• Is it Better to Paint or Stain a Fence?

    If you’re thinking about installing a new wood fence, you might have questions about the finish. While you can choose to leave your fence bare, this may shorten its lifespan. Over time, an unfinished wood fence could warp, twist, split or develop mold. To protect it from the elements, consider either painting or staining your fence. You may also want to consider alternatives to wood fencing if you prefer to do neither.

    Painting a Fence

    Years ago when stain options were limited, paint was the obvious choice. However, painting requires a lot of maintenance, and these days, there are numerous ways to get just the right look with stain.

    If you decide to paint your fence, expect it to start cracking and peeling after just a few years, depending on the quality of the paint you choose. When the time comes to repaint your fence, you have to scrape off the existing color, prep the surface and then apply the new paint. This takes a great deal of time and costs more in the long run.

    Staining a Fence

    Most of the time, staining is better than painting a fence. It’s true that stain eventually fades and must be reapplied, but not for several years. Also, because stain doesn’t peel or crack, it requires less preparation than repainting. Simply power wash the fence to produce a clean, prepped surface for staining. Stain often costs more than paint upfront, but because you don’t have to re-stain nearly as often, the long-term cost is lower.

    Stain comes in many different shades and transparencies. Some are clear, which provide waterproofing and protection for your fence without changing its color. Then, some are semi-transparent. They darken the wood but still allow the grain to show through, emphasizing its natural beauty. Others are more opaque, mimicking the appearance of a painted fence without nearly as much maintenance.

    Other Options

    If you want the look of a traditional white picket fence, but you don’t want to repaint it every few years, vinyl fencing is a low-maintenance alternative. Vinyl never needs to be stained, painted or maintained beyond a quick cleaning with a hose. White is the classic color for vinyl fences, but it’s certainly not your only option.

    Ornamental and chain link fences are other options for your property. These provide another way to enclose your yard with minimal maintenance required.

    Paramount Fence Inc installs wood, vinyl, ornamental and chain link fences in Chicago. Each material is available in various finishes and styles based on your preferences. We have been in business for over ten years, and our team boasts more than 50 years of combined industry experience. Let us help you make the right selection for your home or business. For additional information about the finishing options for wood fences – or to learn more about fencing that never needs to be painted or stained – please call us at (630) 239-2714 or contact us online today.

  • How to Weatherproof Fences

    Has your fence made it through winter so far? Are you leery of the wet spring to come? If you’re starting to see signs that your fence is cracking, warping or rotting, it’s not too late to act! Just follow these tips on how to weatherproof fences.

    Weatherproofing a Wood Fence

    • Shore up weak points: Walk along both sides of the fence and look for any spots that need maintenance. Hammer in loose nails, drive in new screws, replace decaying posts and prop up damaged pickets. Getting your fence to stand tall and straight is the first step toward making it more resilient in inclement weather.
    • Apply a waterproofing sealant: You have three options for waterproofing a wood fence. The first is to apply a silicone or acrylic sealant to protect against water, extreme temperatures and UV rays. Colored sealant darkens light wood while clear sealant brings out its natural beauty.
    • Apply moisture-resistant paint: The second waterproofing option is to paint your fence with latex or alkyd-based paint. These are available in many colors and glosses to provide the look you want. Just be sure to read labels carefully to ensure you purchase paint designed for this application.
    • Apply a wax polish: The final waterproofing option is to wax the fence with colored, pine or clear wax. Each type repels dirt, dust and grit with varying aesthetic effects. You can apply wax to wood fences finished with varnish, shellac or oil-based paint.
    • Clear away leaves and debris: When organic materials stay in contact with your fence for an extended period, they promote rot and insect problems. Rake away leaves and other debris regularly throughout the season to prevent this.
    • Trim back low-hanging branches: Heavy snow or a strong gust of wind could snap a branch and send it plummeting to the ground. Protect your fence by removing any low-hanging branches that loom over it.

    Weatherproofing Other Types of Fences

    For wrought iron fences, rust is your biggest problem. If your fence is already rusty, brush off the flakes. Then, apply weatherproof wax or anti-rust paint to help water roll off the metal instead of sticking to it and making it rust. For a more maintenance-free ornamental fence, consider one made of aluminum or steel instead.

    PVC and chain link fences are naturally weather-resistant, so all you must do is clean them occasionally with a hose and stiff brush. This removes dirt, stains and debris to help protect the beauty and extend the lifespan of your fence.

    If your fence is too degraded to be restored with these weatherproofing tips, consider springing for a new fence when winter is over. Paramount Fence Inc is a full-service fence sales and installation company serving clients in the Chicago area. We’re dedicated to helping you design and install a beautiful, long-lasting fence around your home or commercial property. To learn more about our services, please call us at (630) 239-2714 or contact us online.

  • Are rodents, insects and wildlife an issue on your property? If you’re reluctant to share your outdoor living space with these pests, you need a few techniques to keep them at bay. Here’s how the proper type of fencing can help keep your backyard pest-free.

    Cedar Fencing Repels Pests

    It’s common knowledge that cedar furniture can protect your wool sweaters from moths, but have you considered that this type of wood can also serve as natural pest control for your backyard? Western red cedar fencing emits aromatic phenols and acids that smell pleasant to humans but repel mosquitoes, fleas, ants, mites, moths and rodents.

    To ensure you don’t seal in the beneficial phenols, avoid painting or staining cedar fences. Don’t worry – its natural ability to resist rot and decay helps cedar fencing last, even without chemical treatments.

    A Privacy Fence Deters Wildlife

    When it comes to keeping wild animals out of your yard, one effective method is to prevent them from seeing in. A standard six-foot privacy fence deters many types of critters from entering your yard.

    For instance, deer rarely jump a fence when they can’t see what’s on the other side. A tall fence also reduces the chance of dogs, skunks, coyotes and other animals from wandering onto your property. If you install a privacy fence made of western red cedar, you can also enjoy the benefit of keeping insects and rodents at bay.

    A Chain Link Fence Protects Your Garden

    Are rabbits, chipmunks or squirrels wreaking havoc on your meticulously planted vegetable garden? If you want to watch your plants grow while still keeping rodents at bay, a chain link fence is a great choice.

    Be aware that many animals can dig under traditional fences, so you may want to bury a footer made of galvanized wire mesh under your fence. The footer should extend at least eight inches below the surface to prevent determined critters from getting where they’re not wanted.

    Vinyl Fencing is Unaffected by Pests

    While vinyl is equally effective as other fence materials at keeping pests out of your yard, they offer an added benefit: vinyl fencing doesn’t provide food for termites. Since vinyl is a type of plastic, insects aren’t interested in eating it. As a result, even if you do have pests on your property, the fencing won’t show signs of deterioration.

    Paramount Fence Inc can help you keep your backyard pest-free with the right type of fencing. We serve customers across the Chicago area with creative and affordable solutions that are designed to stand the test of time. After over ten years in business, and with more than 50 years of combined industry experience, our reputation for excellence precedes us. If you’re interested in our services, or you want more help selecting the right fence for your property, please call us at (630) 239-2714 or contact us online.

  • Best Yard Privacy Tips

    Suburban homes continue to be built on increasingly smaller lots, even as the demand grows for outdoor living areas. When your neighbors’ homes overlook your yard, it’s easy to feel as though you live in a fishbowl. Whether your goal is to avoid prying eyes or shield your view of the neighbors’ activities, you need a way to create privacy. Here are some tips to inspire you.

    Install a Privacy Fence

    For the best results, choose a privacy fence without spaces between the boards. Base the height on the slope of your yard and the surrounding properties, remembering to account for municipal ordinances in your neighborhood. If you don’t want a tall fence all the way around your yard, you can install one with a stair-step design that only includes taller sections where you need them.

    Soften the Appearance of a Privacy Fence

    While it solves your problem, a traditional privacy fence may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option. Fortunately, you can break up the solidity of a board fence by including a decorative lattice or baluster top. If you have room for them in your yard, adding planter boxes, shrubs or climbing vines softens the fence with a little greenery as well.

    Extend Your Privacy Above the Fence

    Did the neighbors recently build a second-story deck with views straight into your yard? Help block that view by planting a tall tree or two in front of your privacy fence. This way, you have privacy at ground level as well as from onlookers with a second-story vantage point.

    Add Privacy Slats to Existing Fences

    Perhaps you already have a chain link fence to keep your dog confined to the yard, but this does little to prevent your nosy neighbors from peering into your yard. Privacy slats are an affordable upgrade that eliminates the need to replace your entire fence.

    Plant Privacy Hedges

    Dense, evergreen shrubs provide year-round privacy for your yard. While they’re typically not restricted to building code heights the way fences are, remember that it will take years for the plants to grow to a desirable size.

    Set Up Trellises, Pergolas and Privacy Panels

    It might not be possible to screen your entire yard, but you can shield the patio, deck or outdoor kitchen with a combination of trellises, pergolas and privacy panels. These provide a partially enclosed area for protection against the elements and prying eyes while still allowing you to enjoy the beautiful weather. Climbing vines, potted plants and other greenery complete the oasis.

    For privacy fence installation in Chicago, look to Paramount Fence Inc. Our full-service fence sales and installation company has been in business for over ten years, and our team boasts more than 50 years of combined industry experience. Let us help you design and install a beautiful, high-quality privacy fence around your property. For more information about how we can serve you, please call us at (630) 239-2714 or contact us online today.