stain, it’s important that any wood preservative used does not contain wax, oil or silicon. Wood preservers that contain wax or silicon will repel any water-based treatment and prevent it from bonding with the wood.
For further information and details of recommended wood preservers suitable for garden fences, see our fence preservers page.
Treating new fence panels
New fence panels should also be treated with a mould and mildew cleaner of fungicidal wash as there is no way of knowing how they have been stored and if they have been damp or wet at any time. Because of this, mould and algae spores can be present on delivery of the fence. Once treated with a mould and mildew treatment, treat the fence panels with a fence preserver to protect against future biological threats. Finally treat the panels with your choice of oil-based fence treatment, fence paint or fence stain. This will give the best possible protection to garden fences by protecting them from weathering, water ingress, mould, algae, insect attack and mould. This process is still ideal and recommended for panels and posts that have been pre-treated or tanalised to provide the best possible protection.
Old fence panels
Old wooden fence panels and posts that have black or green areas should be treated with the same mould and mildew cleaners listed above or an alternative Mould and Mildew cleaner. For garden fences that have a large surface build up of mould or algae, use a stiff brush, broom or scraper to remove as much surface matter as possible before treating. Heavily soiled fence panels may require a second treatment to fully remove any biological growth.
How to clean wooden fence panels
- Ensure that wooden fence panels and posts are dry
- Scrub with a stiff broom, brush or scraper to remove any surface mould, algae or other biological growth
- Treat the affected panels with a suitable fungicidal wash or mould and mildew cleaner
- Repeat the above if the fence panels are heavily soiled
- Once fully dry, apply 2 coats of an exterior wood preservative
- Allow the preservative to dry fully in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions on the tin
- Apply 2 coats of an exterior wood oil or decking oil, clear or coloured for maximum protection
Not sure which wood preservative or wood oil to use on garden fence panels and posts? See our guide on garden fence preservers and garden fence oils.
For information and advice on other garden fence treatments click here.