How will hard water or irrigation systems affect my fence?

How will hard water or irrigation systems affect my fence?

Water plays a significant role in everything from drinking water to washing our cars and enjoying some recreation at the beach or lake! Water is even moving into our backyard spaces, from pools and ponds to irrigation systems. We rely on water to make our days better and more comfortable. So, water is just water? Well, not always. Many water sources contain additives to keep it safe from bacteria – usually chlorinated water. Many pool systems require cleaning agents and other additives. Some regions of North America have “hard water.” This means the water has high mineral content and could contain calcium, magnesium, and other deposits.

Hard water on my fence.

Hard water can leave watermarks or hard water stains and are known by many names – limescale, mineral deposits, mineral buildup, hard water deposits but the meaning is the same. Hard water stains appear as chalky white residue that results from a buildup of excess minerals present in hard water. These can form on a variety of materials including, wood, vinyl, metal, concrete, and glass. Of these surfaces, glass and metal surfaces are the easiest to clean as they are nonporous materials.


Irrigation systems and my fence.

Irrigation systems are becoming more and more common in backyards and homes across the continent. There are four central irrigation systems: Sprinkler irrigation, Trickle/drip irrigation, Sub-surface irrigation, and Surface irrigation. For today’s article, we’ll focus on sprinkler irrigation as it most affects fences and most likely leads to stains. Depending on your irrigation source and fittings, it may be prone to spaying water mixed with iron deposits which leave rust stains. Here are three sprinkler tips that will help you minimize or prevent hard water stains on your fence.

1. Aiming the sprinklers.

Most staining from irrigation systems comes from improperly aimed spray nozzles or poorly chosen sprays heads that send water all over the fence.

Fix: Have your irrigation technician aim the sprinkler heads away from structures not intended to be watered.

Aiming sprinklers

2. Choosing Spray heads.

It’s essential to choose your spray heads appropriately for each area – spray pattern and spray volume/distance. Many irrigation systems aren’t designed with fences, hardscapes, and yard structures in mind.

Fix: Have your irrigation technician replace any inappropriate sprinkler spray heads with appropriate ones for your desired spray patterns.

Pointing sprinkler heads.

3. Using a water softener.

What Is a Water Softener? A water softener is a type of filtering appliance that removes calcium and magnesium from the water. There are 3 main types of water softener systems: Ion-exchange, Salt-free, and Reverse-osmosis. These systems remove the mineral deposits and make the water “soft”.

What can happen when sprinklers or hard water hit the fence.

Hard water contains high mineral content (usually calcium or magnesium deposits). Once the water droplets dry, the calcium or magnesium deposits may stay – and are visualized by a whitish, chalky film left on the structure.

Maintaining my Aluminum Fence.

To maintain your aluminum fence properly for maximum life, we recommend semi-frequent light washing and monitoring for any staining. Aluminum fence manufacturers often give a lifetime warranty because of its long-lasting durability. Aluminum fence manufacturers often provide a substantial warranty because of its long-lasting durability. However, with any warranty, it is the responsibility of its owner to maintain the aluminum fence to keep it spotless. Like all metals and other fence materials, aluminum fences get dingy over time with exposure to the elements.


Feel free to call or email us with any questions that you may have pertaining to our aluminum fence panels, a member of our support team will be happy to assist you. We pride ourselves on having the best customer service in the industry. We care about our clients and are genuinely grateful for their business. Most of our customer service team has installed fencing before, so they can coach you through the process if you’ve chosen to do it yourself. They are also more than happy to help you find a contractor in your area if you’re looking to have it installed for you. Our fence comes preassembled so installation is as easy as it gets for a black aluminum privacy fence.