When it comes to putting up a fence, you need to determine what you want to get out of it, and I’m not just talking about the purpose of your fence, either. You want something that will stand the test of time and last long enough to provide value for money.
Everyone loves a good picket fence, but does it have to be wood fencing? Since the introduction of titanium oxide, vinyl fencing is one of the most durable products on the market. It can outlast a wood fence by a significant amount of time. Vinyl has come a long way since it was first introduced in the 1980s. Today, it will last decades, at least twice as long as wood fencing.
So, it can last longer than wood fencing, requires virtually no maintenance, and won’t be destroyed by termites, fungus, dry rot, or fire. What’s not to like?
Maintenance And Durability
Vinyl fencing can stand up to harsh weather, pests, decay, and fungus. You don’t need to worry about material break-down through the years, rot, or decay.
Vinyl fences need periodic cleaning with a cloth and mild detergent. An occasional hose down of your vinyl fence to keep it looking clean and presentable is the only maintenance required for vinyl fences. Hose with a high-speed nozzle to take care of all dirt and debris in one sweep.
A vinyl fence won’t stop a car, but neither will a wood fence. It is strong enough to handle what a wooden fence can – a thrown ball or a pet trying to get something on the other side, any run-of-the-mill damage.
Except in cases of extreme weather, your vinyl fencing should stay secure and beautiful for many years.
Due to low maintenance and durability, vinyl is a popular alternative for products typically constructed of wood, such as fences, gazebos, decks, siding, and window frames. There is no reason you shouldn’t get 20 to 30 years out of your non-wood privacy fence.
Counting The Cost
Upfront, you’ll pay more for a vinyl fence than your wooden one, but with upkeep costs and maintenance, you’ll end up paying considerably more for your wood fences over many years. After the initial outlay, you won’t need to invest any more of your hard-earned money on your privacy fence.
Although it is more expensive than wood upfront, it provides a better return on investment and won’t require regular (and costly) maintenance like wood fences. Unless you’re looking to fence an extensive area and you also don’t plan to live in your current home for many years, you will be happier with a vinyl fence in the long term.
Remember to factor in costs for installation when doing your numbers for your privacy fencing. Some suppliers may charge different rates for different materials.
If cost is an issue, consider mixing different types of materials. This combination fence will save you money, but it may also potentially reduce the amount of maintenance required and is sure to add interest to the landscape.
If you want your fence to remain pristine and beautiful, choose vinyl. Vinyl is now available in a variety of colors and styles, some of which mimic real wood. With its long life, lack of maintenance, formidable strength, and beautifully versatile appearance, vinyl should be a preferred choice for fencing.
From privacy to picket to semi-privacy to ornamental to post and rail, vinyl fencing systems offer many designs. While hidden picket fasteners and notched rails create a clean, finished look, the addition of large, welded posts add strength to support gates while maintaining a beautiful look. Colors will last over time. It won’t chalk or lose any of its strength under the heat of the summer sun.
How Is Vinyl Made?
Not all fences are made equal. Choose a reputable manufacturer. Otherwise, you may end up buying a fence that looks good but won’t last longer than a wood one. Pay attention to where fencing material is made, and what warranty is offered.
Mono-extrusion and co-extrusion processes are the two most common methods for manufacturing vinyl fencing. The mono-extrusion process uses one vinyl compound or one layer of material. The process puts ultraviolet inhibitors through the product. This ultraviolet inhibitor is the most expensive ingredient in the extrusion formula.
The co-extrusion process allows a manufacturer to create a product with greater strength and durability. The co-extruded fence profile is made of two layers: an outer layer containing the ultraviolet inhibitor and an inside layer with reduced ultraviolet protection. It demands a higher investment in equipment, tooling, training, and overall manufacturing sophistication, but it significantly lowers material costs. The lower price of co-extruded vinyl creates a slightly more affordable product without sacrificing quality. The best products are made from virgin vinyl, which ensures that the product is made using raw material most appropriate for its application.
For vinyl to have the characteristics necessary for fencing, it must be combined with special additives and modifiers to make it strong and durable.
Vinyls come in a range of sizes and thicknesses. Ask your dealer for detailed material specifications, ask for samples, and make comparisons.
Installing Your Vinyl Fence
Set the posts right, and the rest is simple. Correctly spacing and setting your fence posts is similar to putting up a wood fence. Assembling the fence panels is child’s play. Rails snap into the post slots and are held in place with locking tabs. Boards interlock with each other and secured with plastic U channels.
Vinyl fences come in two varieties: panelized and board and rail systems. A panelized system has panels that hang between the posts. Board and rail systems have individual boards and rails, much like a wood fence.
Of course, when it comes to installing your privacy fencing, you don’t need to go DIY. You can get the professionals to take care of everything for you.
How Safe Is Vinyl Fencing?
Vinyl is an environmentally safe material with no toxins to pollute the air or seep into the ground. Vinyl has a smooth surface with no nails, sharp edges or splinters.
Vinyl fences are marginally simpler to install than wood fences. In some cases, they’re sold in kits that many DIY homeowners can erect themselves.
Vinyl fences may come apart with enough pressure. For example, a snowplow pushing a load of snow against a vinyl fence may cause the rails to pop free, but most homeowners can easily repair them within minutes. Some vinyl fences can be made of recycled content, which can help them last even longer.
You’ve purchased and installed your privacy fencing and, in the process, added street value that will last for decades. As a result, you’ve improved your curb appeal, provided security, increased privacy, and offered protection from the elements. What more could you ask for?