When considering vinyl fencing, you have quite a few considerations that need to be made. Of course, you have your personal preferences – color, fence style, texture, and the vinyl thickness. Then, you have other issues. You want to ensure that you’re buying the highest quality product on the market, and if you listen to most salespeople, that means buying the thickest vinyl fencing on the market. Is that the truth?
What Vinyl Thickness Means
When it comes to the vinyl thickness, it is a measure of quality, but it’s not the only one. However, many fencing companies don’t explain the other factors that play into the mix, or how thickness makes a difference. Obviously, the thicker the vinyl, the more durable the plastic will be. Thickness equates to strength.
Ideally, you should have a thickness of .135 inches with a commercial-grade, five-inch post. That’s at a minimum. Thicker vinyl of .150 inches will perform even better. Scale the diameter of the post down to four inches, and you’ll want a thickness of .120 inches.
There’s a problem, though. PVC can become brittle and discolored over time. To prevent that, there are additional things that go into the mix.
Protection and Durability
The thickness makes vinyl strong, but not particularly durable. As mentioned, exposure to sunlight will make it dry and brittle, and your fence will be exposed to a great deal of sunlight over the course of its lifespan. That means manufacturers need to add something else to the mix in order to ensure their products can actually hold up in the outdoors – UV inhibitors.
UV Inhibitors: UV, or ultraviolet, light is emitted by the sun. It’s what’s responsible for burning your skin when you go out without sunscreen. It also dries out plastic and makes it dry and brittle. To prevent this, UV inhibitors are added to the PVC mixture. TiO2/titanium oxide is the most common UV inhibitor used by manufacturers today. It’s added in a ratio of 10 parts TiO2 to 100 pounds of resin to ensure the best possible resistance to UV damage.
So, the thickness is an important consideration, but it alone is not enough to be a selling point. There are other items just as important that go into making a durable, high-quality piece of vinyl fencing. Work with a fencing company that will help educate you about all the ingredients needed to create a durable, quality vinyl fence, and that offers you access to the colors, textures, and styles that you need.