Nominal generally refers to pressure treated wood.
4x4 Nominal fits 3.5" x 3.5" up to 3.75" x 3.75"
(The aluminum caps only fit 3.5" x 3.5")
6x6 Nominal fits 5.5" x 5.5" up to 5.75" x 5.75"
(The aluminum caps only fit 5.5" x 5.5")
8x8 Nominal fits 7.375" x 7.375" up to 7.625" x 7.625"
Actual generally refers to rough, untreated wood and vinyl or composite posts.
4x4 Actual fits 4" x 4" up to 4.6" x 4.6"
(The aluminum caps only fit 4" x 4")
6x6 Actual fits 6" x 6" up to 6.25" x 6.25"
(The aluminum caps only fit 6" x 6")
8x8 Actual fits 7.875" x 7.875" up 8.125" x 8.125"
(The aluminum caps only fit 8" x 8")
Decks and fences are valuable additions to your landscape. As such, you should do everything possible to protect them. One of the biggest problems with both fencing and decks are the posts. After years of weathering, the posts – especially the tops – are often split, rotten or worse. That’s where fence post caps come in. Install them when you install your new deck or fence, and you’ll be able to enjoy your investment many more years!
What are Fence Post Caps?
Fence post caps are a covering that fits over the top of the posts on a deck or fence. Most people think of post caps as a decorative item. They come in many colors, including black, white and natural shades such as greens and browns. Black is the most common color because it goes with everything, while white is less common because it is often difficult to match if you need to replace a cap.
Post caps also come in several material choices. Wood used to be one of the more popular materials, but like the posts themselves, wood caps rot quickly, and they’re prone to splitting, moss growth and pest damage. Vinyl post caps are a better alternative, but even these will fade and become brittle after a few years because they are not particularly UV resistant.
The best fence post caps are made from ASA resin, which is an impact-resistant plastic that offers a high level of UV resistance. With colors molded into the material, you won’t have to worry about fading, and the increased durability means that your deck and fence posts will be protected for a very long time.
More than Just Decoration
The end grain is the most vulnerable part of a fence post. In wet weather, the tops of your posts will absorb more water than any other part of the post. This leads to mold, mildew, moss growth and eventually rot. Fence post tops are also more exposed to sun and wind, which dries the wood and causes it to crack.
Fence post caps solve all those problems by protecting post tops from the elements. Not only will your posts last much longer, but they will also be safer. Since rough edges stay hidden under the cap, a wayward hand is not likely to pick up a splinter.
Depending on the caps you choose, they also offer valuable protection against birds and other wildlife. With pointed caps, you’ll find that squirrels and birds that previously liked to sit on your posts and make a mess will start hanging out somewhere else.