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Nail & Fastener Stain Bleed. How To Avoid It on My Fence

Nails & Fasteners | Stain Bleed

Wood fences are primarily built using fasteners such as Nails and Staples. Larger nails, considered framing nails, are typically used to fasten rails to posts or 2x caps to rails. Smaller, round head nails are commonly used to fasten boards to rails or trim to boards, and typically are ring shank style to minimize their ability to back out over time. Depending on the fence style, larger staples may be used to fasten the boards to the rails, primarily when a trim board will cover the staples. In certain cases, Staples can hold a board more securely than round head nails due to their geometry spanning perhaps ½” of wood fiber as long as the fastener is installed properly to cross over the wood fiber, not parallel to the wood fiber. Other staples might be narrow crown staples such as used in architectural lattice areas, because a small head nail just will not hold the wood from twisting.

Depending on the raw materials used, and more frequently the budget allowed, fasteners can bleed and streak on the installed fence. For example, Western Red Cedar has Tannic Acids naturally occurring, that quickly reacts with steel fasteners causing cosmetic streaks in the wood. But fasteners can range at the high end from Stainless Steel or special Aluminum, for little or no bleed, to Hot Dipped Galvanized Steel as a good middle ground, most common fastener to the lower end Electro Galvanized for the budget minded.

An effective fence bid should advise you of the assets and liabilities of the different fastener choices and empower you with the decision on which you want to pay for, recognizing the positives and negatives.

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