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Cracks in new wood Fence

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  • Nov 1st, 2020 9:09 pm
[OP]
Newbie
May 30, 2016
65 posts
19 upvotes

Cracks in new wood Fence

HI,

a wood fence was included with the purchase of our house. It got installed late last fall and took almost a year before our builder painted it.

I know a few cracks are acceptable but the fence has cracked all over the place since it was painted. See pics.

The fence was on our 30 days list. Tarion informed us that it can be covered by the warranty but this must be verified during an inspection.

There are no cracks in older fences around our neighborhood. Any advice or opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Images
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11 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 12, 2007
5607 posts
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Ottawa
While wood will naturally check (crack) as it dries, some of those checks are larger than I would like. Cheap lumber checks more than expensive stuff but even quarter-sawn planks from old growth Douglas Firs can check, although that's rare and nobody would use that type of lumber on a fence. You can hold out for replacement and maybe they will find posts and planks that won't check quite so badly or you can caulk the worst offending cracks (and refinish) and take comfort in the knowledge that checks in your fence indicates that it's real wood.
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 6, 2002
5968 posts
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Toronto
This looks normal. Not sure what the issue is?
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Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2004
1566 posts
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Mississauga
Very normal
"With today's sheep mentality sometimes I feel like going to a wall and just bang my head"
Deal Addict
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Jun 12, 2008
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Ancaster
My fence looks like that too. It just stands out more on yours because the wood is painted.

My 6x6 posts looked like that from the very beginning and 15 years later still look the same and are just as sturdy.
[OP]
Newbie
May 30, 2016
65 posts
19 upvotes
CaptSmethwick wrote: While wood will naturally check (crack) as it dries, some of those checks are larger than I would like. Cheap lumber checks more than expensive stuff but even quarter-sawn planks from old growth Douglas Firs can check, although that's rare and nobody would use that type of lumber on a fence. You can hold out for replacement and maybe they will find posts and planks that won't check quite so badly or you can caulk the worst offending cracks (and refinish) and take comfort in the knowledge that checks in your fence indicates that it's real wood.
Thanks a lot for the info. Is the longevity of the fence affected by the initial presence of checks?
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 12, 2007
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Ottawa
Superbobby wrote: Thanks a lot for the info. Is the longevity of the fence affected by the initial presence of checks?
It can depend but a wooden fence's longevity is more vulnerable to where it stays wet (and rots) and how the posts are anchored. This is more aesthetic and unlikely to really affect the fence's longevity in a meaningful way. Honestly, I have caulked checks in the wooden siding on my dormer windows but that's because it's on my house and I want to protect the substrate under the siding from water. With a fence, you could do three things: leave it alone; force matching colour stain into the checks with a small brush in order to improve the look with the least amount of effort; or caulk and refinish with the colour matched solid stain. The latter is harder to do well but, if done well, it can look really good.
Deal Addict
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Oct 13, 2008
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Wood over time will crack. It's just common sense.

Claim using Tarion and see what they say.
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Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2009
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This is pretty normal.
Deal Fanatic
May 1, 2012
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Markham
This happens to PT wood, normal.
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1664 posts
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Toronto
I know folks are saying this is normal, and maybe it is, but I can tell you that the fence boards of my backyard PT fence I built 9 years ago aren't full of cracks. That said, I handpicked every single fence board myself so maybe you just got shitty lumber.

I also didn't paint mine, so maybe that is a contributing factor. I don't think you're supposed to paint or seal for fence for a full season so the lumber can dry out.

Very normal for the 4x4 posts to crack and twist though.

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