If you have a fence that you’ve painted gray, or that is made from a natural or synthetic material colored gray, then your fence is supposed to be gray. If it is currently gray and it was not originally gray, you need to clean your fence. It’s that simple.
Why Your Fence is Now Gray
Fences can turn gray for a number of reasons. The most obvious and common is dirt, bits of dirt and leaf debris stick to the fence because the wind has kicked them up or carried them to the surface of the fence. Eventually, the fence develops this grayish sheen that grows more noticeable as the months go by. However, the change can be so gradual that you don’t realize it’s happening until you look over one day and notice that your fence now looks like it’s another color.
Another reason a wood fence, specifically, might turn gray has to do with UV exposure. The sun’s ultraviolet rays damage the top cells of the wood, turning the surface grayish. However, under that gray layer lies a normal wood color, and all you need to do is take that top gray layer off.
Removing the Gray and Restoring the Fence
The easiest way to clean off all the dirt or UV-damaged wood is to have the fence pressure-washed. A high-pressure stream of water is released at the fence and blasts off the top layer of contaminants (be that dust or the top layer of cells on a wood fence) without damaging the structure. This makes white vinyl fences look shiny and new, and wood fences regain that lustrous shade that they had fresh out of the factory.
Technically you can rent a pressure-washing machine and attempt to do this yourself. However, if you haven’t used a pressure-washing machine before, you could accidentally set the pressure too high and end up blasting through more of the fence’s layers than you had intended. Or you could miss spots, especially in between fence pickets.
A better idea is to hire a company like ProClean to do the work. The technicians will know what pressure will be perfect for your fence, and they’ll remember to wash areas you might have forgotten exist, such as the underside of a backer rail running along a series of pickets. They can also spot damage that isn’t cleanable; for example, if you try to clean your wood fence and see a stubborn dirty area, you might try blasting that extra hard and end up damaging the fence. Meanwhile, a pressure-washing technician might realize that the dirty area is due to a more serious problem, and they can alert you to the need for more repair.
When you have a company come out and pressure-wash a fence to restore it after it’s been gray for years, you want to trust that you’ll get quality work from a company with excellent customer service.