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The first manufacturers and purchasers of post caps probably focused their efforts on these resources for their aesthetic value alone – a project just doesn’t have that feeling of completeness without them. However, that simple decision is one that led to significant gains over time – particularly in terms of protecting an already crucial investment.
Although it’s true that using post caps for decorative purposes is a uniquely modern trend, having only entered the mainstream during the last few decades, post caps themselves have a long and storied history – one that literally dates back centuries.
The earliest versions of post caps were less attractive than their current counterparts because instead of being visually pleasing, they were designed for just a single goal: protecting the post they rested on top of. For as long as people have been working with wood, they knew that protecting it was always easier – and thus more important – than replacing it every few years. The types of wood used in construction materials have very little resistance to moisture, which they’re traditionally exposed to via the top of the post.
The right fence post cap, as a result, can help stop that from happening – thus protecting the integrity of not only the wood but the fence it helps to build for years to come.
What are Fence Post Caps?
At their core, fence post caps are exactly what they sound like – a specially designed piece of material that fits comfortably over the top of the posts on a deck, a fence or some similar type of structure. They’re available in a wide range of different colors for you to choose from depending on your needs, and they’re also available in materials like wood, vinyl, ASA resin and more.
Why Do You Need Fence Post Caps?
By far, the end grain is the most vulnerable part of a fence post because, as stated, this is where it is most likely to be exposed to moisture and the elements. Not only will this exposed area absorb more moisture than any other part of the post, but this will also quickly lead into issues like moss growth, mold and mildew – eventually turning to rot.
Equally complicating things is the fact that fence post tops are more exposed to the sun and the win, which causes the wood to dry out and crack.
Therefore, fence post caps are essential because not only do they act as a way to protect your posts (and thus, the integrity of the fence itself), but they’re also a unique opportunity to inject a bit of visual flair into the proceedings as well.
Choosing the Right Fence Post Caps: What You Need to Know
Having said all that, there are a few key things you’ll want to consider before you choose your next fence post caps:
Figure out whether you’re working with nominal or actual sizes for your posts. Oftentimes a 4 by 4 fence post is actually 3.5 by 3.5. In this case, you would need to purchase post caps in nominal sizes.
If you have rough-cut posts, on the other hand, you’ll likely need to work with actual sizes.
Always make these measurements carefully to guarantee that your caps fit well. They should be tight, but not snug, around the post. Having a post cap that is too tight can be just as bad in the long-term as not having them at all.Choose your materials carefully. Vinyl may be a good short-term solution, but they’re not UV resistant and will fade and become brittle over time. Long-term solutions are those made from ASA resin, which offers impact resistance as well as UV protection.
The Island Post Cap Approach
For more than fifteen years, Island Post Cap has been proud to act as an industry leading and nationwide distributor of high end, specialty fence post caps and other superior quality wood products. We understand the pressure that comes with feeling like you have to set your projects apart from others like it. that’s why, in addition to fence post caps, we also offer the post finials, arbors, pergolas, lantern posts, mailbox posts, post sleeves, gates and other materials you need – all in the most convenient ways with the most affordable prices possible.
Backed by a team of hardworking, professional and passionate customer service representatives, we’re always available to answer your questions, take your orders and make sure that we’re not just meeting your expectations, but exceeding them. If you have any additional questions about what the right fence post caps can do for your next project, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own particular needs in a little more detail, please feel free to contact us today by email or give us a call toll free at 800-423-6589 (Monday through Friday, 7am to 10pm CST).