aluminum fences

Preventing Cracks in Your Vinyl Fence

Vinyl fences are an attractive option for your property, and with the right upkeep, you can make sure it stays that way. Here are some tips on how to keep your vinyl fence in great condition.

With costs of traditional materials increasing, homeowners and property owners alike are looking to alternative options for their fencing needs. Materials such as aluminum and now vinyl are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional wood, wrought iron, and steel fencing.

In this article we’ll be taking a peek at vinyl fences, in particular discussing the maintenance tips you can employ to prevent cracks and wear within your fence of choice.

What is Vinyl Fencing?

Vinyl fencing represents a plastic based alternative to traditional fencing materials. Also, commonly mislabeled as PVC, vinyl is comprised of ethylene and chlorine, which forms Polyvinyl Chloride, from which vinyl gets its name.

Vinyl has the majority of its use in construction, with some referring to it as the ‘infrastructure plastic’, due to how many building processes now require it.

However, in recent years, due to its suitability as a fencing medium, vinyl is now making its way into residential properties. Up to five times stronger than wood, and flexible in nature, vinyl fencing has been found to be ideal in harsh weather environments, such as those with high winds, heavy rains, or storms.

Not only available in stunning designs, but also easy to wash and requiring little maintenance, it’s easy to see why vinyl fencing is starting to have such mass market appeal.

Why has my Vinyl Fence Cracked?

While typically vinyl fencing is a durable option for your home, certain factors such as heat waves, hard freezes, poor maintenance, as well as simple accidents can cause cracking to occur.

Extreme hot and cold temperatures can cause cracking because they cause materials to either greatly expand (heat) or contract (cold), while vinyl fencing is flexible, if either temperature extreme is sudden or prolonged, cracking and surface damage is likely to form.

How to Help Prevent Cracks in the Vinyl

Some basic maintenance checks can really help preserve your fences’ longevity, and aid in keeping it crack free.

1) Regular Washing

As with any fencing, cleaning is the first and most basic form of good maintenance. Vinyl fences are very easy to clean, many times only requiring a hose down. If you find your fence is plagued with more stubborn dirt, basic household detergent will soon have it squeaky clean.

Regularly cleaning your fence not only helps to make your yard look fantastic, but will also help you to notice if small cracks are beginning to occur. As with most issues, catching them early allows for a quick and easy fix.

2) Fence Stability

Given time, even the most professionally installed fence may lose some of its stability. High winds and inclement weather for example, can cause the posts to become unsecure.

Checking the fence for any kinds of weakness at regular intervals throughout the year, will help ensure that posts are tightly embedded in the ground, guaranteeing your fence is stable.

Ensuring stability within your fence can help prevent cracking, as it stops the amount of movement your fence can make. Even though it is naturally flexible, if your vinyl fence is constantly rocking back and forth in the wind, it is likely that stress fractures and cracks will occur.

3) Post Cap Inspections

Over time it is common for the caps on your fence post to become loose. If on your maintenance checks you discover this, then it’s best to repair the cap with PVC glue as soon as possible. This will help ensure a secure over all structure of your fence, thus reducing cracking from unnecessary movement.

The post caps also stop moisture and bugs from entering your fence, which could cause damage of their own too.

4) Treat it with Care

As with most things in life, one of the most sure-fire ways to keep any object in good condition is to treat it with care. In regards to fencing, this can occur in many ways. If you have children for example, dissuade them from climbing on the fencing or swinging on the gates.

If you’re particularly green fingered, or hire a gardener, be careful using a weed trimmer around the fencing, as this can crack and scratch up the vinyl.

Finally, avoid leaning heavy objects against the fence, particularly over long periods of time, as this can cause unnecessary bowing, which will put extra, unneeded stress and strain on the material.

A Durable Fencing Option

By following these basic care guidelines, you should find your vinyl fence remains crack free for a good few years to come.

However, should cracking appear, its best to deal with it quickly, to prevent the damage becoming more severe.

Typically, repairs can be achieved with at home methods and requiring no specialist tools, proving that when it comes to low stress, and low maintenance fencing, vinyl just might be the material for you.

arbor

Taking Care of Your Vinyl Arbor

A vinyl arbor is a great way to add some visual interest to your property. Here are some tips on how to best care for this beautiful addition to your yard! Vinyl arbors are a beautiful addition to any yard. Whether you’re using it as an entry through a vinyl fence or just a decoration in a garden or over a path, an arbor is a great way to add some height variation to your landscaping. However, if you don’t take proper care of the arbor, it can quickly become an eyesore, covered in dirt, grime, pollen, and more. It can also be difficult to figure out how to get started if you want an arbor covered in flowering vines. Below are some tips on how best to care for your vinyl arbor.

Cleaning Your Arbor

The most common upkeep you will need to do on your arbor is basic cleaning. Most vinyl arbors are white, and the outdoors aren’t always kind to white things — pollen, dust, and dirt will show up easily on such a bright color. That makes it especially important to keep the arbor clean, but it is important to clean it properly to avoid damage. In most cases, spraying the arbor down with a hose will be enough to get rid of most surface dirt. However, sometimes a more intensive cleaning will be needed to get rid of the grime. In those cases, use a mild cleaner and a soft bristled brush. Be sure that the brush is soft, as stiff bristles can damage the surface of the vinyl. Another cleaning option is to use a power washer, but be sure that you’re using it on one of the lowest settings available. Strong settings on some washers can strip paint and damage vinyl.

Managing Appearance

As mentioned above, most vinyl arbors come in white as the default color, though other colors are sometimes available. Whatever color you end up with, there may come a time when you decide you want your arbor to be a different color. Does that mean you need to order an entirely new arbor? Not at all! Vinyl arbors can be painted any color your heart desires. Simply make sure that the arbor is clean and dry before you start painting. Find a paint that is both safe for use on vinyl and for the outdoors, and make your arbor look exactly how you want. Many people prefer to use spray paint, as it is easy to apply even coats, but there are a number of options available to meet your needs.

Arbor Gardening

Many people purchase an arbor with the intent of using it to garden or create shade, but knowing how to get from a bare arbor to one dripping in vines and flowers can be difficult. Some of the most popular flowering vines to grow on arbors include:
  • Bougainvillea
  • Sweet pea
  • Morning glory
  • Clematis
  • Trumpet vine
  • Jasmine
Take the time to research whichever vine you are most interested in. You’ll want to make sure that it can survive in your climate, and that your arbor is placed where it can receive the proper amount of sunlight. It is also good to look into how much care the vine requires, and decide if you can dedicate the amount of time it will need. You will also want to consider the cooler months — will you need to clean all the vines off of your arbor every winter, or will the vine you choose be able to survive year round? Avoid woody vines like wisteria. While beautiful, they can be a bit heavy for a vinyl arbor, and the woody stems can tighten too much on the arbor, causing cracks or even breaking the arbor entirely. No matter which vine you choose, you need to keep in mind that it will take some time and patience to get it to grow how you want it to on your arbor. You will need to guide the vine around the arbor as it grows, which may require you to tend to it as often as every other day. Once the vine is well-established, you will also likely need to prune fairly often to keep it from growing too much. Whether you want your arbor to stand on its own in your garden over a path or bench, as a simple addition to your fence gate, or to be a support for a thriving flowering vine, maintaining the arbor is important if you want it to last. With a little cleaning and, if needed, a little gardening, you can keep your arbor looking like new and even give it a facelift when you want to change colors. Follow these steps to enjoy a beautiful arbor in your yard year round!
aluminum fences

Is Vinyl the Same Thing as PVC?

People often confuse PVC with vinyl.  However, the truth is that the two materials aren’t the same at all. Vinyl is actually a radical of ethane which refers to the various ethylene-based compounds. While, on the other hand, PVC is actually polyvinyl chloride along with a polymer of vinyl chloride. This means that PVC is a type of vinyl and is one of the most popular construction materials that you will come across.  PVC vinyl fence is found in the third world countries since it is available at an affordable price.  PVC is known to be the favorite material of the contractors because it is easy to work with it. Moreover, it is also resistant to the chemical and the biological breakdown. When you install a vinyl fence, PVC is the only kind of vinyl that is used. Thus, it is known as vinyl fencing. PVC had been created accidentally while the flask of vinyl chloride had been exposed to direct sunlight.  At present, PVC is created in the lab through the process which is known as polymerization. Polymerization includes several complex chemical reactions. What are the Benefits of a Vinyl Fence? A vinyl fence is great for the outdoors.  This is simply because it is durable and lasts for a long period of time.  One of the primary benefits of a vinyl fence is that it isn’t going to warp, rot, check, or splinter like wooden fence. In order to clean a vinyl fence, you just have to clean it up with the rag when you find it a little dirty. When you install a fence, you will not have to worry much about its maintenance. Vinyl is a general term and PVC is just a product that is vinyl.  This is the reason many people are led to believe that PVC and vinyl are the same thing.  What are the Different Types of Vinyl? Some other kinds of vinyl include polyvinylidene chloride, polyvinyl alcohol, and polyvinyl acetate. Both PVC and vinyl fencing are generally preferred by the customers over wooden fencing. This is because it is durable and also easy to care. You can make it look like wood.  However, this isn’t going to decay like the woods. PVC and vinyl are interchangeably used in the fencing industry. You can paint vinyl and PVC fencing. However, this requires a special kind of paint which is known as the epoxy-based paint. You have to do your research on the kind of materials that are used before you purchase them. It can be assumed that vinyl does mean PVC. Nonetheless, in order to be safe, it is better to verify the details with the manufacturer. You should choose a vinyl fence for your property if you have to get the most out of your money.  This way you will be able to increase the aesthetic appeal of your house, as well as improve the security of your backyard. Vinyl fencing doesn’t require much cleaning. Hence, investing in a vinyl fence can considered to be a smart move since it lasts for a long period of time.
Outback-Residential-Single-Arched-Gate-300x282

How to Choose a Fencing Material?

One thing is certain, when you look for new a fence while shopping online, you have a lot of choices. There are various types of fence materials which you can select for your new house or renovation project. In short, the best material to use for fencing is vinyl and aluminum since they are durable and are available at a cheaper price. But let’s see below why.

What’s the best Fencing solution? – 7 Things to Consider

You might feel lost while choosing between the various fencing materials available. In case you are wondering how to choose the best fencing material for your property, you need to consider several things.

What is Your Objective?

There are many reasons to build a fence. Hence, before you start looking for fences, you need to take into account the primary purpose of the fence. Do you need it to keep the dog in the yard? Would you like to protect your pool? Are you angry that the neighbors ignore the property line? Do you want to increase your privacy? Once you know what you want, you can start browsing through the materials.

Find Your Style

You will find some fencing materials which have drastically different looks. For instance, you can compare iron-fencing and vinyl-fencing. Even though both of these can be beautiful, they are largely divergent.  Aluminum fences offer a timeless and elegant appeal. You need to explore the various styles of fencing materials that will cater to your requirement.

What is the Upfront Cost?

Budget is one of the most important factors that you need to consider. You need to consider the cost of the fencing system.  Moreover, even if you can install the fence all by yourself, you will have to put in time and effort. In case you are unable to afford the fencing materials you like, you should start looking for inexpensive alternatives. Vinyl is a good option. When you have a tight budget, opt for the cheapest material that you come across.

What is the Long-Term Cost?

You should not consider only the initial cost of building a fence. The price tag you will pay at first is not final.  With the course of time, several fence materials present further cost. For instance, you shouldn’t forget to consider the durability of the fence. A fence which doesn’t have the ability to bear damage, wear, and tear in the long run will need replacement and repair.  Both of these can be pretty costly. Moreover, you also have to think about the maintenance cost which goes along with it.

Fence Maintenance

Some fences are self-sufficient and they do not require any help. For instance, vinyl and aluminum doesn’t require any maintenance cost all. You don’t have to worry about sealing, staining, cleaning, or painting.  For other fencing materials, you have to think if you will be able to spend time to care for your fence.  Moreover, you will have to consider how much you will have to spend for maintaining your fence.

Fence Location and Climate

If you have home near wet and humid areas, you should consider vinyl fencing. This is better than wood. This is because wood can be spoilt by water damage.  Again, if you are installing fence near the ocean, you can install power-coated aluminum fence. It won’t corrode or rust. When you know how to select the fencing material, consider factors such as extreme cold, extreme heat, snow, ice, and strong winds.

Consider the Property Resale Value

Before you choose the fence materials and type, you should consider the property as a whole. The fence can affect the property resale value.  If you plan to move someplace else, think how the fence style will affect the resale value of the property. For instance, unattractive fences, cheap fences, and privacy fences can have a negative effect on the home value.
aluminum fences

How Many Years Does a Vinyl Fence Last?

Getting a vinyl fence for your property is certainly a good decision on your part. Vinyl fences tend to look great on different kinds of properties and they provide a number of other benefits. However, the most important feature of vinyl fences is that they tend to last for a long time. This is worth looking into in detail.

How Long Will Vinyl Fences Last?

The durability and longevity are some of the most important features of vinyl fences. In fact, a vinyl fence can last for twenty to thirty years with ease. Most manufacturers do provide lifetime warranties on vinyl fences for this very reason. Even if the fence has been installed in a high-traffic area, it will remain standing year after year. Be that as it may, this longevity is only possible if you take proper care of them. Of course, accidental damage will ruin the fence and require replacement but that is to be expected. If you put some effort into their maintenance, you may even find that they outlive the siding of the house. Therefore, to get the most out of your vinyl fence, you need to learn how to maintain it properly. Here are a few tips that you can apply. Cleaning the Vinyl Fence Cleaning vinyl fences is extremely easy and requires little effort in most cases. Here are a few steps that you can use.
  • For basic and regular cleaning, water is enough. All you need is a garden hose with enough power to get rid of dirt, chemicals and clippings.
  • If minor stains have appeared on the fence, you can get rid of them with soap. Make a solution of soap and water. With this solution and a rag, clean off the stains.
  • For major stains, you require a stronger solution. There are specific products available in the market. Alternatively, you can make a solution of water and bleach in a 10:1 ratio and use it to clean the stains.
Maintenance Tips In order to maximize the lifespan of your vinyl fence, there are quite a few steps that you can take. Here are some of them.
  • Make sure that the hinges of the gate are oiled once every year. Examine the screws and tighten them properly.
  • The gate of the fence should be adjusted at least once every year, preferably during the spring.
  • You should not allow the gate to swing under the effects of wind. In other words, the gate must always be secured when not in use.
  • You should avoid using any weed trimmer near the base of the fence posts.
  • Objects or materials should not be stacked or mounted near the fence as they may damage it if they collapse.
  • Ensure that children are not swinging on the fence gate.
By following these tips, you can avoid damaging your fence unnecessarily. It will also help in increasing the lifespan of the vinyl fence. Of course, you should always opt for a good quality vinyl fence if you want it to last for decades.
aluminum fences

How to Choose the Best Fence Color and Add Style to Your Yard ?

A fence is a great way to add some character to your home and enhance the curb appeal. However, if you want your yard to appear stylish, you should consider giving your aluminum fences or vinyl fences a fresh coat of paint. This is particularly useful if the existing colors of the fence have started to peel or fade. However, there are a few things which you need to consider before coloring up your fence. After all, you will want the end result to look impressive. Using just about any color may end up making the property look garish and out of place. As such, take into account the following factors when determining which color to use for your fence. See also:

The Style of the Home

Think about the style that your home has and let it guide the choice of color. After all, fences should be an extension of your home. For example, a colonial house or a traditional type of cottage will look great if the fence features a crisp white shade. However, a matte black finish will be preferable for stately homes or those that feature dark-hued bricks.

The Colors of the Home

The colors of your home should also be taken into account when determining the colors of the fence. While the look of the fence and the house should be complementary, it is not necessary for them to match. A house painted mostly in white can look great with a white fence. However, a house painted in brown will never look as impressive if the fence is brown as well. As such, you can opt for different colors to get the right effect. Alternatively, using different shades of the same color may enhance the overall effect. It is a good idea to consult a color wheel or magazines to determine which color for the fence will go well with the house.

The Colors of the Landscape

The landscape must be considered as well when determining the right color for the fence. For example, if your yard features natural landscaping and lots of foliage, using bright colors on the fence is the wrong decision. The right choice would be a neutral shade. Dark green or wood stains would be good choices as they help the fence to blend into the surroundings. Brighter colors are preferable when there are lots of flowering plants and shrubs.

Consider the Local Policies

The community you are living in will certainly have an effect on the colors you use on the fences. There may be rules and policies in place governing the colors that can be used. This is usually done to ensure that the community sports a uniform look. Therefore, talk with the association to find out what colors you are allowed to use and choose accordingly. When painting your fences, pay attention to the type of colors being used. After all, you should use paints meant for wood surfaces on wooden fences. While you may be able to paint the fences, it is a better idea to work with a professional.