A fence makes a house more secure. However, a major challenge homeowners have with their fences is maintenance. So what type of fence is easiest to maintain?
Vinyl fences are the easiest to maintain. You need not worry about rust or decay with a vinyl fence. Its shiny, smooth surface makes it easy to wash. All you have to do is spray water on it and wipe it down to keep it clean.
This article will explain why vinyl fences are the easiest to maintain and give some simple maintenance tips to keep your fences looking their best.
Why Is A Vinyl Fence the Easiest To Maintain?
A vinyl fence is the easiest to maintain because of its smooth surface and moisture-resistant properties.
Also, a vinyl fence doesn’t stain or rust.
Cleaning a vinyl fence is easy, as a damp rag will do the job efficiently.
Clearly, a vinyl fence is a low-maintenance fence.
Once installed, you don’t need to worry about spending extra on maintenance.
Let’s analyze the properties of vinyl fences that make maintenance easy:
- Smooth surface: Vinyl fences have smooth surfaces. So you won’t have to worry about dust and grime collecting in any grooves, making cleaning very easy.
- Moisture-resistant property: Vinyl fences are moisture-resistant. So they won’t rust, rot, peel, or scratch easily. Moisture is one of the components that contributes to decay. Without it, a material can last longer.
- Requires no painting: Because vinyl fences come in different colors, they don’t require painting or touch-ups every once in a while. The only thing you need to do is to wash them from time to time.
How To Maintain a Vinyl Fence
Vinyl fences are easy to maintain.
They don’t require touch-ups, painting, sanding, or filling from time to time.
However, you still have a few things to do to keep your vinyl fence in perfect condition.
1. Wash Your Fence Regularly
Routine washing is the most important maintenance task to protect your vinyl fence.
You should wash your fence once in 1- 2 months.
You should wash your fence more often during hot and dusty seasons when they are more prone to accumulating dirt.
You can use a damp cloth to clean it and a garden hose to apply light pressure and spray out the dirt.
If you wash it often, you may only need to spray it to remove dirt.
On the other hand, you’d need to use a power hose if your fence has accumulated dust for a long time for the best effect.
Use a cloth and a cleanser if you encounter tough stains or marker or color stains made by kids on the fence.
You should use a cloth soaked in warm water with mild detergent.
You can also use a mild bleach-based cleanser.
However, some cleansers may cause a negative reaction on some vinyl fences.
So before you use it, use a small portion on the part of the fence to test how the vinyl reacts.
If it’s okay, then you can use it. If it washes off the color of the fence, don’t use it.
2. Remove All Obstacles
As much as vinyl fences are hard to scratch, it’s not impossible.
Branches hanging off trees on the fence can dent it.
It’s best to cut off all branches touching the fence.
If possible, you shouldn’t plant a tree close to the fence.
Asides from tree branches encumbering the fence, piling stones and dirt close to it can damage it.
You shouldn’t pile dirt and stones on the wall.
It can cause the wall to lose its strength over time.
3. Clean Off Mildew, Mold, and Algae
Mildew, mold, and algae can grow on your vinyl fence over time.
This growth happens when you don’t clean the fence often or from exposure to extreme weather conditions.
Mildew and its likes can be a serious problem for your fence as it can weaken it over time.
You should remove mold, mildew, and algae as soon as you notice them.
There are various tools you can use to remove mildew and its likes:
- Scrub brush and mild soap
- Vinegar solution
- A mixture of Trisodium Phosphate (⅔ cup), detergent (⅓ cup), 1 quart of 5% Sodium Hypochlorite, and 3 quarts of water
- Hot water or steam
- Pressure washer
Be careful when using the mixture of trisodium phosphate.
Keep it away from your skin and test it on a part of the fence near the ground.
If your fence reacts wrongly to it, don’t apply it.
You can use this mixture and a soft brush to remove stubborn mildew.
Note: Avoid using bleach. Bleach is likely to kill the mildew on the surface but will not kill the root. The spores will then adapt to the bleach on the surface and grow back even stronger.
4. Conduct Routine Checks and Repairs
Ensure you do routine checks on your vinyl fence. During these checks, you may spot mildew, mold, or algae forming somewhere.
You may also notice damage in a part of the wall.
Whatever the case, you’ll discover problems early if you carry out routine checks.
Once you discover a problem, resolve it immediately.
You shouldn’t leave the problem because the longer you leave it, the more it destroys your fence.
Pros and Cons of a Vinyl Fence
Vinyl fences may seem perfect, but they also have their downsides.
Let’s consider the pros and cons of vinyl fences:
Pros of a Vinyl Fence
- It’s easy to install.
- It’s easy to wash.
- It doesn’t require any painting or sanding or incur extra maintenance costs.
- It is rust, rot, and moisture-resistant and doesn’t peel or scratch easily.
- It’s aesthetically pleasing and comes in different colors.
- It has different designs designed for various purposes.
- It provides privacy.
- You don’t have to break the bank to buy one.
- Its panels are detachable, so they’re easily movable.
Cons of a Vinyl Fence
- It can break if constantly exposed to extreme weather conditions.
- Algae, mold, and mildew can easily grow on it, making it look unpleasant and a health hazard.
- It’s more expensive than wooden fences.
- It doesn’t have a natural rustic look like wooden fences.
- You can’t paint it or design it as you wish. You are limited to the original design.
Also Read: What Is The Best Type Of Fence To Put Up?
Other Easy-To-Maintain Fences
Asides from vinyl fences, there are other low-maintenance fences. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Composite Fence
Composite fencing is somewhere between metal and wood.
It combines two materials (40% plastic and 60% wood fiber).
It has a smooth surface and is low maintenance.
You can wash it by spraying water on it with a hose.
You don’t need to worry about repairs because it’s resistant to rot, rust, etc. It doesn’t need painting or finishing from time to time.
It’s also beautiful; you can cut it to fit whatever purpose.
The challenge with composite fencing is that it’s expensive and prone to discoloration from direct sunlight.
2. Aluminum Fence
Aluminum fences are durable and easy to wash and install.
Some come in panels, and the fences are different shapes and sizes.
Another plus of aluminum fences is that you can use them for various purposes.
You can use these fences for decor and privacy purposes in residential and office areas.
Some are very light, while others are heavier to fit their purpose.
However, aluminum fences can easily break or bend.
Another drawback is that they’re expensive.
3. Steel Fence
Steel fences are strong, durable, and low maintenance.
They give your compound a classy look and provide strong security.
However, the challenge of steel fences is that they rust easily.
You’d need to cover them with a protective coating to last.
Another disadvantage is that they have limited colors.
If you need a more sophisticated steel fence, you should go for the galvanized steel fence.
These fences come in various colors and lengths, are resistant to rust, and are extremely durable.
The zinc coating of galvanized steel makes the fence stronger and extends its lifespan significantly.
4. Cedar Fence
Cedar is a high-quality wood that is rot and insect-resistant.
It’s a beautiful and grand fencing choice and comes in different colors.
The wood itself is very beautiful and homey. It is also less expensive and requires low maintenance.
The challenge with cedar fencing is that the color washes off easily, especially when exposed to water.
It isn’t easy to keep water away from a fence.
Therefore, you should stain or seal the fence after painting to retain the color for longer.
You should seal or stain your fence every 3-5 years.
Cedar fencing can last for 12-30 years if well maintained.
Vinyl is the easiest fence to maintain.
With its smooth, shiny surface, you can easily wash it and retain its shine.
It adds beauty and safety to your home.
However, vinyl fences are limited in design.
You can’t customize it and can only use it the way the manufacturer originally designed it.
Nevertheless, vinyl fences are durable, strong, and reliable.
The major maintenance it requires is routine washing and checks.
Aside from vinyl, other easy-to-maintain fences are made of aluminum, steel panels, cedar, and composite fencing.
Cheers, tools owners!