Kiln Dried, Pressure Treated or Green Lumber for Fencing

wood-fenceIf you are planning on investing in a Houston wood fence, you should know the difference between pressure-treated, green lumber and kiln-dried wood. All of them can be used for wooden fences by a Houston fence company and they all have their strengths.

Lumber Moisture

The various types of lumber have differing moisture content.

Green Lumber is the wettest with a moisture content that is usually between 24 and 29 percent. The term does not refer to wood that is colored green. Green lumber is the most basic form of lumber that has been milled to a specific size, partially finished and sold to consumers or a Houston fence company. It may be smooth on all sides, have one rough face or eased edges.

The problem with green lumber is that the moisture does not remain in the wood after it has been used. While it is drying, the boards have a tendency to warp, crack or split as they shrink. This is especially true in an area with direct sunlight and poor air circulation. Wood with a high concentration of moisture does not accept stains or paint as well as wood that is drier, which can cause problems down the road. In some instances, like when being used for a fence, green wood is preferable. Green cedar fencing is an industry standard for fences. There is little chance that contraction will occur while the wood is drying because the boards are thin. Air flows all around them since the boards in the fence are vertical, which helps them dry evenly.

Kiln-Dried Lumber is great for a host of projects, such as framing or for a cedar deck. Kiln drying guarantees that the lumber you use for a fence in Cypress TX does not have splits, is straight and will stay straight after your project is completed.

Kiln-dried wood has been cut close to what the final dimension will be. After it has been cut, it is stacked in layers that permit air to flow equally throughout the lumber. The building where the wood is stored has rigorous climate controls to manage the moisture, heat and airflow so that the boards dry evenly. Kiln drying lowers the moisture content to between 10 and 16 percent depending on the dimensions of the piece of lumber and the type of wood. A bonus benefit of kiln drying is that it kills any insects that might be hiding within the wood. The vast majority of houses are framed with kiln-dried wood for that reason. It might still contract and expand, but that will be minimal because it was installed at a stable moisture level.

Pressure-Treated Pine is usually a southern yellow pine or a mixed pine species. These trees grow quickly in the southeastern United States. Once the wood is cut to the correct dimension, it is dried in a kiln to reduce the moisture content. After that, bundles of it are placed in tanks where the wood has a pressurized water-based solution of micronized copper azole forced into the fibers. This gives the pine a dark green color and adds considerable weight to the lumber. Pressure-treated pine is guaranteed for 20 years against insects or damage from decay. However, it is not guaranteed against warping, shrinkage or splitting. It can dry in approximately one month.

Best Lumber for Houston Fences

Most Houston fence companies would recommend using pressure-treated vertical posts and western red cedar for the fencing. It is best if cedar is not in constant contact with the ground as it can absorb moisture and warp. A fence made from cedar boards will look nicer 10 years after being built than one made from pressure-treated pine.