Residential Wood Fence Installers in Rochester, Minnesota FAQ
Is my best fence option still a cedar wood fence in Rochester, MN?
Cedar wood fencing constitutes the majority of today’s new growth. The reason for this is that, in the United States and Canada, tighter forestry restrictions have greatly limited the amount of old growth cedar trees in North America. For new growth, we source a fast-growing cedar tree species which has a minimal amount of heartwood. We harvest these particular trees when they are smaller in size, thus limiting the quantity of dark inner rings. The cedar wood fences used in Minnesota today are primarily made from sapwood.
What are my fencing options over cedar wood fencing in Rochester?
Because of the North American forestry restrictions on old growth cedar, the wood fence industry has shifted focus to more abundant tree species. These species, which include white fir, incense cedar, and Douglas fir, are populous in older growth trees. This, in turn, allows for greater and more expansive options for fencing boards. While they don’t have the rich cedar smell (though that itself becomes a tad hard to handle after a while), these wood options tend to outperform cedar in the fencing industry in Minnesota.
Are there advantages to having a treated wood fence over a fence made from western red, incense cedar, or Douglas fir?
Although treated wood doesn’t match the natural beauty of Douglas fir and cedar wood fencing, treated, stained, and red pine fence posts are also an excellent choice. Pine, a very dense wood option, has tremendous strength and durability and, when treated with ACQ or ACQ2 pressure treatment, becomes practically impenetrable. What’s more, treated fence materials in Rochester, Minnesota are easily stained to provide a darker color that’s similar to cedar and Douglas fir fence rails and pickets. The downside is that red and white pine posts eventually form cracks as the posts start drying following treatment. These are called “checks,” and are a natural process that does not compromise the strength of your wood fence posts. Until the “checks” become large enough that you can see what’s on the other side, you don’t have to be concerned.
Also worth noting is that red and white pine fence posts tend to twist as they mature. It doesn’t compromise the quality or longevity.
Should I stain my Douglas fir wood fence or cedar wood fence?
In the interest of maintaining a reddish and blonde color in your Douglas fir wood fence or cedar wood fence, you might want to consider staining your fence in Rochester, MN within six weeks of installation. Do not stain until the wood is completely dry (waiting until a whole week has passed since the last rain is a good precaution). Also, for staining, hire a fence staining contractor in Rochester, MN. After all, staining tends to be messy and complicated, and you don’t want overspray ending up on your house or your neighbor’s property. Avoid staining on windy days, tape off adjoining structures, and lay a drop cloth to avoid the staining spray from ending up on your lawn.
Because the course surface involved, brushing staining on your wood fence tends to be tricky, and rolling-on staining is easier but usually results in more drips and runs in the staining. If you’re keen on determining the appropriate amount of staining by sight, you might want to resort to spraying. However, for the best results, spray your wood fence and follow up quickly with a brush to even out the staining across the wood fence surface.
Staining on wood fences should be applied in an even coating through large, continuous strokes. Staining a wood fence is different from painting a wood fence in that when you apply more than one coat, the second must be applied while the first is still wet. Not doing this will result in the second coat failing to stick and eventually peeling. Plan on re-staining your Rochester wood fence every 2-3 years and make sure your fence is not constantly being sprayed by sprinklers, as this will likely result in discoloration.
Why is cedar wood fencing in Rochester, MN so popular?
In the old days, about forty years ago, cedar wood fence boards had a strong, distinguishing odor and were lush with red, brown, and orange colors.
What is the difference between heartwood and sapwood?
Sapwood is the tree’s “working” part, as this is the area through which water and sap flow in a manner similar to blood through arteries. Marked by outer, lighter colored rings, the sapwood part of the tree is vital while the tree is still alive, though it doesn’t make for good fencing stock, due to the amount of moisture it contains. The moisture content means the wood would shrink considerably as it tries. It will also be more prone to developing fungus.
Formed from older layers of the tree which no longer circulate sap and water, heartwood essentially functions as the tree’s spine. Marked with darker colors, heartwood is the preferred source for wood fence materials in Rochester, MN, because it doesn’t develop fungus so easily and, because of the lack of moisture, doesn’t shrink as much as it dries out. It is for this reason that many mills specializing in decorative cedar fence posts remove the sapwood from their lumber and focus solely on the heartwood.
Which is better? Cedar fence posts or treated pine fence posts?
Here at American Fence Company of Minnesota, we use premium cedar or ACQ1 treated stained posts. Cedar fence posts and treated fence pine fence posts are fine so long as the concrete footing is set to shed water. Treated fine posts sometimes form cracks, called “checks,” as well as a slight twist to their structure; in spite of this, they have been known to outlast cedar in terms of longevity. Cedar wood fence posts are less prone to cracking and twisting, though they have been known to warp. Unstained cedar fence posts will eventually gray out.
Are untreated wood fence materials safe for family and pets?
Only use industry approved ACQ treated posts. Do not use CCA (Cooper Chromate Arsenic) fence materials. If you’re unsure how materials are coated, look for a tag at either end of the post or inquire with your wood fence contractor in Rochester, MN.
What about wood fence gates in Rochester, MN?
For 6′ wood fence gates, only use heavy duty 4” x 6” posts. Three hinges per gate is recommended, and we recommend ensuring all gate hardware has been powder coated. This helps avoid corrosion and rusting.
Regarding my wood fence gates in Rochester, will I have maintenance issues?
A wood fence gate is set between two independent gate posts. Gate posts are subject to the elements and changes in weather: temperature swings, sunlight exposure, frost, unsettled soil, etc. All of this can cause displacement of your gate posts, causing them to shift out of place. Even the slightest shift can result in movement of the gate’s latch hasp. Once this happens, your gate won’t latch because the alignment is now off.
How do I fix my wood fence gate in Rochester?
If you have a standard drop fork latch (the kind that resemble two prong pitchforks and move up and down), you shouldn’t have to worry. However, if your latch has a horizontal rod that falls into the receiver when the gate is closed, it will need adjustments. The same applies for gate latches that look like standard door locks. If you have either of these, talk to your fence contractor in Rochester, MN, about getting four-way adjustment hinges for your wood fence gate.
What nails do I need for my wood fence?
Galvanized or aluminized nails that are counter sunk (to avoid popping out) is your best bet.