Posted on: 28 January 2016
If you've been thinking about installing a fence, you probably know you have a lot of options and styles to choose from, to the point that it can seem overwhelming. And it can be especially difficult if you don't get the facts, particularly when it comes to vinyl fences. The truth is vinyl has changed a lot in recent years and holds up better than many consumers would expect. So no matter what you've heard, here are the top four myths of vinyl fencing, busted for good.
They Break Easily, Especially In Extreme Temperatures
According to The Vinyl Institute, testing for weatherability and durability is routinely performed on vinyl materials, and that includes not only fencing but also decking. So whether you live in the hottest of climates or in an area that sees snow nine months out of the year, a vinyl fence can still be an appropriate choice. As a matter of fact, when compared to wood, vinyl has five times the tensile strength and four times the flexibility, making it highly durable.
You see, the process of manufacturing this material, right up to the point of extrusion, is sometimes lightly referred to as "baking a cake." With the proper ingredients added in the right order before that final "baking" step, the end result is a product that can be expected to last. One of those ingredients includes an impact modifier that will help the fence resist dents and cracks from flying debris, and this includes impacts that occur during freezing cold temperatures.
When it comes to extremes in heat, there are some extra factors to consider, but it's pretty simple. As long as the posts and panels are spaced appropriately they should not stretch or warp to the point of damage. Enough spacing allows for adequate room to expand, and a professional fence installer should be able to take care of this so your fence lasts a lifetime.
They Yellow or Fade in the Sunlight
While it's true that almost any plastic or PVC can yellow or fade over time, quality vinyl fencing today contains something called Titanium Dioxide. This is essentially a sunscreen for your fence because it blocks UV light.
Most vinyl fences come in white or beige, but colors can be added to suit your tastes. And these colored fences, while they naturally attract sunlight more so than a white fence, should still maintain their original color over time. Any fading that does occur is minimal, and it generally happens the first year after installation.
For example, the state of Arizona has about 300 bright and sunny days per year. According to The Vinyl Institute, when color tests were performed on tan and gray fencing after that first year, it was shown that the Delta E (a measure of color change or loss) was only 1.6. Considering that a Delta E below 2.0 is not even noticeable to the naked eye, these results should be encouraging.
They Don't Look Natural
Maybe you've stayed away from installing a vinyl fence in the past because they didn't look "real" or "natural." Some homeowners state they don't like the plastic look of vinyl. But rest assured, vinyl fences today can be made to look just like real wood. Some simply have an earthy or traditional brown color while others boast a "wood-grain" appearance, from a rich mahogany or walnut all the way to a deep red cedar.
They Aren't Environmentally Friendly
Again, not true.
Some consumers are under the impression that because vinyl is made with plastic it must be harmful to the environment, but this simply is not the case. Technically speaking, vinyl fencing is made with PVC, and PVC is not constructed from 100% fuel. In fact, the process involves utilizing crude oil, natural gas, and chlorine taken from salt. As a result, not as much carbon dioxide is released while the product is being manufactured.
Take another look at wood vs. vinyl fencing. Wood begins to decay the moment it is cut. Therefore, chemicals and preservatives must be added to increase its longevity. Vinyl, on the other hand, doesn't need to be preserved, stained, or painted, reducing your carbon footprint all the way around.
Lastly, the average wooden fence will be replaced up to 7 times while your neighbor's original vinyl fence will still be standing. But don't worry, when it is time to replace it, you'll be glad to know that vinyl is 100% recyclable.
For more information and options, talk with professional fencing contractors in your area, such as those at Mr Fence.Share