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4 Essential Maintenance Tasks for a Wrought Iron Fence

Wrought Iron Fence
Wrought iron is a gorgeous fencing option that can significantly increase your home's value. What's more, wrought iron fencing is very strong and durable. That said, just like any other fencing, you do need to maintain wrought iron to keep it looking fresh. Below are four maintenance tasks you should perform on your wrought iron fence.

Wash the Fence

All fences require some sort of cleaning. In the case of wrought iron, you'll simply need to hand-wash it. You should clean your fence at least once a year, or any time you notice it's gotten particularly dirty.

To wash your fence, make a solution of warm water and dish soap in a bucket - you don't want an abrasive cleanser as this can scratch the surface of the fence. Use a large, soft sponge to wash the fence. If you need to use a brush to remove bird droppings and grime, don't choose one with especially stiff bristles.

After soaping up the fence, rinse all the suds away with a hose. Make sure you completely rinse away the soap because lingering residue can appear as discoloration. You want your wrought iron to dry thoroughly. The sun and air should be sufficient to that end. However, you might give any hidden corners a once-over with a towel so they don't stay damp.

Look for Scratches or Rust

Any fence you have installed needs to be inspected annually. When it comes to wrought iron, you're on the lookout for scratches in particular. While iron isn't especially prone to scratching, it is a little softer steel. Therefore, make sure you give your fence a good once-over.

This inspection is important because scratches can cut through the coating on the exterior of the tubes of iron. The coating is what prevents your wrought iron fence from rusting, and any chinks in that armor can affect its efficacy.

Speaking of, you also want to watch out for any direct signs of rusting. Upgrades in manufacturing have significantly minimized the rust potential of the material. However, you want to stop any corrosion before it has a chance to affect the structure of the fence itself.

Watch for Signs of Fracture

The fact that wrought iron is a little softer than steel actually increases some of its durability. The softer material can better resist shocks and vibration, say, from large trucks passing by. However, the iron can start to fracture with repeated shocks.

Luckily, the material "announces" that its structural integrity has been compromised. You might see rust starting to form as the protective coating falls away. You may even see small cracks. If you start to see these signs, have the affected panel replaced before it pulls on the adjacent panels and compromises their structural integrity.

Keep Plants Away From the Fencing

As always, one of the best maintenance tips is to prevent damage from occurring in the first place. Plants draped over fencing creates a gorgeous effect - from afar. Unfortunately, the plants can trap moisture under their foliage, which promotes corrosion. A weighty plant can even affect the structure, though this is less likely with wrought iron than with vinyl.

Therefore, your best bet for maintaining your wrought iron fence is to keep plant life away from it. Watch what's growing at the base of your fence, and cut it back so the vegetation doesn't climb up the posts or rails. Likewise, don't intentionally train a plant over your fencing. A better option is to install a nearby trellis constructed for that use. You'll get the same effect without the fence damage.

When you are cutting back vegetation, be careful with your weed whacker. Hitting the base of the fence with blades isn't good for the machine or the fencing.

With just a little due diligence and maintenance, your wrought iron fence can last a lifetime. Let Sam's Fence help with all your fencing projects.