Fence caps, for decoration or protection?


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Old 02-22-23, 11:21 PM
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Fence caps, for decoration or protection?

I have an old cedar picket fence. The section without caps has the picket tops deteriorating. The section with caps shows no such deterioration. Caps seem to prolong fence life. But a fence contractor says caps are for decoration. Is he correct?
 
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Old 02-23-23, 01:21 AM
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Your referring to those copper capps for the 4x4 posts?

Mostly decorative, the top of the post is not the area that causes issues when it rots, what is in/at ground is most important, they look nice, especially when new but dont stay that way for long.
 
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Old 02-23-23, 02:38 AM
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If the boards are straight cut at the top water can be slower getting removed and the caps could help. If the top of each board is cut at a slight angle it will help it shed water. Water soaking into the end grain is what will shorten the board's life.
 
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Old 02-23-23, 04:54 AM
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Caps can be both for decoration and protection. A cap protects the wood by acting like a little roof to keep water off the end grain. Some can be plain and functional while others can be ornate and decorative.
 
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Old 02-23-23, 05:37 AM
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But a fence contractor says caps are for decoration. Is he correct?
He is wrong. Water sits on top of the posts. Destroying them eventually. When i mounted a 2x4 pressure treated wood to brick wall, i cut the top on a 45 degree angle so water doesn't sit on top of the wood. That's the correct way of doing it.
 
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Old 02-23-23, 10:19 AM
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Thank you for confirming that caps have functional value and not purely decorative.

I am not sure if I used the right word. I mean the 2x6 board sitting on top of the fence (not fence posts), above the top 2x4 rail. Fence posts are galvanized steel pipes embedded in concrete.
 
 

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