Unfounded Vinyl Fence Fears

The American Fence Company - Vinyl Fencing, 6' White Polid Privacy PVC - AFC - IAAs we round the corner on another Midwest winter, our neighborhood’s vinyl fences are still standing.  Surprising? Of course, not. Vinyl fencing has been around for over twenty years. Its popularity has grown exponentially as it replaces wood and ornamental in popularity.  Yet, there are still many home owners and neighborhood associations that are hesitant to accept the product as a viable alternative to decaying wood and rusting metal fences.

The base ingredient in vinyl fencing is rigid PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Homopolymer compound with a high level of Titanium Dioxide pigment for long term, ultraviolet (UV) light resistance and impact modifiers for superior strength. The formulation is similar to that of vinyl siding and windows which have long term durability and structural integrity.

Will vinyl fencing yellow?

Today’s quality vinyl fencing contains titanium dioxide (TIO2) which prevents ultraviolet degradation. American Fence Company has partnered with Kroy Vinyl Products in warrantying our product for 20 years against premature discoloring and yellowing.

Will vinyl fencing break in hot or cold weather?

As with most plastics, vinyl will become less flexible in colder weather conditions. However, unless subjected to unusual impact, it will not break. It is normal for vinyl fence materials to expand and contract during temperature changes. Extruded right here in the Midwest, Kroy Vinyl products have been engineered to accommodate extreme changes in weather conditions.

Will Vinyl Burn?

PVC has a flash point of approximately 900 degrees and does not easily ignite. Vinyl is classified “Self-Extinguishing”.

How Strong is Vinyl?

Unlike wood or metal fencing, vinyl fencing has a certain amount of flexibility.  However, the materials are engineered to be impact resistant with a chemical formulation that will withstand a wide range of normal use. From your ten-year old’s wild fast ball to a jumping pet’s attempt to escape the yard, your vinyl fence will hold-up to the challenge.

How long will vinyl fence last?

On this note, this is where vinyl fencing stands apart from wood and ornamental.  Vinyl fencing will last a lifetime.  You may see the fence lose a little sheen over time.

Is Vinyl Fencing maintenance free?

Vinyl Fencing requires very little maintenance. Under normal conditions this maintenance is in the form of annual washing of the fence to keep it looking new. You may use your garden hose and wash mit to clean your fence.

Is the fence graffiti proof?

Although not classified as graffiti proof, vinyl fencing is easy to clean and paint comes off with just a little effort. It may require the use of a pressure washer or in extreme cases the use of paint thinner. 400 grit sandpaper can be used when some spots will not come off using the above methods.

Can Vinyl Fence break?

Vinyl Fencing can break if subjected to a direct impact, i.e. a rock thrown from a mower.  Under normal use, the vinyl fence will not break when installed properly. Planks, pickets and rails are easily replaced if damaged.

Will Vinyl Fence fade?

Like vinyl siding and windows, vinyl fencing will lose a little of its sheen overtime.  However, it will not fade.  Today’s vinyl fencing has a chemical formulation similar to sunscreen.  It is designed to permanently reflect the sun’s rays and hold its colors.

Will Vinyl Fence crack, chip, peel or rot?

During the life of the fence you should not expect to find surface cracking, peeling, chipping or rot. Vinyl fencing has a hard outer shell that protects it from the sun and to hold it color.  The inner shell is a softer compound that prevents cracking, chipping and peeling.

Is vinyl fencing more expensive than wood and ornamental fencing?

The cost of vinyl fencing is a little more than wood and a little less than ornamental.  However, when you consider that you will have to replace your wood fence in-time, vinyl fencing is the more economic choice.  As vinyl fencing grows in popularity, there are more extruders providing a wider range of products.  This has kept the market competitive and prices stable.  The gap in pricing from wood fencing to vinyl fencing is slowly shrinking.

30 Responses to Unfounded Vinyl Fence Fears

  1. Wilbur Bakke says:

    I need to know if someone places a 1/2 inch screw hole in any main post4x4 six foot tall solid panel yard fence, removes it and seals the hole, will that cause any structural damage to the integrity of the main post……ie. make it weaker

    also the screw would be at about 4 feet off the ground.

  2. Vic says:

    Hi, I think vinyl is a good material for fencing but I would like to ask your opinion about whcih is the best materials for fencing.

    Also I would like to get your opinion on whcih of the two materials would be great or you would choose. Wood or iron/aluminum?

    • todd says:

      Hi Vic. My opinion is any vinyl or powder coated metal product is excellent for fencing.

    • todd says:

      Frankly, wood is a real maintenance item. Iron is somewhat of a misnomer. Today, you are looking at aluminum of galvanized steel. Both products receive paint, powder coating or e-coat. E-coat is the same process used in automobile painting. Both aluminum and steel are exceptional. The coatings last for many years with only some fading from shiny to dull but still retain the color.

  3. Debbie Blood says:

    Hi, I live in the Phoenix AZ area where temperatures can reach 115 or even a few degrees hotter. Just wondering if the vinyl fence can withstand those temps.
    Thanks for your time,

  4. Tom says:

    My neighbor just told me the white vinyl fence I had installed last fall is reflecting so much sun light into his house it is unbearable. The fence runs the the length of the west lot line 30 feet or so away from the back of his home. Is this common? Is there anything I can do to the fence to reduce the glare/reflection?

    • todd says:

      This is a common problem. Over time, the fence will loss some of its sheen. Until then, it will have a significant glare. One out of the box idea is to switch the pickets out to a sandstone color. There are several photos on our website that show a mix in colors for our vinyl fencing. It can be very appealing. Maybe offer a olive branch in the form of some nice Ray Bans. Good luck.

  5. Terri says:

    We just purchased Belmont vinyl panel fencing from Menards, but I’m afraid to install it now. I see a complaint about the brackets breaking when temps are below 40 degrees, and that Belmont is now out of business. I live in the Midwest where temps drop below zero.

    • todd says:

      Opps. I responded to you earlier post before seeing this one. Sadly, others feel the same way about using a bracketed system. One more note, most credible solid privacy fence systems use a oversized 2″ x 6″ bottom rail or a optional steel insert to support the rail. If Belmont does not have either of these profiles; the Belmont fence may not be your best choice. If you are comfortable with the panels, you can use an alternate routed post from American Fence Company.

    • Dave says:

      Did you ever install it? If so how did it work out?

  6. Terri says:

    I have concerns about Belmont Vinyl 6X6 panel fence bought at Menards. Can anyone reply?

    • todd says:

      Hi Terri,
      The Belmont vinyl fence system uses a bracketed system for attaching rails to posts. Your credible vinyl fence systems use a 5″ square post that is routed to receive the rail, thus not requiring any fasteners. So, Belmont offers smaller posts and fasteners. I suggest you keep looking. I will say that the majority of reputable fence contractors use high quality vinyl fence materials. If you are interested in building your own fence, American Fence Company has a material sales division who can assist you.

  7. Peter says:

    I live in Tucson, AZ and during the summer months, we receive pretty severe thunderstorms. How does vinyl fencing hold up to wind? Thank you.

  8. cdkamp says:

    Is there a solution to the glare coming off the sunny side of the fence?

    • todd says:

      Great point! Time will definitely take the sheen off the fence. Give it one year and you will notice a difference. We need do a better job of communicating this fact. We sell Sandstone for the same color as white for this very reason.

  9. Willie says:

    How does painting affect vinyl fencing? I’ve been told that a coat of paint will neutralize the ultra violet inhibitors in the resin of a vinyl fence. And therefore, ultra violet rays can cause the vinyl to melt, warp, and sag.

    • todd says:

      Oh goodness, I would never paint the vinyl fence. We have painted some vinyl materials for a indoor display. We immediately note that the paint does not easily adhere. Also, with the varied temperatures with the materials, I believe it would be an issue if you paint it a darker color. So, yes…warping.

  10. Jeanne says:

    What about hail? I live in Montana and we have had severe thunder/hailstorms for the last 3-4 years.

    • todd says:

      Hail has been an issue for vinyl fence. Though we have only a small handful of issues; we do get repair calls after severe hail storms.

  11. Susan Sweeney says:

    We are on southern Michigan where temps can vary from 75° on day to snow and ice the next, then right back up to the 60s. Any worries over vinyl fencing around a cap porch and out to make a decent dog run for my 2 golden retrievers? Cap porch is 16×20 dog area will be about 40× 50.

    • todd says:

      Yes and No. I too have dogs, big dogs. Regardless of the weather, I am not sure I want my big dogs pushing up against a vinyl fence. As for the weather, I have no worries. Here in Nebraska, we too get highly varied weather down to 20 below wind chills. We rarely have issues with any of the thousands of vinyl fence installations.

  12. R Loshaw says:

    Can window boxes by hung on vinyl fences?

    • todd says:

      Absolutely! As a matter of fact, we have made several flower boxes to be hung on our vinyl fence. A great idea!

  13. Adam says:

    If a vinyl fence is installed and then realize it is too tall, can it be taken down, cut and reinstalled?

    • todd says:

      At first glance, yes. The only real challenge may be field routing the fence posts to receive the lowered rails. Every fence contractor will tell you that they can do this but the real issue is how they do this task. Do they have a field template to cut the hole to match the factor rout or are they going to “eyeball” it. These routs are very noticeable when incorrectly cut.

  14. Bill says:

    I am on the Space Coast of Florida (about a 5 min walk to beach). Left the area as IRMA was coming. When I got back house was unscathed. The vinyl fence on the other hand was destroyed. Although a few panels were broken most of the damage was due to the posts just being bent over and broken at the base. All posts were set in concrete.
    Although there were several wood fences that had parts blown down (most were older) there were many wood fences that were still standing tall. I think I have (had) the only vinyl fence in the neighborhood.
    I probably will not go with vinyl again as it definitely does not stand up to wind and the cost to have it replaced vs wood is prohibitive. 🙁

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