How to Prevent Curved and Warped Boards on Your Privacy Fence

Fences have to face the power of wind, downpour, and numerous different things since they’re exposed to the elements 24/7. So it’s no surprise that after some time, they begin to sag or become deformed. It happens to all fences to some extent, but by far, the most susceptible are wooden fences. 

In today’s blog from Carnahan-White Fence Company, we explain how to prevent curved and warped boards on your privacy fence.


Wood is an element that absorbs moisture and can become softened by excessive rain or humidity. The moisture makes the wood shrink or expands depending on the climate. When water is introduced to wood, some parts of the wood will begin to dry more quickly than others, setting the stage for uneven shrinkage. The result is a deformed or warped fence that is unsightly at best and ineffective at worst. 

Pre-Drilled Holes

First, pre-drill all holes and use blunt tip nails. It seems like an oxymoron to use blunt-tipped nails, but they help eliminate the potential of splitting wood. The same is true for pre-drilled holes. Without using a hammer and force, the risk cuts in half for splitting boards. A crack in the wood allows moisture to seep into the middle of the wood and cause more severe distortion. 


Second, consider putting back rails on the fence eight inches from the top and bottom of the fence to provide adequate support. These standards have had the highest success rate when it comes to preventing distortion. Even when moisture or elements affect the fence, the support rails help maintain the original form and integrity of the fence. 

Wood Sealant

Finally, use a professional-grade sealant on the fence to provide a barrier against anything that could be detrimental to the fence, whether it be moisture, insects, or other natural damage. Even the best sealant must be reapplied, and each brand has a different time frame for when it needs to be reapplied. If you’re unsure about how often to treat your fence, check the back of the can or the manufacturer’s website for specifics. 

Wood Privacy Fences by Carnahan-White

If you’re unsure about any of these steps, contact us today. We can walk you through the best way to prevent warping on your fence. Contact Carnahan-White or call 417-883-0733 to talk to us about what you envision for your place.