Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Removing lichen and algae from a fence

We have a decorative feature fence that our patio looks out onto, designed to hide the compost bins, the hen house and the ugly abandoned house next door. When we bought this house two months ago, the decorative fence was covered in lichen and green and yellow algae. Some parts of the fence had broken timber slats as well. Not only that, but the plants on it so were so overgrown that the whole thing looked pretty rough. The centre of the fence has a diamond shaped area that had once had a pergola, but now the pergola was just warped, sunken timber rails that looked a little dangerous.

Feature fence before

On the right of this photo, you can see the overgrown diamond shaped pergola. We couldn't use this area as a sitting area because it was so overgrown with plants. I suggested that we pull the whole feature fence down because it looked so bad, and also to make our lawn area larger. Chris was adamant that he could repair the feature fence and make it look good again so we went with his plan (because it was a lot easier that pulling a fence down).

Chris had to remove all of the bent pergola pieces of timber using a crow bar and a hammer, and then he sawed off the posts. There was a post in the centre so he had to dig this one out. We transplanted the yuccas that were in the middle of the diamond shaped area and replanted them off to the side.

We dug out all of the scraggly bushes and then dug up the agapanthus (the plant with the purple flowers) and using a hand saw, we split each into four so we could transplant them all evenly along the fence instead of having a few large clumps of agapanthus here and there. Agapanthus roots are just so clustered together that we found that sawing the plant into quarters was much easier than trying to pull them apart. The leaves look a little yellowed due to the rough treatment, but they'll spring back in no time. We've also planted three grape vines along the fence, but they're difficult to see in the after photo.

The final step was water blasting (pressure blasting) the fence to remove all of the algae and lichen. Chris used a Karcher water blaster (a German brand). It came with a general purpose cleaning fluid that helps to clean as the water blaster removes the dirt. It took quite a while and Chris had to go over the whole fence twice, but eventually it came up really well and all the lichen and algae is gone.

We fixed up the broken timber slats by attaching metal brackets to the other side. It looks almost new now. Some time in the future we're planning on turning the grassy diamond shaped area into a tidy paved area, but for now its a big improvement over what it was and the picnic table can fit into that area.



  1. I love it! What an awesome job. I love how the fence and picnic table match in color. Truely beautiful!

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