Classic privacy fences that are made of wood have been maintaining boundaries and creating eye appeal for centuries. However, the more modern vinyl fence has recently gained in popularity and use – and for a good reason.
Vinyl fences, when it comes to durability and strength, tend to outlast their wood counterparts, although the upfront costs are steeper for vinyl. And while there are certain situations in which the desired result requires a skilled CT wood fencing installer, there are now beautiful vinyl fence designs and textures that offer unique designs.
A vinyl fence won’t stop a moving van (and neither would a wood fence); however, CT vinyl fencing offers an easier maintenance option because there is no required staining or painting. And vinyl is now made with titanium oxide – the active ingredient in sunscreen, which creates a stable, low-toxic, and durable fencing material.
If you are lax in the maintenance of your wooden fence, you will likely reduce its useful life and the fence may become a fire hazard. Vinyl, on the other hand, is both self-extinguishing and fire-resistant. In fact, when exposed to extreme changes in temperature, vinyl fencing outperforms wood and iron fencing.
How Long will a Vinyl Fence Last on Average?
The short answer is a range from 20-30 years. But, ultimately, the life of the vinyl is contingent upon four factors –
- Choose a Sensible Location – The life expectancy of vinyl fencing is dependent on where it is installed.
Ask yourself –
- Is the ground uneven or swampy?
- Is the area heavily forested or surrounded by weak trees?
Life expectancy for vinyl fencing can be optimized if the ground is level and the area does not have too many weak trees. Vinyl fencing can be built on a slope – a technique is known as racking. This is when the posts remain vertical, and the rails of the fence align with the slope beneath it.
- Install the Vinyl Fence Properly.
The corner posts are installed first. The posts should be appropriately spaced and not too close together. The key is to allow the fence to be flexible, as this permits it to withstand stronger winds. For extra support and strength, dig the post holes six inches deeper than recommended by the manufacturer. This provides additional space to strengthen the post with added gravel.
Professional installation can optimize fence life and, in the long run, save time and money.
- Maintain and Inspect the Fence Regularly.
Routine maintenance simply includes cleaning the fence every 3 to 6 months with a power washer or a garden hose. A few times each year, inspect the fence for signs of damage or necessary repairs to ensure you stay ahead of larger problems.
Warm water and a rag with mild detergent can help remove stubborn dirt. To remove mold/bacteria, add either vinegar or a small amount of bleach to this warm water mix.
Regular maintenance can help extend the useful life of the fence by up to seven years.
- Trim Overhanging Branches.
Keep nearby trees and branches properly pruned to avoid damage to the fence. Falling trees are often a cause of fence damage.
How long will a vinyl fence last – on average – given the above-noted factors? A vinyl fence can last 20 to 30 years if properly maintained, whereas a quality wooden fence usually needs replacement in less than 15 years.
From a financial perspective, the vinyl fence’s initial price tag will be higher but will offer value and savings in the long run.