Wood fences are a beautiful addition to any home property. Installation of a wood fence can be a considerable investment, which makes it important to take care of such an enclosure. Although you may believe the role of the post caps installed by fence services is purely decorative, they actually play an important protective role. Help your fence last a long time by using these coverings on wooden barriers.
What Are Post Caps?
The post caps installed by fence services are coverings set over the ends of the wooden barrier pickets and nailed or screwed to the tops to cover exposed, sawed-off ends.
These protective coverings are available in several styles and do look attractive, improving the appearance of the enclosure around your property. They also serve a more important purpose than simply looking nice. Caps prolong the life of the pillar, which is an important part of any wood fence installation.
Why Are They Important?
Although wood fences can last for many years, they will eventually suffer from deterioration due to exposure to the elements. Moisture gets into the fibers, expanding and warping them. The sawed ends where the grain of the wood is exposed to the elements often absorb more water than any other part of the fence and swell the most as a result. Post ends hold moisture longer and provide the perfect environment for mold and algae growth, which may eventually cause rot.
Yet moisture is not the only thing that can damage wood posts. As time passes, wind and UV sunlight can dry out these coverings and they will begin to crack. Both extremes cause eventual weakening of the posts, which will break, sag, or even crumble in time.
The easiest way to prevent these problems and assure that your wood fence installation has a full-service life is by adding caps to the top of every post. Fence services always recommend using a protective barrier with any type of fencing with lumber end coverings, including PVC enclosures using wood post supports. Covering up the open-grain tops prevents water absorption, which is the main culprit in all of the above conditions.
Post caps for wood fences are available in many varieties and made from a number of different materials. Simple ones made from the length of a board set on angled post ends are the least expensive means of keeping water out. For a more attractive look, caps designed to look like wooden finials are also available. These coverings are readily available and easy to install; however, they should be replaced every few years since they can decompose.
In addition to wooden varieties, there are various types of PVC, composite, and resin versions that can be used. The choice begins with anything from plain PVC post sleeve covers to more decorative toppers and finials. Caps made from various metals like tin, steel, and copper are available in plain and decorative styles. It is even possible to purchase glass coverings with built-in solar panels and lights that charge during the day and provide free yard lighting at night.
Even though post caps may seem like an unnecessary expense, they are quite important for the preservation of your wood fence installation. Whether plain or fancy, their main purpose is to protect fences by preventing damage to an important part of the installation. When correctly installed by skilled fence services, post caps will keep your installation in great condition while also giving it a nicer look!