If you have wood fencing installed on your property, you are naturally on guard for insect infestations or rot damage. However, a more common problem is also worth preventing: cracking and splitting. Some cracks are natural and normal in wood fencing, but many large splits and cracks can negatively impact the structural integrity of your fence. The following factors may be the cause of your wood fence cracking.
How Wood Fencing “Checks” Occur
Checks are the most common types of cracks found in wood. Checking happens naturally in the seasoning process that occurs when the wood dries after being chopped. Checks form when the inside of the wood dries more slowly than the outer surface.
After installing new wood fencing, you may notice checking during the first few weeks of your fence’s life. Alternatively, this process may not take place until summer when the hot sun dries out your fence. After a few weeks, the fence should stop cracking. These minor imperfections should not impact your fence’s structural integrity, but if the cracks continue growing larger, you may have a problem.
How to Prevent Cracking In Your Fence
If you want to avoid checks altogether, it’s best to use wood that has already been seasoned. Sealants that moisturize the wood’s surface can help it dry more evenly during initial seasoning and as the fence experiences changing weather.
Cracks can occur as a result of pressure on the wood, regardless of what causes the pressure. The best way to avoid excessive cracks is to choose a high grade of wood and ensure that your installation is completed correctly. Thinner wood is likelier to crack, which means that panels are more susceptible than posts.
Ensure a Quality Fence Installation
The quality of your fence installation will also help you avoid fence cracks and splits. Additionally, screws are a more secure method of installing fence boards than nails, as nails are more likely to cause splitting problems, especially if done incorrectly. It’s best to pre-drill holes before inserting the nails or screws, as forcing the screws or nails into the wood can cause cracks.
When It’s Time for a New Fence
By properly caring for and maintaining wood fencing, you can prevent numerous problems. However, cracking in fences often has more to do with wood selection and installation than what you do after your fence is installed.
If one of your fence boards is severely warped or cracked, it’s best to replace it with a fresh one. If your fence is improperly constructed with low-quality wood that keeps cracking, it’s time to install a new fence. Hercules Fence of Northern Virginia can install your new fence with the best materials and methods to ensure longevity.
Choose Hercules Fence Northern Virginia for All of Your Fencing Needs!
Hercules Fence Northern Virginia has countless fencing options for your home and commercial property. Whether you are excited about a beautiful vinyl chain link fence or already planning out your custom wood commercial fence, we are ready to help you frame and secure your property. Hercules Fence Northern Virginia has been providing homeowners with quality fences for over 50 years. We are well equipped to meet your needs, whether they are residential or commercial. Contact us to see how a beautiful wood fence can protect your property by giving us a call at 703-551-2609 or visiting us online. To see examples of our work, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Flickr.