Let’s talk about timber fences. Popular, neat, durable, customisable, and affordable. For these reasons and more, timber is a popular choice for residential fencing all across the country and including the Northern Beaches. But no matter how popular timber is for fencing, many homeowners forget that timber is not unsusceptible to damage or deterioration and requires certain factors to be able to pass the test of time in tip-top shape. Get the most out of your investment in a timber fence by following the below tips.

Regularly clean your timber fence

As simple as it may sound, regular cleaning of a timber fence can help prevent costly problems later on. Dirt, moss, and mold can build up over time, making it essential to keep your fence clean to prevent the protective, weatherproof layers from deteriorating which therefore leaves the timber vulnerable to weathering. Deep cleaning should be carried out every two or three years with a light cleaning at least once a year. If the dirt and moss are not removed, this can cause the wood to rot. Regular cleaning will extend the life of your timber fence and is especially important if you have a shady, leafy block that is in the perfect condition for moss to grow.

using power washer fencing northern beaches

Moss and mildew can damage your fence and aesthetically damage the timber. Use a plastic bristle brush to scrub the moss or mildew. After this, rinse off with a garden hose or better yet, a high-pressure hose will be much more effective and quicker. Once you have done this, you can apply a fresh coat of paint and sealant if required.

If you have a timber fence that is already painted, you may be able to use a pressure washer to clean it without needing to repaint it. These powerful devices are usually designed for outdoor cleaning and can be used to remove dirt from a fence using a powerful jet of water. You can also use a garden hose to clean the fence. Remember to wear protective gear while using the power washer to prevent flaking paint or dirt from getting in your eyes, and be sure to protect plants from the water as delicate varieties may not be able to withstand the force. Pressure washing can damage the wooden fence, so you need to be careful not to damage the timber by standing an adequate distance from the fence according to the manual. Regular cleaning can help keep the fence looking new as well as protect the integrity of the timber. 

Choose treated timber for your palings

When choosing timber for your fence, the type of wood you choose will determine how long your timber fence will last. Different types of wood have different properties and can withstand different types of weather. Choose a wood that resists rotting and decay so that your fence will last for many years. Some types of wood are especially susceptible to insects, such as termites, and you should look for wood that is treated as a non-negotiable. This is absolutely crucial for timber sleeper retaining walls, the timber must be designed for this purpose to be able to withstand the elements and the weight of the soil it is providing support for.

That being said, treated timber eliminates the risk of needing more constant maintenance and is the best protection for your fence. One advantage of using treated timber is its resistance to moisture and insects. When used in combination with other materials, pressure-treated timber reduces the risk of insects penetrating the structure and causing damage, and increasing its lifespan significantly. The chemicals used in the treatment process make it toxic to these insects. Additionally, some varieties of treated timber are also fire-resistant which is important to consider if you live in leafy suburbs or on acreage. 

Nurture your fence for the first six months

Because of our unpredictable hot and cold climate here in Sydney, timber fences are prone to splitting or warping due to temperature changes and humidity levels, especially in the first few months after installation. To combat wood splitting and warping in dry months, due to temperature fluctuations, especially in summer, spray water with a hose on the timber to add moisture to prevent the wood from drying out. This process is recommended to be done every few days for the first six months of your newly installed timber fence. Consider also the sealant that is added to protect the timber, it needs to be climate appropriate.

Look for a sealant that will protect your fence from rotting and damage. The best timber fence stain is an exterior semi-transparent oil stain, which will seal the wood and preserve its natural color of the wood. These stains have mildewcide and ultraviolet inhibitors, so they are a great option for protecting your timber fence. However, you must ensure that the timber is completely dry before applying the stain. You can purchase test samples of these stains at paint stores so that you can test them first.


Timber has always been a favourite material for fencing in Australia. From high-end, stunning fences to good neighbour fencing, timber is versatile, durable, affordable, and very customisable. Timber like any type of material is not unsusceptible to deterioration therefore it needs to be made of treated timber, requires regular cleaning, staining and sealing and nurturing in the first few months post-installation to get the best longevity and return on your investment into your new timber fence. 
Consult the best timber fencing contractor in the Northern Beaches today!

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