Q: Why should I choose a Cali Bamboo Fence?
A: Beyond the bamboo's natural beauty and ability to blend into the landscape, it holds many real advantages over other traditional fencing options.
Bamboo is the most environmentally friendly wood product on Earth because it is the fastest growing plant on record. It takes 30-50 years for a cedar tree to grow back after it is cut down for wood fence construction. Bamboo, on the other hand, can be sustainably harvested for fencing every 3 years. When comparing bamboo fencing to vinyl fencing, a petroleum-based product, the environmental benefits of bamboo become even more obvious and compelling.
Bamboo fences can last twice as long as cedar fences and are able to significantly withstand more environmental extremes such as hurricane force winds (the rounded canes allow the wind to pass through the fence). And unlike cedar or pine, bamboo is naturally termite resistant, avoiding one of the most common fates of traditional wood fences. (Termites cannot digest bamboo due to a naturally high content of silica in the wood fibers.) These unique physical characteristics make bamboo more suitable for a range of applications and installation environments.
Bamboo fencing actually costs less than most traditional fencing products, especially when you consider the investment over a period of time. Significantly less expensive than vinyl fences, bamboo fences are also much easier to install - a quality which saves on contractor costs and gives you the option to install it yourself. When it comes to cedar fences, bamboo can be slightly more expensive, but because it lasts so much longer, bamboo's overall cost ends up being less than traditional wood fences throughout the product's lifetime.
Q: What are the different ways you can install a bamboo fence?
A: Several different installation techniques allow Cali Bamboo fencing to be easily adapted for a wide variety of construction projects. These options also allow for the integration of a bamboo fence into a broad spectrum of architecture and landscaping environments:
Picture frame bamboo fence
The picture frame bamboo fence is the most popular style of bamboo fencing. The term "picture frame" is derived from the way in which the bamboo is framed in by traditional wood on all four edges: top, bottom, and sides. When both sides of the bamboo fence are framed it is also referred to as a "good neighbor fence." The advantage of this style is that by matching the color of the wood frame encasing the bamboo, you can creatively incorporate the fence into the aesthetic of your home. The clean lines of the painted frame coupled with the vertical lines of the bamboo creates a relaxed sense of calm, unique to bamboo fencing.
Traditional fence installation
Bamboo fencing can be installed exactly like traditional wood without picture framing. In this method the bamboo is secured on one side of the fence frame to two horizontal 2x4s referred to as "rails." This technique gives the fence a slightly different look depending on which side you are standing on; one side will have a frame while the other appears "clean" with only bamboo showing.
All bamboo fence system
A Cali Bamboo all bamboo fence system uses bamboo poles measuring 4" or 5" in diameter as the main, supporting posts in place of traditional wood 4x4s. The horizontal 2x4 support rails are typically replaced with 2" bamboo poles. The bamboo rolled fencing is then attached to this all bamboo frame allowing for a completely organic looking fence that is quite unique.
Refurbish existing wood, chain link, block wall (cover and add height)
One of the great features of Cali Bamboo fencing is that you need not build an entirely new fence to enjoy the benefits of bamboo. Cali Bamboo fences can be used to cover existing, structurally sound fences to increase privacy or refurbish an eye sore. One advantage to this installation method is the bamboo fence's ability to double the privacy height. For example, if you have a 4ft tall chain link fence, you can choose to attach an 8ft tall bamboo fence, gaining significant coverage.
Q: How durable is Cali Bamboo fencing? How long will it last?
A: Cali Bamboo fences are manufactured using our proprietary Sigma7TM Quality Control System. This accounts for not only how a Cali Bamboo fence appears but how it weathers and lasts. Cali Bamboo understands bamboo and the correct processing procedures (which we are constantly improving). When properly maintained, our fences can last decades in even the harshest climates.
Q: How do you know so much about bamboo fencing?
A: Cali Bamboo started bringing bamboo fencing into the mainstream in 2004, and in the process we have probably manufactured and distributed more bamboo fencing than all other companies on the planet combined. We have shipped our fencing to nearly every corner of the globe in every conceivable weather condition. We have learned what adjustments to make for each situation, and we build on this knowledge to constantly improve our fences.
Q: How do bamboo fences age, and how do they compare to cedar fences?
A: All fences are subject to environmental stresses including ultraviolet radiation, heating and cooling cycles, humidity changes, freezing cycles, mildew, and strong winds. However, bamboo fences will hold up better than cedar fences in almost every test. One unique aspect of bamboo fences is their inherent beauty, and they often become the showcase of the property, contributing greatly to landscape improvement. When left to the elements they will eventually change to a gray color, similar in tone to aged cedar. If you prefer to maintain the color of a Cali Bamboo fence over long periods of time some maintenance is required (see below).
Q: How do I keep my Cali Bamboo fence looking beautiful?
A: Cali Bamboo Fences can be cleaned and restored rather easily. Over time, you may notice changes in the color of the bamboo fence, but as these are only superficial surface changes that occur to the canes' waxy outer coating, they will not jeopardize the bamboo's strength. In fact, it is very difficult to stain bamboo when it is first installed due to the density of its waxy outer cellulose fibers. It is recommended that bamboo remain unstained until the elements have broken down this outer cellulose fiber layer. You will know this has occurred when the bamboo takes on a grayish tone (the same tone as aged cedar). When this color change is complete, it is the perfect time to restore the fence back to its original color with a weather-proof stain. Oftentimes the restoration looks better than when it was new:
Q: How do I customize the size of a Cali Bamboo Fencing Panel for a shorter height or a shorter width? What is the best tool to use?
A: The best tool to use to make fence panels a shorter height is a common circular saw with a plywood blade (140 teeth). If you need a section to be less than 8ft wide, a pair of wire cutters is all that is required. Simply cut the wire about 2 canes longer than you need, slide the extra two canes off and wrap the extra wire around the last cane.
Q: At what depth should I bury fence posts?
A: A general rule of thumb is to place at least 18in of the post in the ground depending on local conditions and height of fence. Use a diameter of 10"-12" for all postholes. We also suggest burying all gate posts, end posts, corner posts and posts that will be used to hold 8ft tall fencing at least 6" deeper than the other posts, especially in areas with high wind or extreme weather.
Q: Should all posts be set in concrete?
A: We recommend that all posts be set in concrete in accordance with local conditions and standard building practices. Posts that are not set in concrete could eventually lean due to wind and weather.
Q: What about gates? Does Cali Bamboo do bamboo gates?
A: Absolutely! Gates are very simple and are really no different from the rest of the fence except for a few minor hardware additions. Ask a knowledgeable Cali Bamboo fence expert to help you build the gate you are looking for.
Q: What other things do I need to know about maintaining bamboo fences?
A: All outdoor wood products are subject to a range of environmental stresses. A regular maintenance schedule is the best option to protect any outdoor building material including bamboo. All outdoor wood material is subject to the sun's radiation as well as airborne surface mildew. Depending on the local weather conditions, applying an outdoor wood sealant containing fungicide and UV protection every few years is recommended. Also, a highly unique characteristic of bamboo is its natural tendency to make noise! Popping sounds can occur as a result of the pressure difference between the trapped air in the sealed chambers between nodes and that of the surrounding atmosphere. The pop will open a small vertical air pocket along the length of the fibers which has no inherent mechanical or structural affects, but can catch you off guard if you're unaware.