How to Maintain your Bamboo Fence
Keeping your bamboo fencing looking good is relatively easy. The Top 3 things to do are:
- Inspect the whole of the fence – the surface, the poles, screws or other attachments, the uprights, etc.
- Clean off debris, mould and dirt at least once a year, but ideally once in spring and again as you head into autumn. [See below for further detail]
- Apply wood preservative.
WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN TO MY FENCE AFTER A YEAR OR SO?
These are possible issues you might encounter:
- Sudden mould growth – black or greyish spotting
- Hairline cracks – usually between nodes (joins)
- Fading of the out skin colour – can occur on any part of the stem.
Read below to find our how to troubleshoot these problems:
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BAMBOO FENCE
TIP: It is always best to attend to mould before too much has built up!
The more mould you allow to build up the greater the chances are that it will have penetrated past the outer skin of the bamboo. Once past the outer skin, staining of the stem is very difficult to eradicate, even with a chlorine wash. This mould staining will happen more rapidly where the skin has weathered down, but can happen on relatively new bamboo too.
PLEASE NOTE: If part of your fence receives less sunlight and you are in a wetter part of the UK, you might find that mould builds up quickly on one section more than the other. The key is regular inspection. There is not much you can do to change the weather conditions of your site!
- On a dry, still day, apply a vinegar solution with a sponge and wipe away the surface mould. Alternatively you can use a specialist mould and mildew cleaner such as Barrentine Mould & Mildew Spray.
- Rinse by hand or with a pressure washer. Allow the bamboo fence to dry out completely.
- Apply at least two coats of wood preservative – if you like, choose a coloured wood preservative to add some of the colour back to the bamboo fence. Bear in mind that adhesion may be effected by how much of the outer skin is intact and you will need more wood preservative if the bamboo has weathered considerably. If the bamboo is turning a silver-grey, it is time to add a few coats of wood preservative.
HOW CAN I PREVENT CRACKS AND SPLITS IN MY BAMBOO FENCE?
It is virtually impossible to avoid any hairline cracks developing on your fence. Sunshine and rain will combine to change the bamboo poles over time. Most splits or cracks won’t actually be that noticeable and will not effect the strength of the fence.
There are methods used to alleviate cracks in single bamboo poles, however these are either not appropriate or impractical when considering them as part of a fence.
We have listed the points but have put our warnings in CAPITALS to make you aware of the drawbacks of this method in fencing:
- Prior to installing your fence, knock through the nodes along as much of the length of the panel/roll as possible. You can use a sharp spike or a broom handle – knock just enough material out to allow good airflow.
THIS MAY BE POSSIBLE BUT YOU WILL NEED TO KEEP THE TOP NODE INTACT TO ACT AS A RAINWATER CAP.
- Drill a small hole (2mm-3mm) at a right angle immediately below each node/joint – it’s rather like a tight belt around a waist, and this hole can go some way to alleviate the pressure.
AGAIN THIS WOULD TAKE A LONG TIME AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED ON A STRUCTURE WHICH WILL BE COVERED IN RAIN – THE HOLES WOULD ALLOW MOSITURE TO ENTER AND CREATE MOULD.
- Keep the poles moisturised! Apply wood preservative on a regular basis.
THIS LAST POINT IS THE ONLY REAL ACTION YOU CAN TAKE – SO JUST DO THIS!
TIP: To preserve the original colour of the bamboo as much as possible, use a wood stain or varnish with a UV-protector.
PLEASE NOTE: Bamboo is a giant species of grass. It is a natural material, which inevitably will age and change over time.