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How Long Does a Vinyl Fence Really Last

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white vinyl fence

Are you looking at installing a new vinyl and want to know how long will a vinyl fence last? A vinyl fence costs more than a wood fence, so you rightly want to know if it will hold up longer than a wood fence.

A vinyl fence will last 20+ years if built properly with very little maintenance needed.

While a vinyl fence doesn’t necessarily last longer than a wood fence it will NOT have the same maintenance issues as a wood fence. A vinyl fence will never warp or rot like wood. It does not need to be stained every few years for added protection and to keep it looking good.

A vinyl fence installation will cost 2-3 times more than a wooden fence. However, the overall lifespan cost will be similar once you factor in regular maintenance costs of a wood fence. If you don’t maintain a wooden fence, it’s lifespan will be far shorter than a vinyl fence.

Let’s discuss some common misconceptions concerning vinyl fences that linger based on older vinyl fence manufacturing.

Do Vinyl Fences Break Easily?

No, vinyl fences to not break easily. Will it withstand a large falling branch? Probably not, but neither will most other types of fences either.

Earlier types of vinyl fencing had problems with getting brittle and cracking or breaking but new vinyl has more UV protection so the Vinyl doesn’t break easily.

Do Vinyl Fences Warp in the Sun?

No, vinyl fencing will not warp in the sun. Unlike woods and some older composites, vinyl does not retain water which can cause warping. Wood and older composites will warp when water dries out unevenly across their boards.

If you see vinyl fences warping its usually either due to improper building techniques or improper maintenance.

Does Vinyl Fencing Get Moldy?

No, vinyl has a very smooth surface which makes mold and mildew very difficult to grow. If you see algae, mold or mildew on a vinyl fence, it’s usually a dirty fence. The mold and mildew are growing on dirt or grass particles left on the fence.

Also, if the smooth vinyl surface gets roughed up either through installation or using harsh chemicals, then you may see a small amount of mildew in wet locations.

Always be mindful, not to use harsh chemicals such as bleach or rough scrubbing bristles to clean your vinyl fence.

How to Make Your Vinyl Fence Last Longer

Even though your vinyl fence is low maintenance, it still needs some attention to keep it looking good and make it last as long as possible.

Knowing what not to do is actually more important in this case as you could actually shorten it’s lifespan using the wrong products or cleaning techniques.

How to Clean a Vinyl Fence

Keep it clean with water and mild soap. A simple garden hose spray down is the most simple method of cleaning it. A mild soap solution will get the most difficult dirt off.

Keep dirt off the bottom rail. Try to leave 2-3 inches of space between the bottom rail and the ground.

If you do pressure wash it, use the lowest pressure possible and the widest fan nozzle.

How Not to Clean a Vinyl Fence

Never use bleach or product containing bleach on your vinyl fence unless it’s diluted properly.

Never pressure wash your fence on high. High pressure can damage the vinyl just as it can damage wood when the pressure is too high.

Signs You Need a New Fence

If you have an older vinyl fence that is yellowing or cracking, you should think about getting a new vinyl fence installed. While you may fear that the same thing will happen with your new fence, it will not.

New vinyl fences treated with titanium oxide will not yellow and crack like old vinyl. The titanium oxide is thermally and chemically bonded with the vinyl to provide the best protection against UV rays.

Before you purchase a new vinyl fence, make sure the vinyl includes titanium oxide for a longer lasting fence.


What are the disadvantages of vinyl fencing?

The upfront cost for vinyl is higher. The only other disadvantage of vinyl is limited color options. Some people don’t like white and other vinyl colors can fade over time.

Do vinyl fences need maintenance?

Yes, though it’s very little. Keep it clean with a wash down regularly. No need for staining or sealing like wood.

Does a vinyl fence increase property value?

This is very subjective and not a straight yes or no answer. Fences aren’t a big driver in properly values. However, some people have stated their vinyl fence did slightly increase their home value.

Is it safe to power wash a vinyl fence?

Yes, but only at a power psi no more than 2500 psi. Use a wider fan nozzle and keep at least 18 inches away from the fence.

Which fence is better PVC or vinyl?

Vinyl fences are made out of PVC, so there is no difference. People may call it PVC or vinyl fence but its the exact same thing.

Are vinyl fences strong enough for dogs?

Yes, vinyl fences are strong enough for dogs. Vinyl is as sturdy as wood when installed properly.

What lasts longer cedar or vinyl fence?

Both have similar lifespans of 20+ years, but cedar will require more maintenance than vinyl.

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