Wood fences add a traditional type of beauty to your landscape. You can stain or paint them any color, and if you’re handy, you can easily make repairs to a wood fence yourself.
But while wood fences may be a good choice for some people, they are not right for everyone. Particularly if you’re looking for a low or no-maintenance fence, wood may not be the best choice since it needs to be scraped, stained and treated for insects. Luckily, there are several excellent low-maintenance alternatives to wood. Here’s a closer look.
PVC or Vinyl Fencing
Polyvinyl chloride, colloquially known as “PVC” or simply “vinyl,” is quickly increasing in popularity as a fencing material. Vinyl fencing requires virtually no maintenance. Color is mixed into the fencing material, so there’s no need to ever paint the fence. Insects won’t chew or nest in vinyl, so you don’t have to worry about pest control as you do with natural wood. Just spray the fence with a power washer to keep it clean, and it will stay looking like new for decades.
Vinyl is also a great choice for eco-conscious homeowners. You can recycle the fence when you’re done with it, and the lack of need for stain and waterproofing treatments helps cut back on your chemical use. Vinyl is also more flexible than wood, so it tends to withstand storms and harsh winds that would crack or knock down wood fencing panels. Vinyl generally lasts at least 20 years, if not longer.
Another great thing about vinyl fencing is that you’re not locked in to one look. Though many homeowners enjoy stark white or black fencing, you can also find vinyl fences made to look like natural wood or even stone. So whether you have a rustic or a modern home, you’ll have no trouble finding a vinyl fence to match.
If you really like the look of wood but don’t want to deal with the maintenance, wood composite fencing may be the right choice for you. This material is made from real wood fibers combined with a special plastic solution. The resulting boards and posts look like they’re made from real wood, even from close up. Only a true fencing expert will be able to tell the difference.
While wood composite fencing is made from wood, it is not prone to termite, bee and ant damage like real wood fencing often is. The plastic matrix deters these pests. Like vinyl, composite is an earth-friendly choice. Many composite manufacturers use wood fibers that would have otherwise been sent to a landfill to make their materials, so by choosing a composite fence, you are helping to reduce waste.
Composite fencing requires some maintenance, but not a lot. You can easily clean it using water, soap and a soft brush. Sometimes, the fence will develop scuff marks from branches or other items rubbing against it. These can often be rubbed out with some WD-40. Expect a composite fence to last about 25 years, which is significantly longer than the 12-year maximum lifespan of most wood fences.
Composite fencing is more costly than vinyl, but if it does become damaged, it is a lot easier to repair. When a vinyl fence suffers storm damage, you generally have to replace a whole panel. When a composite fence is damaged, you only need to replace the damaged boards or posts. This is an important consideration, especially in hurricane-prone areas like Southwest Florida.
If you want a fence with a more refined look or one that will last a lifetime, aluminum fencing might be a good choice. Fences made from aluminum are incredibly durable, withstanding wear and tear with little to no maintenance on your part. Aluminum does not rust, so you do not have to paint it, and you can clean it simply by spraying it off with the hose.
Aluminum fences come in many styles. Many feature thin, vertical bars, but you can find thicker aluminum fences shaped similarly to a wood fence if that’s the style you’re after. Black is a common color choice, but there’s really no limit to your color or design choices. The one downfall of aluminum is that it can’t really be used to make a privacy fence; for that, you need vinyl or composite.
Like vinyl and composite, aluminum has environmental benefits. Its long lifespan means you won’t have to replace it anytime soon, and when you do replace it, the aluminum can be recycled. You can even find aluminum fencing made from recycled materials.
Whether you’re seeking a wood look-alike composite fence, a classic white vinyl fence, or a custom aluminum creation, Carter Fence will work with you to ensure your needs are met. Contact them today to discuss these and other low-maintenance alternatives to wood fencing, or request an online estimate to get a better idea of costs.