Pressure-treated vs. galvanized steel: Which fence post is right for you?

The saying is true–good fences make good neighbors. FenceWorks NW is in the business of helping our customers be the best neighbors possible. If you’ve decided to install a new fence in Clark County or replace an old one, it’s important to choose long-lasting materials built to withstand the damp climate known to cause dry rot and wreak havoc on timber.

In the Northwest, the two most common fence posts are pressure-treated posts and galvanized posts. To help you choose the right option for you, keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of each type of post.

Pressure-treated posts

First things first, let’s define pressure-treated posts. To create wood that is protected from wood rot and insects, lumber is placed in a depressurized holding tank that replaces excess air with a solution of water and chemical preservatives with proven protective qualities. In 2004 EPA regulations removed arsenic from the recipe, replacing it with copper azole. This treatment does add years of protection for the posts, but they do not last quite as long as they used to.

While this treatment does not eliminate the potential for wear and tear or corrosion from the elements over time, a pressure-treated post will last far longer than traditional wooden posts. If installed directly into the soil, you can expect a pressure-treated post to last approximately seven years. Installed into a concrete base, a pressure-treated post can last 20+ years. Unlike most companies, FenceWorks NW meticulously hand-trowels every footing, bringing the concrete above grade. This extra step protects your investment and minimizes exposure to dirt that will prematurely rot your fence.

Pressure-treated lumber, while more expensive than natural wood, is less expensive than aluminum, steel, or other building materials. Pressure-treated lumber is also much easier to customize–whatever your fence height or style, we can easily cut the post to suit your needs. Some styles of fencing work much better with pressure treated posts vs steel. This is a discussion we are happy to cover at the time of your free estimate.

Galvanized steel posts

It seems like an easy decision when you compare pressure-treated wood and steel fence posts. However, the winner when comparing pressure-treated wood and galvanized steel isn’t as clearly defined.

The process of galvanizing steel involves applying a zinc coating to steel, effectively protecting the metal from rust, acid, or erosion. Most galvanized steel posts are created using the hot-dip method, where posts are dipped into molten zinc. Steel that has undergone this process is easily identified by the crystalline pattern of the posts, often referred to as spangle.

There are 4 common options for steel posts; square, round, c-post & post masters (flange style) We help you decide which is best for your style of fence.

When comparing fence post lifespans, the life of a galvanized steel post far outlasts its treated wooden counterpart. In some cases, galvanized steel fence posts can last 50 -70 years with little to no maintenance. The galvanized coating protects the steel underneath, as the elements must first destroy the zinc coating before compromising the strength of the metal. If strength is a concern, steel is virtually indestructible. The metal is fireproof and stable when faced with high winds.

The quality of galvanized steel comes with a heftier price tag than a pressure-treated wood post. Keep in mind, though, that galvanized steel will last two to three times longer than a pressure-treated wood post. When you complete a yearly cost breakdown, galvanized steel comes out ahead. Also remember, a strong fence post strengthens the entire fence. When you choose galvanized steel posts, you minimize the likelihood of incurring fence damage after big storms.

As you make the decision whether to select galvanized steel posts or pressure-treated wooden posts, the choice is largely based on budget. If you need a fence now, but you’re not ready to invest in a solution for the next 50 -70 years, a fence with pressure-treated wooden posts is your best option. If you prefer a low-maintenance solution that will last a lifetime, galvanized steel posts are the ultimate choice for your Clark County fence.

If you’re ready to get started with your new fence or fence replacement, our team of expert craftsmen are ready to help.

We offer free consultations and estimates, so you can weigh your options and choose the fence post solution that’s right for your yard and your budget. No matter what you choose, you can be sure that FenceWorks NW’s high-quality materials and expert workmanship will result in a long-lasting fence you’ll love.

fence repair Vancouver WA

Galvanized nails vs coated outdoor screws

Nails and screws are the unsung heroes of the fence and deck industry. We talk a lot about the best type of wood to use for your planks–FenceWorks NW sources our cedar from a sustainably managed forest for a long-lasting fence or deck that’s good for the environment.

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Washington Since 2018

The experienced team at FenceWorks NW are the fence, deck, and covered patio experts in Vancouver and the surrounding areas in Clark County Washington. We would be happy to come by and provide a free comprehensive estimate.

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