Is a Vinyl Fence Better Than Wood?

Being integral structures, fences need to be constructed from sturdy materials that can stand the test of time. Wood has been the traditional favorite of homeowners everywhere. After all, it is easily available and is durable enough to last for a number of years. However, it is slowly but steadily losing ground to a new kind of material. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC for short, is an incredible material. Also known as vinyl, this material is becoming a popular choice for fencing. If you are planning to install a fence in your property, chances are that you will end up with these two materials in the end. A comparison of wood and vinyl fencing is essential to get a good idea of the better choice.

Vinyl VS Wood Fencing

Durability

It goes without saying that a fence needs to be durable. It should definitely not be flimsy. At the same time, it must be capable of withstanding the elements without showing much strain. In terms of durability, both wood and vinyl are worth contenders but vinyl has the edge over wood. Wood is capable of lasting for decades. However, that is only possible when you maintain it properly. Additionally, it needs to get a coat of fresh paint, sealant and other treatments to protect it from rot and other conditions that affect all wooden products. This is not a problem with vinyl. Vinyl does not require any chemicals or products to protect it from the elements. It is naturally durable. In fact, a vinyl fence can easily last for years even if you take minimum effort in its maintenance.

Cost

Of course, the cost is one of the first factors that you will look into when selecting fences. You do get several choices for both vinyl and wood. That tends to give you a wider range to choose from. Despite the range, wood is generally cheaper than vinyl. However, that is just the upfront and initial costs. Since vinyl fences require less maintenance, you need to spend next to nothing on them in the long run. However, wood fences will require regular application of products every few years which increases their overall costs. As such, although vinyl is more expensive, it can be the better choice down the line.

Maintenance

Wood fences require a lot of maintenance. They need to be sealed, painted and treated every few years to protect them from rot, pests and other conditions. Insects can easily destroy them if left untreated. As such, maintaining wood fences is labor-intensive and expensive. As mentioned earlier, vinyl fences require little to no maintenance at all. In fact, the most you need to invest in is a pressure hose. After all, vinyl has a completely smooth surface. Any dirt, grime or even moss that accumulates can be easily washed off with water and a scrub.

Repairs

Of course, both types of fences will require repairs time to time. A wood fence with damaged planks or that suffers from warp will need to get the boards replaced. This will ensure that the fence retains its integrity. In the case of wood fences, replacing a few boards is usually enough. However, repairing vinyl fences can often be more difficult. In their case, replacing boards will often not be enough. Instead, an entire section may have to be replaced. That can be an issue. On the other hand, the chances of such a situation occurring are rather rare.

Appearance

This is one aspect where vinyl falls a bit behind wood. It is extremely easy to paint wood as per your wishes. Of course, the wooden boards can be left with just a coat of sealant which gives your fence a completely natural appearance. Additionally, you can give your wood fence a makeover every other year with a simple coat of paint. This was not possible until recently, with vinyl fences. Vinyl used to come in a more limited range of colors and patterns as compared to wood, but this is no longer the case. Generally, for fences, white vinyl is chosen but other solid vinyl colors are available.

Conclusion

In short, vinyl fences are the better choice for most households. Vinyl is more durable, requires less maintenance and has a lower long-term cost. Although it fails in terms of repair and appearance, they are not major issues.