Vinyl fences are some of the most gorgeous properties on the market. But they’re also notoriously temporary features — once your fence is installed, it’s not going to last for more than a month or two before it starts to fade, crack, and peel. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent your vinyl fence from going downhill prematurely.
Over time, a vinyl picket fence gets worn out by sun and rain. It will crack, warp, and even begin to peel if you don’t take proper care of it. But there are many ways to make sure your vinyl fence lasts as long as the first day you installed it no matter how much time has passed since you purchased it from a home improvement store or a DIY store.
Here are some important ways to keep your vinyl fence in good shape:
Stain your vinyl fence with a deck stain:
Vinyl fences are usually made of vinyl, but some parts may be coated in plastic. If you’re wondering whether you can use a conventional grime-control deck stain for this purpose, the answer is yes! Spray a nozzle full of stain onto your fence and wipe it off with a clean cloth to prevent the stain from staining your fence. Apply another coating if you’ve missed any areas on the first coat.
Look for a vinyl fence that comes with a protective coating:
Some vinyl fences come with a protective coating to prevent cracking and peeling. This is a great way to make sure your fence looks great for its entire lifetime — as long as you don’t scratch the protective coating away, which can be difficult to avoid if you have pets or children playing around your property.
Replace your pickets regularly:
While it’s always a good idea to stain your fence on a regular basis, you should also spend as much time as possible replacing your vinyl pickets.
Avoid exposure to direct sunlight:
Regular exposure to direct sunlight can cause sun damage to your vinyl fence. Try covering your fence with an umbrella or tinted film when it’s not in use. You can also cover the entire structure with a tarp if you live in an area where the weather could otherwise cause heavy rain or snowfall.
Keep leaves and debris out of the way:
Regularly sweep out your leaf traps to keep your vinyl fence looking good. Don’t let your fence become a haven for spiders, either! Due to the tiny pinholes found in commercial vinyl fences, spiders often take up residence inside them — only to crawl out onto your face or arms when you lean into the fence to pick a flower or a fruit from its branches.
Never scratch your fence:
It’s best to never let your pets or children play between the fence’s pickets, since this will cause scratches that attract moisture and bacteria. You can keep your vinyl fence in good condition by keeping it clean you don’t have to purchase a new one, or stand around and watch your children play in the yard, just to keep the fence looking great!
Use a high-quality vinyl fence cleaner:
Make sure the products you use to clean your vinyl fence are high-quality and made specifically for this purpose, not just a generic household cleaner. You can even rent a pressure washer from your local hardware store if you want to clean the fence quickly and easily, but don’t scratch it. A pressure washer will knock away all the dirt, grime, and grit that can accumulate over time!
If a tree grows too close to your fence, remove it:
If a tree grows too close to your vinyl fence, you may want to consider removing it. This will not only stop the tree from shading your fence, but it can also provide an aesthetic benefit by allowing sunlight to shine through the gaps between the fence and the branches of the nearby tree.
Use a nylon rope made for vinyl fencing:
You can use this to mark the fencer’s area on your vinyl fence, as well as hang various fixtures and accessories. Vinyl fencing posts are usually pre-cut for this purpose.
Use white-rubber gaskets on both sides of the fence:
Don’t want the sound of your PVC fence to be audible from a distance, you can use white rubber gaskets instead of mesh panels between the fence and the vinyl.
Fix your fence as needed:
If you’re noticing your fence looking worn out and ready for replacement, you can replace the pickets with new ones. If your fence is damaged beyond repair, you may want to reconsider purchasing a new piece of vinyl fencing that’s specifically made to last longer than just a few months instead of hoping to make it last a lifetime!
Avoid using oils on your vinyl fence:
Oils can cause vinyl to get stiff, brittle, and cracked. You should also avoid using oils on your vinyl fence whenever you can, especially when the weather is hot. When the weather cools down in the fall, you may want to apply a coat of oil before winter starts to prevent vinyl from getting damaged by cold temperatures.
Avoid applying cleansers that contain chlorine bleach on your fence:
Chlorine bleach can ruin the appearance of your vinyl fence in a very short amount of time. If you have a pond near your vinyl fence, you shouldn’t use bleach on it.
Don’t use silicone on your vinyl fence:
Vinyl can be damaged by prolonged exposure to silicone, so you should avoid using it whenever possible. Prolonged exposure to silicone can cause stains that may never wash away.
Don’t use thin-set mortar on your vinyl fence:
Thin-set mortar is made for cement, not vinyl. It may contain chemicals that can damage the vinyl even if you cut it with a clean water-based paint thinner. Instead of thin-set mortar, you’re better off using an acrylic latex caulk to seal your vinyl fence’s seams. If a big crack appears in your fence, patch it up with an acrylic latex caulk instead of drilling holes into it and inserting screws.
Use clear silicone to seal the seams on your fence:
Clear silicone works best for this purpose; it won’t discolor your vinyl like white silicone can, and it won’t cause mold or mildew growth.
Use a latex caulk to seal the joints between your vinyl pickets:
You can use latex caulk to seal your fence’s seams if you want to avoid drilling holes into the vinyl. Dirt and debris can get stuck in these tiny holes, which can cause them to crack over time. Use a paint thinner before you begin caulking if you’re concerned about getting the right color on your fence. You can also try acrylic latex caulk instead of white silicone, especially if you would rather not have a white-looking fence.
Did you know that a fence is actually a much better option for you and your family than a metal one? It’s heat-resistant, it wears well over time, and it doesn’t need painting. Vinyl fences are also low-maintenance – they don’t require any special tools to set up nor do they need regular repairs. The only downside to the material is that it can be very slick, so many people choose to put an anti-slip coating on their fence’s surface. Aside from this, you can expect the fence to last for many years.