What’s the difference between heartwood and sapwood? Which is better for my fence in Kearney?
Sapwood consists of the lightly colored, outer layers of the tree—the part through which fluids flow like blood through arteries. This is the part of the tree most vital while it’s alive; however, it makes for poor fence stock due to its high moisture content and flimsier build. By contrast, heartwood (the interior “spine” of the tree), which is composed of “retired” sapwood layers, makes ideal fence stock.
Is cedar still the top choice for wood fencing? What are my alternatives?
Due to the now-limited quantity of old growth cedar—coupled with tighter forestry restrictions in North America—most of the cedar used for fence construction today derives from new growth. This new growth tends to grow quickly and develop minimal heartwood. As a result, most cedar fencing in North America today consists of sapwood, which—as mentioned above—is not the preferred choice for fencing.
Here at American Fence Company of Kearney, we source high-quality stock from species such as Douglas fir, incense cedar, western red cedar, and white fir. These species are abundant in old growth form, resulting in more heartwood for fences in Kearney!
Can I stain Douglas fir and cedar fences in Kearney, NE?
Yes. To maintain that reddish and blonde color, consider staining your fence within six weeks of installation. Staining should not be applied unless the fence is completely dry—at least a full week having passed since its last exposure to rain. A dryer condition means the wood in your fence will be “thirsty” and more receptive to the staining fluids.
Do note that staining is a messy process best handled by a professional staining contractor. Staining should only be performed on calm, dry days with no wind—as the spray can easily carry over to your building exterior, your employees’ automobile, your lawn, onto your commercial neighbor’s property. Be sure the team lays down a cloth to avoid overspray onto the grass, and tape off nearby structures.
What is the best staining process for wood fences in Kearney?
Because of the coarse surface involved, staining a wood fence can be difficult. Although the rolling-on process is easy, it tends to result in excessive drips and runs. Spraying is excellent, provided the user has a keen judgment of when enough is enough. For the best results, spray first and then follow up with a brush to even out the coating.
Plan on re-staining your wood fence every 2-3 years. Keep your fences clear of sprinkler spray, as this will likely result in discoloration.
Are treated wood fence panels safe to the touch for family and pets?
As the top commercial fence company in Kearney, we recommend industry-approved ACQ-treated posts. We also recommend avoiding CCA (Copper Chromate Arsenic) materials. To find out if and how your posts have been treated, look for tags on either end of the post or ask your contractor.
What wood fence gates does American Fence Company of Kearney recommend?
As the #1 fence company in Kearney, we recommend heavy-duty 4” x 6” posts on the hinge side of 6’ gates, with three hinges per gate. All hardware should be powder-coated so as to help avoid rust.
How can I fix my wood fence gates?
Gate posts can have their position adjusted by phenomena such as shifting soil and frost. All it takes is a slight adjustment in the gate’s hinge post to hinder the gate’s ability to fully close. Latches that function via a horizontal rod that falls into a receiver will require adjustment if the gate posts shift. The same applies to latches that resemble standard door-lock assemblies.
To avoid this issue, there are a couple gate latches you can use. One is the standard drop fork latch. Resembling a two-prong pitch fork, these latches move in two directions (up and down). Four-way adjustable hinges are also great as they have more flexible movement and can accommodate changing positions.
What about nails for my wood fence panels in Kearney, NE?
We recommend galvanized nails or aluminum nails that have been countersunk for extra strength.