Wooden fencing has a classic look and traditional charm unlike any other. But like with any outdoor natural materials, they can see their fair share of unpredictable conditions to endure and damages that may need repairing. A huge problem that many wood fences deal with is turning green.
While mostly cosmetic, this can sometimes be an indication that serious damage is occurring within the surface of your fencing boards. It’s important to understand the signs of damage and when to make necessary repairs or maintenance to uphold the health of your outdoor structures.
What Causes Green Coloring?
In short, the fencing turns green due to green algae, mold, or mildew growing on the fence’s surface.
Since wood retains water, it can become a breeding ground for microorganisms to grow and spread rapidly. This is especially apparent for fencing located in dark and damp areas. Since sunlight can dry out the fencing and kill organisms off before spreading, this is typically not a problem for fencing located in dry and hot areas.
Green algae is a fungus that grows on shaded, moist surfaces. Generally speaking, it is safe to humans and more of a cosmetic inconvenience than anything. It’s hard to avoid this green coloring if you live somewhere with ample rain or humidity. The best way to get rid of it is by spotting it and cleaning it off early before it spreads to the entirety of the fence boards.
Mold is another common occurrence on fencing that can cause a green color to appear. Mold is much more difficult to remove than algae and may cause damage to the wood if left untreated for too long. If you live in an area prone to mold growth, be on the lookout for any signs of damage on your fence boards. Mold spreads quickly and can cause irreparable damage in a short amount of time is left to its own devices.
Mildew is similar to mold, but generally more mild. While mildew usually will not damage the structural integrity of the wood boards, it can spread and get worse over time if not maintained. While not as harmless as green algae and not as harmful as mold, mildew is the in-between point to be careful of but not fearful. Do what you can to prevent it from spreading and it should not do too much damage.
What Can I Do To Remove And Prevent It?
The best offense is a good defense. When it comes to preventing your fence boards from turning green, the best measure you can take is checking on your materials from time to time to ensure no damage of any form is occurring. It’s best to spot it early if any green has presented itself and clean it off as needed before spreading takes place.
Another great way to prevent fencing from turning green is by applying stain or seal every 6-months to a year to ensure the surface of the wood is entirely protected from water. Since water tends to be the main source of the green coloring, it’s one of the main focuses homeowners should take to prevent damage.
Other preventative measures that can take place are power washing the surface of the fence occasionally, removing plants or debris falling near its surface, and making small repairs as needed before they become worse issues.
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