A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
That well-known saying can well apply to the quality of build for your fence or your deck. Why so?
Your fence or deck will likewise only be as strong as the kind of fasteners (AKA hardware that joins to materials together, such as nails or screws) you use when constructing it. Oftentimes, homeowners are greatly disappointed with the ‘handiwork’ of bargain contractors who use lower quality fasteners to build fencing and decking.
As time goes by, if incorrect or lower quality fasteners are used, you may see parts of your deck start to pull away, presenting an unsafe and unsightly environment surrounding your home.
Other than the dangers and cost differences of different fasteners, there are also other factors to consider when choosing the kinds of screws to use when constructing. Much of these have to do with appearance and personal preference, as well as the kind of material you are fastening. The fencing and decking materials chosen such as wood or composite (Trex) will have a bearing on the type of fastener used.
We’re here at Liberty Fence and Deck Company to take a moment to discuss just what kind of fasteners are out there and available for use on your next fencing or decking project and what kind of material they best accommodate.
Fencing & Decking Fastener Options
1. The Classic Nail
Though there are endless sizes and varieties of nails available, none would necessarily be recommended for construction of your deck or your fence.
Though possible to use, nails don’t offer the structural tight bond that screws have to offer. Eventually they have potential to start to pull away and lift up with the boards due to swelling from weather conditions.
We recommend playing it safe and avoiding this route, being as there are much better options for you that won’t break the bank.
2. The Traditional Wood Screw
When it comes to strength, classic wood screws will never disappoint when used for wood fencing and decking. Able to hold up in the tough treated lumber frequently used for fencing, the classic wood screw is never a wrong choice in wood fencing. Definitely a durable choice!
Wood screws are also an option for deck construction when your budget doesn’t allow for the higher quality of fastener (to be discussed later).
However, many inexperienced builders have used classic screws incorrectly when constructing decks. When the screw gun setting is too strong, the wide head of the screw gets set too deep in the wood. Why is this a problem?
These deep set holes now welcome rain water and eventually lead to premature rotting of your wood deck.
Besides these possible problems, you also have to look at the screw heads on your deck. Even when installed correctly, these can be a potential eye-sore in the opinion of some homeowners.
If, however, this choice isn’t an eye-sore to you and you want to use these screws to get the job done, a suggestion would be to at least upgrade to a stainless fastener which offers more longevity in comparison to the regular styles.
3. Composite Deck Board Screws
As the name implies, these screws are specifically designed to accommodate the highly recommended composite (Trex) decking. How do these screws accommodate Trex decking?
From previous blogs you may have concluded abut composite decking that it is extremely dense. Regular wood screws present problems with this density.
First of all, regular screws may snap trying to fasten composite decking. They simply aren’t designed for it.
Beyond that, if screws with a large head are used, it results in a ‘mushrooming’ as the head meets the composite material, which results in a very unappealing site on a deck.
What, then, is the secret of these composite deck board screws? These screws are much harder to avoid snapping due to the hard composite material. They have a smaller head but still allow for strong torque without stripping.
Pro Decking & Fencing
4. Reverse Thread Screws
The differences between reverse thread screws and composite deck board screws are very minimal, but the main difference is the reverse threads found just under the head of the screw.
When used in composite material, non-reverse thread screws can cause the area surrounding the screw to bulge up slightly as the displaced material is pushed to the top, also creating the ‘mushroom’ effect mentioned earlier.
Due to the smaller head accompanied by the innovative ‘reverse’ thread towards the head of the screw, the ‘mushrooming’ is completely avoided because these reverse threads push down any material that was initially raised up from the main thread of the screws.
This clever design results in a strong fasten that is anything but an eye-sore. From a professional perspective, both composite deck board screws and reverse thread screws will always be the best choices in fastening composite decking.
Fargo-Moorhead Fencing & Decking Contractor
The screws your decking contractor chooses matters! As you have noticed, there is a right kind of fastener for every job and its best not to mix these up if you want to minimize future stress and repair cost.
Here at Liberty Fence and Deck Co. we will always use the right fastener for the job so you don’t have to worry about it. You can have confidence that we will not cut corners or cheap out on your fasteners.
Our fencing and decking pricing is fair and reasonable. Still, because we refuse to compromise on quality, we are by no means your local budget or bargain contractor.
Remember, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and a fence or deck is only as strong as its weakest fastener. You can be certain we won’t use any weak fastener on your project and your deck or fence will be strong for decades to come!
Contact us for a free fencing or decking estimate!