Most people can spot PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) a mile off as it’s become such a common sight on buildings. Anything from window frames to decking can be made from PVC as a cost-effective alternative to other materials such as wood or aluminum. Many people are quite surprised when you tell them that PVC can also be used as a fencing material. Surely, it’s too flimsy or lacks the torsional strength required to make a good fence? Here are five details that may make you change your mind about PVC fencing.
#1. Chemically Engineered For Strength
If you have yet to encounter a PVC fence in real life, you’ll likely be quite surprised but how tough and rigid they are. People are so used to handling other items made from PVC such as sections of piping, tubes and furniture that they believe PVC is an innately flexible, easily broken material. On a molecular level, engineers at PVC manufacturing plants can alter the chemical composition of the PVC to make it highly suitable for fencing panels. As fences do not need to bend or flex considerably, fencing panels can be made from a tough, rigid form of PVC quite unlike anything most people have ever seen before.
#2. Formulated Against UV Discoloration
Most people have seen faded PVC pipes that have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight and assume that all PVC suffers from the same fate. They conclude that PVC is hardly the best material from which to construct fencing panels. In standard PVC, the polyene molecules cause a light yellow discoloration when energy from UV radiation excites the molecular bonds. Although this only penetrates the surface of the PVC by a hundredth of an inch, it’s enough to permanently change the plastic into a yellow and brittle material.
The PVC used in fencing panels is specifically formulated to provide protection against UV radiation. This has many great benefits as not only will the fencing remain in its original condition for over a decade without become brittle or disintegrating, it will also retain its original color without fading. This allows manufacturers to supply a lifelong warrant to cover the condition of the fence.
#3. Baked-Through Color
One of the most expensive and time-consuming aspects of wooden and metal fences is maintenance. Staining or painting a fence is a labor-intensive process and can be expensive if you get it done professionally. There will inevitably be places that you miss or areas of your grass or flowerbed on which stain or paint accidentally falls. One advantage of PVC fencing is that it is very low-maintenance. As it never fades, it retains color throughout its lifespan and requires only periodic cleaning to maintain its appearance.
Although PVC fencing will never rust, rot, peel or splinter like metal and wood fences can, one drawback is that they are more easily damaged through scratches or flying debris such as stones. Scratches may show up in certain colors so it is essential to choose a PVC fence that is not only UV protected but also has the color baked through. This will ensure that scratches are less noticeable. Of course, you can buy cheaper fence panels and simply repaint them when they wear through but, as custom deck builders in Ottawa point out, painted PVC fences would no longer be maintenance free!