Why Are My Fence Boards Warping?

Installing a fence is a great way to protect your home and give it some good old-fashioned curb appeal. When you’ve settled on your beautiful fence, it can be tempting to get it up there quickly, especially if it’s a DIY project. Before you grab your tools, put on a Youtube video, and get to work, remember that wood boards are exposed to all the outside elements we like to avoid. 

Because of this, properly installing your fence is an important factor that helps avoid problems like warping, splitting, and cracking. If you’ve noticed warping in your fence, read on to learn why your fence boards are having trouble maintaining their beauty and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.

What Causes Fences to Warp?

Fences warp for many reasons, but one of the most common issues that cause the warping of your wood fence is moisture. Trees are made from fibers that soak up large amounts of water. When the trees are cut down for use, they retain plenty of that moisture and eventually will return to absorbing it when you install your fence outdoors. 

While some types of wood don’t warp as easily — like quarter-sawn boards — they don’t always look great on every project. As such, the best way to fix a warped fence is to prevent it in the first place.

How to Prevent Warping Fence Boards

So now that you know why wood warps, what can you do about it? Preventing the moisture is essential, but how exactly can you do that for a product that spends its entire lifespan outdoors? With a few tips and tricks from the pros, you can keep your fence boards strong and sturdy until you find the next great fence design to try.

Install the Fence Properly

Have you ever noticed plane wings bending in the turbulence or heard about how skyscrapers actively shake in the wind? As many engineers know, it isn’t a well-built structure if it doesn’t have a bit of flexibility. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to wooden fences. Wood loves to move around, but a solid fence needs to be sturdy enough to combat that natural movement. Building your fence as sturdy as possible can prevent warping. Try using blunt nail tips or screws and pre-drill holes into your fence before installation to keep fences and posts from splitting.

Seal Your Fence

You want to seal your wooden boards with a durable mixture every few years to keep out moisture and prevent UV rays from penetrating them. But, sealing your fence can be tricky, as there is an ideal time to start the process. This comes when your wood is at what’s called the equilibrium moisture content (EMC). 

At this point, the moisture content in your wood fence matches that of the exterior environment it’s placed in. If you want to add a beautiful aesthetic to your fence, choose a pigmented sealant that gives it a nice shine and protects the wood from moisture. 

Use the Right Kind of Wood

The right materials are important for any job — especially for your fence installation. Various kinds of wood are available, and some attract less moisture than your average fence. If you want to avoid dampness or know you live in an extremely rainy environment, consider getting pressure-treated wood or opt for options like cedar, redwood, or fir. Cedar smells amazing while keeping pests and moisture away, while redwood comes with a naturally infused chemical that keeps moisture away. Fir has one of the most stable EMC than any other kind of wood, making it a great option for damp environments.

With Professional Fence Installers, You Can Ensure Your Fence Boards Don’t Warp

Warping fence boards are unsightly and leave your yard looking a mess. Fortunately, following these tips can ensure that your fence stays in mint condition, but there is one more way you can try. Getting your fence installed and restored by the pros is the best way to prevent issues like warping, cracking, and splitting. If you’re in the market for a beautiful aluminum fence, or a fence restoration, reach out to Everlasting Fence today!

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