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Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Post Caps?

Post caps were originally used to prevent rotting or termites in wood fencing posts. By covering the top of the post, the original wood post cap covered the cut top of the post protecting it over time. However, it didn't take long for the decorative aspects of post caps to be recognized. Post caps are a great way to add design and sophistication to an otherwise ordinary residential or commercial fencing or deck application. Post Caps and, especially, pineapple finials also work very well indoors on stair rails and fireplaces. Our wood post caps have the ability to accept paint or stain for your unique customization.

Why Finials?

The original wooden finial did not have decorative beginnings, but were installed on building roof tops, known as roof finials, to deter evil spirits. Small brass finials were sometimes useful in deterring pigeons or other birds. Finials make a beautiful finish to your deck railing or hand rail and serve equally well in doors or out doors. Wood finials come in many shapes and sizes. Post Cap Source is known for its custom finial ability for both commercial and residential applications.

Copper, Stainless Steel and Brass Post Caps

Our copper post cap, stainless steel post cap, and brass post caps come with a thin, clear coating designed to protect them before and during installation. Once they are exposed to the elements, the sun's ultraviolet rays, moisture, and pollution begin to break down this coating, exposing the metal underneath.

What is powder coating?

Our white post caps, green post caps, and patina copper post caps are treated with powder coating. Powder coating is a dry finishing process, using finely ground particles of pigment and resin which are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto the part to be coated (the post cap or finial). The post cap parts to be coated are electrically grounded so that the charged powder particles adhere to the surface of the rounded part of the cap post. These particles are held there until melted, fusing into a smooth coating in the curing oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high-quality finish that is also environmentally friendly. Powder coated post caps and powder coated finials do not rust like metal-painted post caps.

What does "patina" mean?

The natural weathering of copper is the result of corrosion of airborne sulfur compounds. This leads to a gradual change in the surface color. The final color varies and depends on the location of the copper post cap installed and your local weather. Salt, moisture, sunlight, and orientation can affect the final color of the copper post cap or copper finial. In general, copper changes in hues from a natural salmon, through a progression of russet browns and grays, then finally to a blue-green or green-gray patina.

How do I keep my copper post cap from turning green?

There is no permanent protection system that will protect your copper post caps or finials from weathering. There are clear coatings that will provide short-term protection for exterior applications and longer-term protection for interior applications. Our copper post caps are treated with a clear-coat to minimize discoloration during handling and installation. This coating will eventually break down due to ultra-violet rays and normal weatherization. Depending on the climate and sun exposure, this process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. A moist environment speeds up the process. We suggest you install your copper post caps and copper finials with the end colorization in mind. Once this chemical change has begun, it is permanent and cannot be reversed. Post caps will vary in color as they weather, but the variations will even out over time.

What is ACQ?

Alkaline copper quat (ACQ) is one of several wood preservatives that have been developed in recent years because of environmental or safety concerns with CCA (an arsenic-based preservative). ACQ is a formulation that contains copper and quaternary ammonium compound as active ingredients. Copper is a very cost-effective fungicide protecting against decay. It also provides some protection against termite attack. The Quat provides protection against termites and certain types of fungi that are tolerant of copper.

If my fence post is exactly 4" x 4", do I need to purchase a bigger post cap to fit my fence?

No. If you select a post cap that is 4" x 4", it is intentionally made to fit a 4" x 4" fence post. In reality you are purchasing a 4 1/8" x 4 1/8" post cap. The extra 1/8" is for "wiggle room" to slide the cap over the fence post. However, with that said it is possible to purchase your post cap without the extra standard 1/8". Simply add in your notes at checkout that you would not like the standard 1/8" extra.