New developments help decrease problems such as warping and rotting wood, making the many styles of wood fencing practical and attractive.
Wood fencing comes in a variety of forms and finishes that make it an ideal choice for homeowners and businesses alike. The three main benefits of using wood fencing are its aesthetic value, its privacy and its longevity. Since wood is such an adaptive material, it is very versatile and can be used in a variety of functions.
Whether created from pressure treated pine or a type of cedar, the natural beauty of a wood fence remains desirable in residential, commercial and agricultural applications. By following correct installation and treatment procedures, these fences will last for many years.
Picket fencing remains the most popular type of wood fencing today. This style works in any application, and has many options available to customize its appearance. When more security is necessary, privacy fencing can provide both style and safety. Both homeowners and businesses appreciate the seclusion and protection that a privacy fence provides. For a post and rail fence, wood continues to be the most practical and economical solution. Wood is not only an environmentally sound choice; it is also cost-effective to cover large areas of land using a wood post and rail fence.
No matter what the type and style of fence, the use of wood will add a natural beauty. Through correct design and installation, a wood fence will serve its purpose for many years to come.
Types of Wood & Treatment
A wide range of wood is available throughout the country to construct a wood fence. Each type of wood has certain characteristics that make it ideal for fencing. While each species originates in a certain region of the country, most can be purchased throughout the United States.
Whitewoods are common throughout the United States and Canada; the species of wood classified as whitewoods are pine, spruce and fir. These boards tend to appear white when first installed. Western red cedar is common in the west; northern white cedar ranges along the upper border of the United States. Cedar naturally resists insect damage and rot. Redwood fencing has grown in popularity along the Pacific coast. This beautiful wood will last many years with proper care. Southern yellow pine prevails in the Midwest and southeast; this strong, durable wood is also economical.
While consumers have a variety of types of wood to choose between, Mike Fink, a wood supplier estimates that, 80 percent of fences are made of Western red cedar or pressure treated pine. Western red cedar and Southern yellow pine are widely available throughout the United States.
Southern yellow pine is a popular choice because it is strong and inexpensive. By undergoing the pressure-treatment process, pine increases its resistance to decay and insects. This effect is achieved when a chemical solution is forced into the wood. Consult with ASTM standards to find the proper degree of treatment for pressure-treated wood. Pressure-treated Southern yellow pine usually comes with at least a 10-year warranty; some companies offer a lifetime warranty on this type of wood.
Western red cedar remains one of the most popular species of wood used in fencing because of its natural beauty and longevity. While this type of wood costs a bit more than Southern yellow pine, it naturally resists warping and rotting in most situations. However, it is important to follow a few guidelines when installing cedar fencing. Cedar fences should have at least a 2″ clearance from the ground to avoid the possibility of rot. Also, cedar posts should not be set in concrete; the post should be inserted directly into the ground. This will improve drainage around the post and ensure the integrity of the fence. Many fence companies provide a 10-year warranty on the cedar boards used in their fences.
In some cases, rotting or warping posts have shortened the lives of wooden fences. Since the posts are inserted into the ground, they become more susceptible to rot than the rest of the fence. By following a few simple guidelines, many of these problems are eliminated. As already mentioned, cedar posts will rot if they are set in concrete. By placing cedar posts directly into the post hole, this problem can be avoided. Pressure-treated pine posts are ideal for fencing because they resist rotting. These posts can be set in concrete to ensure their stability.
Many companies offer an extended warranty on their pressure-treated posts to guarantee their quality.
In addition to wooden posts, steel and metal posts are also available. With the [metal post and bracket] system, you can’t see the metal post. It looks like an all wood fence, but it actually utilizes metal posts. Long-lasting metal posts help make wood fences more durable.
All types of wood used for fencing can be treated with a water-repellent solution to help resist warping. These solutions also protect against insect damage. While most choose to leave their fences a natural color, there are many shades of stain and paint to choose from. Homeowners and businesses can plan the color of their fence to coordinate with its surroundings. These finishes also help seal the wood, giving it a longer life.