Ottawa Fencing Experts Provide Simple Tips on Building a Fence That Lasts Longer
The picket fence: it’s more than just a nice addition to your home. It’s a symbol: it represents something bigger than itself. This simple wood fence is the cherry on the sundae that is homeownership. It’s a way of saying, “Yes – I’ve made this house a home.” And that’s why when you take on a project in fencing, Ottawa experts stress the incredible importance of taking preventative measures against warping in your lumber.
Wood is a wonderful and versatile material, and can be used to make all sorts of beautiful things. But this fibrous building material is also incredibly porous. This means, as solid as any plank or board may seem, it is actually capable of absorbing quite a bit of water! When it absorbs water, it swells; when it expels water, it shrinks. This is normal. But when moist or damp lumber dries unevenly, the differentials in shrinkage put stress on the entire piece, and it warps. Imperfections like knots can exacerbate this process, too.
Whether you’re putting up your very first wood fence, or you’re replacing or repairing an old one, there are ways to reduce the effects of warping that will protect your investment and increase the life span of your fencing. Ottawa is especially prone to extreme weather changes, so it’s important to note the following advice before you begin.
Preventing warping begins with buying the right wood. For support posts, consider using lumber with wider dimensions – the thicker material makes a considerable difference, and will be well worth the added cost. Another key choice to make at this stage is buying lumber that has been pressure-treated. These materials have been chemically treated and evenly dried during processing, and are more resistant to water (and as an added bonus, insects).
You can also apply preservatives to your fence after it’s been built. Water-repellent sealers and stains are sold in many stores, and will help reduce the overall water absorption.
Proper building techniques will also help your wood fence go the extra mile. Ottawa fencing experts recommend using evenly spaced, level back rails, especially for taller fences, and being sure that the boards of your fence are securely and properly fastened to these rails. Equally important is ensuring that the fencing posts are securely planted in the ground.
Once your fence is securely installed and you’ve taken proper preventative measures, there are still ways to help keep it in great shape. Do you frequently use lawn sprinklers? Test the range of a sprinkler before placing it, so as to make sure that it’s not spraying on your fence, creating concentrated moisture in one area. It’s also a good idea not to let anything heavy lean on it, which could exacerbate and tendency toward warping.