Is cedar still the #1 choice for wood fencing?
Limited amounts of old growth cedar trees — combined with tighter restrictions on North American forestry — means the majority of today’s cedar wood fences in Kansas City derive from new growth, itself a product of a tree species known to grow quickly and with very little heartwood. In fact, today’s cedar fencing is almost entirely harvested from sapwood. Its lifespan is significantly less than that of the heartwood cedar fencing of yesteryear.
Aside from cedar, what are my options on wood fence materials?
Douglas fir, white fir, and incense cedar. These tree species exist in great abundance, allowing for a greater number of options. These species are harvested from heartwood, proving to outperform cedar in the wood fence industry.
Should I stain Douglas fir or cedar wood fencing?
To maintain that reddish and blonde cedar color, consider staining your wood fence within six weeks of installation. The wood needs to be completely dry before application, so we recommend waiting at least a week since the last rain. Completely dry wood is “thirsty” and more likely to absorb and hold onto the staining.
Hire only insured professional wood staining contractors in Kansas City. Staining tends to be messy, and overspray can easily occur without the right cautionary steps. Only stain on calm dry days. Tape off adjoining structures such as homes, sheds, and your neighbor’s fence. Lay a drop cloth to avoid overspray onto your lawn.
What is the best way to stain a wood fence?
Brush staining is difficult because of the coarse surface. Rolling-on stain is easier but results in more runs and drips. Spray staining is optimal if you have a good eye for when enough is enough. For the best results, first spray your fence and quickly follow up with a brush to even the application. Staining should be applied evenly with large continuous strokes.
Unlike with paint, you must apply the staining’s second coat while the first coat remains wet. Otherwise, the second coat will not stick and eventually peel. Plan on re-staining your fence every 2-3 years and be sure sprinklers are not constantly spraying your fence (as this will cause uneven discoloration). Douglas fir tends to hold its natural color longer than the cedar, but will usually gray in 6-12 months.
What is the difference between sapwood and heartwood?
Water and sap flow through the sapwood much like blood through your arteries. This part of the trunk, consisting of the outer rings, is vital to the tree but doesn’t make for very good fence materials. Sapwood contains a great deal of moisture, meaning it shrinks when dried and is more susceptible to fungus.
Heartwood, on the other hand, is the dark inner section of the trunk. Formed from “used” sapwood, it functions as the spine of the tree and is the preferred stock for wood fencing in Kansas City. Containing less moisture, it is less prone to shrinking. Many mills remove the sapwood and use only heartwood.
Should I use cedar or treated pine for my wood fences in Kansas City?
If you’ve applied concrete footing to shed water from your wood fence posts, cedar or treated pine is fine. AmeriFence Corporation uses premium cedar post or ACQ2 treated and stained posts. While treated pine posts often form checks and a slight twist, they’ve proven to outlast cedar. Cedar posts is less prone to cracking or twisting but occasionally warps. If not stained, cedar will eventually “grey out”.
Are treated materials safe for my family and pets?
As the #1 fence company in Kansas City, we recommend only industry-approved ACQ treated posts and total avoidance of CCA (Cooper Chromate Arsenic). If unsure how materials are coated, look for a tag at either end of the post or inquire with your local fence experts. We can answer all questions you have about wood fences in Kansas City.
Are wood gates safe? Will maintenance be required?
Only use a heavy-duty 4” x 6” posts on the hinge side of your 6’ tall gate. We recommend three hinges per gate. Make sure all hardware is powder-coated to avoid rusting.
Gates are set with two independent gate posts on opposite sides of your gate entrance. Naturally subjected to unsettled soil, frost, extreme change in temperatures, and exposure to the sun, gate posts tend to change or shift position with time. Even the slightest change in the hinge post will result in exponential movement of the latch hasp. In summary: your gate won’t latch.
What can I do to fix my wood fence gate?
Standard drop fork latches resemble two-prong pitchforks and move up and down. If you have this type of latch, you should be fine. Latches that use a horizontal rod that strikes or falls into a receiver when the gate is closed, however, require adjustments. Same with latches that look like a standard door lock assembly. If you have either of these, request four-way adjustable hinges. These hinges adjust up and down and in and out — and will thus be able to accommodate your gate to changing conditions.
What nails do I need for my wood fence?
Galvanized or aluminized nails countersunk to avoid popping out are best for wood fences in Kansas City.