Metal fences are typically built with longevity and durability in mind. These fences can last for several decades, but only if they are taken care of properly. Occasional cleaning plays a prominent role in the care and upkeep of your metal fence. The following offers helpful steps you can take to keep it in excellent condition throughout its lifespan.

When Should You Clean Your Fence?

While metal fences offer impressive longevity, they can also become caked with dirt, grime and debris over time. To maintain a pristine appearance, it's a good idea to have your fence cleaned on an annual basis. More frequent cleaning may be necessary in particularly dirty environments, especially if there's construction going on nearby.

Pressure Washing Tips

Pressure washing is the easiest and most preferred way of cleaning metal fences from places like City Fence. The strong blast of pressurized water can easily dislodge almost any type of debris and caked-on dirt, making large-scale cleaning jobs much easier and quicker to complete.

Here are a few tips you can use to successfully pressure wash your metal fence:

  • You'll need either a gas-powered or electric pressure washer for this task. The former offers up to 2,400 PSI of water pressure, while the latter offers up to 1,500 PSI – enough to blast away any type of debris. However, you'll only need between 500 and 800 PSI for removing debris from your metal fence.
  • Use a mild detergent or a cleaning solution that offers rust-inhibiting properties. A harsh, acidic cleaner can easily promote rust formation, especially if it's not rinsed away properly.
  • As you wash, maintain a distance of approximately three to four feet from the fence while working in a large arc over the surface. Gradually move in close only to force stubborn grime away from the fence.
  • Don't forget to rinse the detergent with cold water afterwards or you may end up with a whitish residue as it dries.

 Washing without a Pressure Washer

If you don't have a pressure washer on hand, you can still effectively clean your metal fence by using a little elbow grease and a bit more effort:

  • Mix a bucket of warm water with some mild detergent or cleaning solution.
  • Use a soft bristle brush to scrub away the dirt and grime. Start from the top and work your way downwards.
  • Afterwards, use a garden hose to rinse away the detergent. You may want to use a powerful spray attachment with a wide spraying pattern for the most coverage.

Dealing with Rust

Rust and corrosion can be a problem for metal fences, especially if they've experienced a sizable amount of neglect during their lifespan. Fortunately, dealing with rust is a relatively simple affair if you have the right tools on hand. Here's a brief guide you can use to clean up rusted areas of your metal fence with minimal hassle:

  • First, remove dirt and debris from the rusted area using a power washer, just as you would when cleaning the fence as normal.
  • Next, grab a wire brush and remove as much rust and flaking paint from the affected area as possible. Don't forget to wear a face mask and safety goggles as you strip the fence, as you want to avoid inhaling dust and other airborne particulates.
  • Coat the affected area with an oil-based primer made for metal fences, taking care to avoid areas that already have their original coating. Let the primer dry and then paint over it with rust-resistant paint.

Be careful when dealing with older fences, as there's a possibility that it may have lead paint on it. If so, you'll want to hire a professional with the proper safety equipment to properly clean and repaint your fence.