How To Keep Your Aluminum Fence Looking Good All Year Long

If you adore the appearance of quaint wrought iron fences but aren't ready to spring for the expense of having one installed, aluminum fencing may be your best alternative. These fences look very similar to wrought iron but have a lower cost and even require less maintenance, too. As a rule, aluminum fences need to be cleaned once a year to keep them looking presentable, but there are other things you can do to keep them looking good all year. Here's what you need to do to keep your aluminum fence clean and presentable.

Check the fence periodically for any signs of dirt or debris. While some debris can be brushed or swept away, some types of debris require washing to remove the soiled areas. Follow these tips for spot cleaning your fence as needed.

  • Debris that requires brushing or sweeping: Spiders can weave webs that catch leaves and other plant material, making the fence look old and uncared for. Other nesting insects may also set up residence in out-of-way areas on your fence. Get in the habit of checking your fence for webs or insect nests during the summer months. Sweep the webs or nests away with an old broom or duster.
  • Debris that requires washing: Dirt and debris from yard work or back splash from heavy rains can leave your fence spotted with mud, while mowing can leave it covered with bits of grass and other plant material. Birds that perch on the top of your fence, or nest in a tree above the fence, may also leave messy droppings behind. You can typically remove light soil with a spray of your garden hose. If a forceful spray from the hose isn't enough, wash the spot with soapy water and rinse it with the hose. Hint: Spray the fence down as soon as the soil appears and you won't need to deal with dried-on mud or stuck-on bits of grass. 

Trim the grass and weeds along the fence regularly. You can either do this by hand or with a weed eater or trimmer. Alternately, you can prepare the soil along the fence and plant flowers in a fence row garden. Flowers like daisies, cosmos and zinnias are a nice touch, but you may prefer to plant wildflowers or colorful perennials along the fence to give it a more down-home feel. You will need to weed them, of course, but this often requires less time and effort than trimming the grass along the fence every time you mow the lawn.

Wash the entire fence once a year. This may sound like a chore, but it is really quite easy and doesn't take a lot of time. Here's how.

  1. Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water. You can use soap designed for washing your car or use a mild dish detergent. 
  2. Wipe away spider webs or other insect nests before you begin washing the fence.
  3. Scrub down dirty areas with a large sponge or a soft bristled brush. Most areas won't need scrubbing, but if you notice grass stains, mud spatters or even spotting that looks like rust (this is likely from the iron deposits in your water that has over-sprayed from the sprinkler or hose), give those areas extra attention.
  4. Rinse away the soapy water with clean water from your garden hose. Inadequate rinsing may leave behind soap spots.
  5. Allow the fence to air dry in the sun.

Make cleaning the fence part of your spring cleaning routine, and you can have a fence that looks great, even if it is not wrought iron. For more information about fencing options and how to maintain them, contact a local fencing company like Affordable Fence & Screen