Wood fences can warp because of changes in moisture content that cause them to distort and not be as sturdy as they once were. When parts of a wooden fence dry faster than the others, they can shrink more quickly. The relationship between the humidity in the air and the fence’s moisture content affects a fence board warping.
Equilibrium moisture content (EMC) is when fence boards have high moisture and constantly shrink until there’s a balance with the air’s humidity. EMC can take days, weeks, and months, depending on the wood’s size, grain, coating, and air temperature. On the other hand, when the wood has a low moisture content, it absorbs moisture from its surroundings, causing it to swell until equilibrium. Here is how you can keep fence boards from warping.
Understand Your Lumber
Different sawing techniques affect a wood fence’s quality. It’s best to pick wood with straight-grain patterns because they are less likely to warp. Wood sawed from the tree’s center is also more durable and doesn’t deform as easily.
Store Fence Boards Properly
Additionally, storing and maintaining your wood affects its ability to process EMC. Stacking fence boards based on their thickness level is best, and you should vertically align stickers and keep them flat. Stacking weights on top of lumber can keep them from cupping. However, wood needs air exposure for proper ventilation. Also, it’s best to store fence boards in a colder, dark, and dry place, and it requires wrapping if the humidity is above 80% to limit moisture absorption. Otherwise, the fence boards will warp.
Dry and Cure Fence Boards Correctly
Drying and curing wooden fence boards minimize warping. A kiln (thermally-insulated chamber) is a known technique that protects wood from warping while still allowing it to adapt to the air’s humidity. It’s also important to always dry your wood quickly while not over-drying your wood to prevent it from breaking.
Seal the Ends and Stain or Paint Your Wood Fence
Moisture can escape through the ends quicker than any of its surfaces. Sealing the ends can balance the EMC process throughout the board, lessening the chances of shrinking or wrapping. Stains or paints also serve as an additional layer that controls moisture absorption.
Choose a Cedar, Redwood, or Fir Fence: The Best Wood Fences for Warp Resistance
Have no fear if you want a classic, cost-effective wood fence but are scared that it will deteriorate far too quickly. Durable wood fencing that naturally resists shrinking and warping exist. For example, cedar is warp-resistant and doesn’t break easily. Redwood also has a straight-grain pattern that prevents moisture absorption, which causes wood to swell. Fir also combats wrapping and shrinking.
You could also take advantage of our pressure-treated ACQ lumber. Or if a wood fence doesn’t suit your fancy, we offer low-maintenance vinyl fences. Whatever your preference, Hercules Fence can install beautiful yet practical fencing on your property.
Let Hercules Fence Help Set Up The Perfect Fence For You
Hercules Fence takes pride in being experts in residential, commercial, and high-security fencing. We have been serving our clients since 1955, with only the most knowledgeable of staff. Our staff is ready to serve you from Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan area. Our branch offices are in Manassas, Richmond, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia, and Maryland.
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