Wood remains one of the most popular materials for fencing. It’s affordable and can be
installed in an array of vertical and horizontal designs. However, wood fencing is prone to
Wood absorbs moisture from humidity and rain, both of which abound in South Florida’s
subtropical environment. When the sun comes out and boards begin to dry, they do so at an
uneven rate. Warping occurs over time when one part of a board dries faster than another. The
portion that dries fastest will experience shrinkage. The process places stress on the boards and
changes their shape.
Wooden fence boards expand and shrink until the board’s moisture content is equal to the
relative humidity. It’s known as equilibrium moisture content (EMC). Even though fence board
undergo a process to cure them prior to sale, different species of wood have a natural moisture
content unique to them. All wood fencing boards will eventually attain EMC, but the process
can take days, weeks or months, depending on the wood.
Thicker pieces of wood will take longer to release or absorb moisture and the end grains
require less time to reach EMC. Painting or staining the wood extends the time to achieve EMC,
but warm temperatures accelerate the process.
Some wood species are more resistant to warping than others – cedar, redwood and fir. Cedar
is very dense and resists cracking. Redwood contains a natural chemical compound that
prevents it from absorbing moisture. Fir is extremely stable once it reaches EMC.
The straighter the grain pattern, the less likely wood is to warp, no matter what species it is.
Boards that come from a tree’s center are also less likely to warp. The way a board is cut, dried,
processed, stacked, and stored will also have an impact on the likelihood of warping, but
consumers have no control over those variables. It can help to seal the ends of the boards to
reduce shrinking and warping, as can staining or painting the wood once it has attained EMC.
Zepco Fence…South Florida’s Premier Fence Company
Since 1981 Zepco Fence has been providing superior quality fence products and installations to all of South Florida Residential and Commercial Property owners.
Serving all of Broward and Palm Beach County areas, we are the #1 Fence Company in South Florida.
We encourage you to contact us below to get started with a free estimate on your next fence project.
Call Today at 954-410-9570