It can be daunting trying to find the perfect type of fence for your residence, especially when you’re not sure which material will last. Let’s look at the characteristics of vinyl fences and then we’ll compare vinyl with wood.
Whether you’re trying to keep your kids in or alligators out, vinyl might be the solution for you. The days of ugly, flimsy ones are long gone since materials, designs, and textures have been perfected. And, a revolutionary ingredient has been added for strength and durability.
So, how long does a vinyl fence last? Here are some important things to know about them.
How Long Does a Vinyl Fence Last on Average?
The short answer is 20-30 years, but it really depends on how well you do the following four things. Let’s take a look.
1. Choose a Sensible Location
Vinyl fence life expectancy has a lot to do with where you install it. Before you make a decision, think about the environment it’ll be in.
Is the ground swampy or uneven? Are there a lot of weak trees in the area and/or is it heavily forested? These conditions will take years off the fence’s lifespan.
Vinyl fence life will be extended if the installation area is substantially solid, devoid of weak trees, and relatively level. However, it is possible to build them on a slope. This is called “racking” a fence.
2. Install It Properly
When installing your vinyl fence, be sure not to place the posts too close together. If you do this your fence will end up too rigid; It needs a little flexibility to stand up to strong winds.
Another way to ensure it’s strong enough is to dig holes 6 inches deeper than what’s recommended. This allows room for gravel needed under the posts for extra strength. Install your vinyl fence away from rocks and debris.
Install corner posts before the others, and remember that gate posts have separate instructions. Professional installation can optimize fence life and save you time and money.
Feel free to install it yourself, as it’s is pretty simple to do and doesn’t involve any hardware. This is a definite plus when it comes to aesthetics because no exposed hardware means no distraction from the overall design and no unsightly rust.
3. Maintain and Inspect It Regularly
Simply clean your vinyl fence every 3-6 months with a garden hose or power washer. Alternatively, use hot water, mild detergent, and a rag. To get rid of any bacteria or mold that might be present, add a little bleach or vinegar to the mix.
How long does vinyl last if you do this? Do this regularly and it’ll last 5-7 years longer than it would if you didn’t clean it at all.
At least twice a year inspect it for early signs of damage or maintenance issues that may appear. If you spot something that does need your attention, go ahead and resolve the issue right away so it doesn’t become a bigger problem later down the line.
4. Trim Overhanging Branches
Trim any medium or large tree branches that might be hanging over the fence as they could fall and cause damage to your fence. Of all common sources of vinyl fence damage, falling trees is the most detrimental.
These tough fences can take on anything else, short of natural disasters, vehicles plowing into them, or a large animal charging with a lot of determination.
Vinyl vs Wood
The classic wooden privacy fence has been outcompeted for strength and durability by modern vinyl fencing. No, vinyl won’t stop a moving truck, but neither will the strongest of wooden fences. Since the addition of titanium oxide in the vinyl formula, it reigns victorious.
What Is Titanium Oxide?
Titanium oxide, having phenomenal stability and very low toxicity, protects the vinyl from sun damage, degradation, and yellowing over time. Because of this, vinyl is one of the most durable fencing materials on the market today.
Also known as titanium dioxide, it may ring a bell for you. Yep, it’s also an active ingredient in sunscreen! So basically, your fence has built-in sun protection right out of the gate.
There’s a wide variety of beautiful vinyl fence designs you can choose from to complement the look of your home. There are also many textures available, some almost indistinguishable from wood. And, with vinyl, you don’t even have to keep up with painting or staining.
Looking at the costs of the two, you’ll pay more upfront for vinyl but you’ll save money in the long run. Wood fences require more maintenance, repairs, upkeep, and replacements. Left unchecked, they can sometimes develop dry rot or attract termites.
Wooden fences can be a fire hazard if not kept up well, but vinyl is very difficult to ignite because of its high chlorine content. It’s a fire-resistant, self-extinguishing material. That’s one of the reasons it’s such a popular material in home construction as well.
You might be asking, “How long will a vinyl fence last in extreme climates?”. Unlike wood (or iron for that matter), it can safely undergo sudden, extreme temperature changes. It doesn’t crack in the cold or corrode in hot climates.
Vinyl Fencing Wins for Longevity!
So, how long does a vinyl fence last considering all these factors? That depends on location choice, installation quality, and upkeep (which is super easy).
It will outlast its wooden counterpart by many years or even decades. A perfectly maintained, top-quality wooden fence, will last around 14 years, while a vinyl one will last 20-30 years!
Give us a call today and ask for your free estimate!