So you have purchased or are thinking about purchasing a wood picket or privacy fence and you have either seen your fence or other fences warp, twist, move, shrink and crack. What we are going to do today is educate you about wood fences so you can know what and why this happens and some things that can cause your fence to warp, twist, move, shrink and crack more severely than normal. First thing we are going to mention is the nails used to install your fence because often, actually almost daily we see the wrong nails being used to install wood fences. If a metal nail is used the nail itself will rust and break away causing black runs. The other common mistake is using a nail that is not ring shank which will allow them to back out more as the wood moves around. If you have a ring shank galvanized or aluminum nail they will not rust and will not back out, holding the wood in place more securely. We have a video on this page showing how common this is and wanted to mention this first, since this is something you can not actually see or notice until later and you usually don't find out about the bad investment you have made until after you have already paid some one to build your fence. There are other things that is important is to have the right amount of 2x4 bracing and setting the post in concrete deep and correct. The last two things we are going to address as far as a workmanship issue is the jack hammering and the quality of wood used. Often we will see customers choosing Fence Companies that don't charge a rock charge and this always makes us wonder what these guys are doing when they encounter rock since no one wants to work for free and the fact that rock jack hammered correctly can often make a job last twice as long. Also always remember that there are different grades of wood available, most fence companies purchase from local fence wholesaler in the area which will typically have a better quality of wood than our do it yourself stores and not to mention that a do it your self store wood fence material can usually be picked over and have a grade A and grade B selection available for those who are wanting to purchase material at a cheaper rate.
Some other misconceptions are that staining and sealing your fence will eliminate warping, twisting, moving, shrinking and cracking but in actuality it does not. Sealing and staining a wood fence does lock the water out and helps preserve your wood making it last longer but it will still will warp, twist, move, shrink and crack. And There is nothing you can do to block out the sun and avoid the effects that the heat of the summer has on your fence. Other things we have seen in our opinion is darker stains make your fence get hotter and cause them to weather more severely than normal. Also if you have no trees and the sun beats on your fence all day or in the hottest part of the day can also have this effect. The best time to install a wood fence is in the cooler parts of the year so the material dries out more slowly. A lot of the warping, twisting, moving, shrinking and cracking will happen quickly after install, as your fence is drying out even before you should be staining and sealing you new wood fence. And don't forget that staining your fence to quickly locking in moisture can cause more movement in the wood than normal and you should always know how long you should wait before staining your new wood fence.
The last thing we will talk about is the different most common types of wood available by Fence Companies in the Nashville TN area. The reason we mention the area we are located in is because in other places of the world there may be other common materials used and you would want to explore the pros and cons of these fence materials in the area you live.
Pressure treated pine is the most common material used because it is the most economical as far as price. Pine fence material is known for its warping, twisting, moving, shrinking and cracking it is a harder wood and will not rot as easily as others. Small install details are important to minimize the movement but this material will move and depending on the fences environment or treatment is subject to move around a lot.
Western Red Cedar Fence Material is the other most commonly used material in most areas and is often sought after because it does not do the warping, twisting and moving as much as pine fence but it is a softer wood and will rot faster and will also still shrink and crack as it dries. More times than not this fence material is usually combined with pine because it is subject to rot faster. for example you may have cedar pickets but pine post since the post are set in the ground and can retain moisture. We tend to favor cedar fences better here at K & C fence Company since the cedar stays more in place and looks better longer. If you have a cedar fence and seal the fence regularly it can last a very long time and be more enjoyable if you think the warping, twisting and moving will be a problem for you. Remember that cedar is still a natural product and with out metal frames the gates can still sag and the wood will do some moving as far as shrining and cracking. Also if you are using a cedar pine combination anything pine is subject to warp, twist and move around. Cedar post are available if you would like a complete cedar fence but when installing a asphalt material should be painted on the bottom to help lock out moisture and you should make sure the area your cedar post are set in, drains water well and does not retain moisture.
So there are definitely some cons to purchasing a wood fence but honestly we will have this same conversation with our customers and make sure we are putting this information here on our site and on our contracts but wood remains to be the most purchased fence available in Nashville because lets face it, everyone loves a wood fence so much so that the American dream is said to be a house and a white picket fence which also in our day and age is available in PVC :)
Since our job is not to sell you something or just to make money but to educate and serve our customers well, at K & C Fence Company of Nashville TN we want to make sure you are getting the right information to make a good decision about your next fence purchase.
It is your investment and our reputation.