The advantages of vinyl fencing
After more than 20 years on the market and ongoing aesthetical improvements, the appeal of vinyl fencing is increasing with homeowners, builders and landscape architects, who want high curb appeal, with only minimal upkeep needed to maintain it. Vinyl is a low-maintenance material and only needs cleaning occasionally, usually with a standard garden hose and soft-bristled brush. It never needs painting, as colors are integrated as pigment powders into the manufacturing process, and there is no danger of colors chipping off, as the color is the same throughout. In fact, painting vinyl fencing sometimes voids the product warranty. There are, however, an ever-growing variety of vinyl fence colors available nowadays. The increased selection of colors, decorative accessories and post caps available on today's vinyl fencing products allows for endless combinations and variations, allowing property owners to better coordinate fences with surroundings.
Another point in vinyl fencing's favor is that manufacturers are now developing textured vinyl fences to more accurately mimic the shapes and surfaces of wood and other classic materials. Vinyl can be shaped and formed to emulate various wood fence styles and can be specially textured to create an authentic wood grain appearance, as with CertainTeed® Bufftech® fence products with CertaGrain™texture and Select Cedar texture. CertainTeed also offers CertaStucco™, which gives Bufftech vinyl fence products the texture and look of stucco.
Manufactured from durable polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl fencing also has several performance advantages. For example, it meets pool fencing requirements for the International Building Code and will not chip, rot, splinter or crack like wood. In addition, it is impervious to termite infestation and most vinyl fence products include UV inhibitors, making them resistant to fading caused by sun exposure. Also unlike wood, vinyl is fire-resistant, with a very high flashpoint of 730 degrees Fahrenheit. It cannot sustain a flame on its own, making it unable to contribute to flame spread.
Vinyl fencing is, by nature, a sustainable product, and many manufacturers are working to make the vinyl manufacturing process even more eco-conscious. The material is often made with some recycled content and is recyclable at the end of its life cycle. For example, CertainTeed Bufftech vinyl fence products contain at least 10 percent internally recycled materials and are 99 percent recyclable. They are also manufactured in a facility that is built on a recovered brownfield site through a process that uses a closed-loop water system. Water used in the manufacturing process is self-contained, re-used, and not released to the environment, saving 372 million gallons of water per year. Factors such as these make vinyl fencing very sustainable and environmentally friendly.
While the look of wood will always be popular in pool fence applications, vinyl and other wood alternatives may easily end up a more common material choice as homeowners become more eco-conscious and less tolerant of the time and money required for wood fence maintenance. With high marks in sustainability, performance and aesthetics, vinyl is the way to go in the pool privacy fences of today and tomorrow.