Pressure Treated Fence Boards
When beginning your research into buying fencing or fence panels be mindful there are a range of aspects you should consider before making the purchase; from which material do you require? Is it a softwood or hardwood timber? Is there a particular style you’re looking for? Are you aware there are different types of fencing available on the market?
People often stumble across ‘fence boards’ when doing their research because usually these are the pieces of timber fixed together to construct different types of fencing or its a term used when buying gravel boards. 'Fence boards' is a broad term used mainly by the trade but often relates to the individual boards that make up traditional featherboard, close board or feather edge fencing.
The most common terms used are either feather edge and featherboard, but why?
Featherboard fencing is a common, economical fence type that is universally recognised for providing value for money, while providing a neutral and strong backdrop for your garden and is used by many fence installers and garden landscapers throughout the UK. Usually built for privacy this style of fence is made from overlapping pales (fence boards) that are affixed to horizontal rails individually, which in turn are secured to posts secured into the ground.
It is common place for contractors or home owners to buy traditional featherboard pales as they may have a small area of existing fencing which could be broken or require extending, for example.
Another reason is there may be a hill that the fence needs to be installed. Kit form/traditional featherboard fencing can be in installed so the fence increases with the slope, rather than stepped.
Panel form is when the boards are already constructed and ready to install between two pre-installed posts below we illustrate two examples of the front and rear views of panel-form fencing complete with a gate.
Choose thick cut pressure treated fence pales!
When researching your chosen fence consider all aspects such as the depth, height and width of the timber you will require for your project. The thickness of the wood will make a substantial difference in the longevity of the fence or gravel board. We have written this short 6-step guide to what makes a good fence if you need any tips.
Naturally, the thicker pales on your fencing will add additional strength when compared to cheaper alternatives which directly impacts the lifespan of the product you're buying whereas cheaper timber pales will measure as thin as 10mm in thickness, this is done to save on the manufacturing costs of the fence keeping production costs low. It doesn’t take much to imagine which pale will perform better in elements over just one winter. This is a subject we have covered extensively throughout our site.
Finally, when looking at your timber boards don’t only consider the thicker 15mm edge of the pale - think about the thinner side as well. The thinner end of the board can be responsible for reducing the integrity of a fence by up to 50% as it may be tapered to only 4mm in some instances making the pale weak and prone to damage very easily, especially if there were already flaws in the timber.
Should you buy pressure treated timber?
Timber which is to be installed outdoors and destined to come into contact with the ground, freshwater or high-ground which is simply exposed to the elements, will require some form of preservation treatment to protect it from the challenges presented by an outside installation. Regardless of where the timber is to be sited, any softwood timber will enjoy an extended life span as a result of a timber preservation treatment like pressure treatment.
When timber arrives on site from sawnmills for many manufacturers it holds a high moisture content in excess of 100% which if left untreated can be prone to rot and decay in the not to distant future, ultimately affecting the integrity of the fencing. At Jacksons we kiln dry all of our timber reducing the water moisture content level to below 28% making the wood ready for pressure treatment.
Best practice dictates the next phase is for the timber to be passed into a pressurised chamber whereby a preservative chemical is pressed into the wood for four and a half hours, to penetrate deeply into the cell structure of the timber itself.
Many manufacturers will use the 'dip treatment' process which is not as comprehensive as it takes less labour, resource and storage which will reduce the costs of business meaning they will be selling their product for a lower price but beware the quality of timber used and expected lifespan will be years and years lower than a pressure treated fence.
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