pickets warping

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Old 08-17-07, 07:31 PM
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pickets warping

Over the last 3 1/2 weeks Ive installed a new 6' wood stockade fence useing panels, 380' of it. The last week Ive been doing final tweeks on the gates and such. Today I noticed the first gate I built was starting to warp out on the top. I walked the perimater of the fence and noticed that ALOT of pickets are twisting/warping. Is there any way to repair/stop the damage without replaceing? Im going to treat the fence but wanted to get it done first. It has been hot here (upper 90's-100's) and no rain. Is it possable the pickets will straighten them selves out with some moisture or finish/stain? I cant tell you how discouraged I am over the condition of my investment so far, to look down the fence line makes me sick. Thanks for any help you can give.
 
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Old 08-18-07, 08:05 AM
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Hi:
We had a very similar issue in the past, .... as to starting to 'warp out' several pickets. For that, we did put extra posts in the middle, although normally only two posts takes care of it. It didn't help all of the problems, but acceptable, rather than looking at crooked and warped fence-line.

As for whether moisture and stain could cure the problem, it didn't help at all. Once warped out on the top, it stays there almost permanenly, except some improvement once soil around posts started to settle down which took about for one to two years' period.
 
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Old 08-18-07, 08:12 AM
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Strange, are these pickets pressure treated?

Like PineCone said, the boards will not straighten back out and staining them will probably do nothing. There is moisture trapped in the wood and will continue to get worse.

Where did you get the material? I'm not even sure if fence lumber comes with any type of warranty, but it wouldn't hurt asking the supplier.
 
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Old 08-18-07, 04:17 PM
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I got the panels from Lowes. They are presure treated. The fence looked great for the first couple weeks, straight as can be. Now the pickets are either bowing in or out, some at the top, some middle or bottom. Ive only found 1 panel that seems to warped as a complete panel, Im going to install a brace and hope that helps. Looking down the fence line looks real choppy because of the pickets going differant directions. I guess some of the bad pickets will just have to be replaced and the rest wil be what they are.

Also, Ive got some deformed gates. Ill try to explain the design. To start they are double gates per opening; 1 with 2, 4' gates and 1 with 2, 5' gates. Hinged on the sides, used 2 latchs where the gates close together(1 at top and 1 at bottom. Then installed bar that runs vertically and sets in grround to hold that gate ffrom moveing.I used the premade panels, cut to the width I needed. Installed a 2x4 vertically on each side of panel, useing half lap joints to tie 2x4's to exsiting 2x2 horizonal pieces. Then installed antisag cables. All was good for a while but now the top is bowing out. Can I install cables oposite the antisag cables to pull the top back in?
 
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Old 08-18-07, 04:54 PM
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The fence in our backyard is almost 30 years old and NEVER had a problem like yours, even though we bought cheapeast fences because we didn't make a lot of money then, at young ages. It's about 50 - 60 feet long straight-lined fence and NO pressure-treated. Just ordinary wooden fences. Afterwards, we stained them to look nice, tho'. The fence is still standing strong and NO rotten whatever.

It's very strange that after two - three weeks later, most of fence-panels started to warp. Sounds to me like something is wrong with those, pressured-treated ones.

If it were you, I would definitely ask Lowe's manager whether warping is normal thing by showing several photoes of fence that you constructed in your premise. You need to get a clear explanation from a manger, otherwise it might end up MORE headaches down the road, such as wanting to tear them out because of NOT-nice looking fence-line.
 
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Old 08-18-07, 04:59 PM
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SheKnewICould,

It's wood, and if it's left unsupported, it's gonna warp. Stain/sealer isn't going to change it, it's NOT going to go back to straight on it's own, and no, it doesn't have a warranty against warping.

Solutions are:

1.) Add more rails and screw the boards to the new rails. Just be aware that at some point down the road the strength of the wood will over power the screws, and the new rails will lose their holding power, and the screws are going to pop, leaving you with warped pickets.

2.) Live with it.
 
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Old 08-19-07, 07:52 PM
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The problem is you used wet green treated lumber for fence panels and such. Like Lefty said it will not straighten out. When using green treated wet lumber, you should lay it flat inside a building or covered with a tarp for as long as it takes to dry. Wet lumber in the hot sun leads to warps. Its a nature thing. No warranties. I would have used dry cedar myself. It does not warp. Just my thoughts.
 
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Old 08-19-07, 08:36 PM
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Those Lowes panels have really thin pickets too - maybe not even 5/8ths thick
 
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Old 08-20-07, 10:00 PM
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That is the problem with the box stores, they sell cheap wood and when people get quotes from a fence guy they think they are getting ripped off beacause they saw it at Lowes and it was cheap, well you get what you pay for. You could not go to a lummber yard or fence supplier and buy boards that thin, they don't even use a 2x3 for backers.
 
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Old 08-22-07, 05:20 PM
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Yea Im not real pleased with the outcome of the fence. Im going to replace a couple real bad pickets, treat/stain the whole thing and just keep it maintained the best I can. Invested to much to do it over, so it is what it is. Live and learn. Thanks for all the input.
 
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