Fencing is available in a number of different materials, ranging from wood to metal and even plastic. Increasingly, PVC (vinyl) fencing is becoming more and more popular with both business owners and homeowners. Of course, there are many different types of vinyl fencing out there, and it’s important that you can make an informed choice regarding your purchase. One of the more important considerations you’ll need to make is whether to purchase residential vinyl fencing or commercial vinyl fencing.
When you start shopping around for vinyl fencing, chances are good that you’ll encounter salespeople who encourage you to go the residential vinyl route. They’ll explain things like the fact that it’s more affordable than commercial grade vinyl, and that you may have more options in terms of color, style, and texture. However, there are other things that you’ll need to know.
In most cases, residential vinyl pieces are thinner and are usually hollow (no support rails) inside. These pieces usually have lower amounts of UV inhibitors added during the manufacturing process and fewer impact modifiers. This means that this fencing material has less UV resistance and durability.
You’ll find that residential vinyl fencing lacks the bottom aluminum support found with commercial vinyl fencing. That is responsible for adding strength and rigidity. Finally, residential grade vinyl fencing uses a lower quality bracket system to connect rails, and the hardware is highly visible. Screws for brackets rip out very easily.
Commercial grade vinyl fencing is the opposite of residential grade fencing in many ways. It is thicker than residential grade vinyl fencing for one thing. It also includes ribbing and spines that run the length of the rails to add even more strength.
Commercial grade vinyl is made with higher concentrations of Titanium Oxide (TiO2) to inhibit UV light and improve durability, as well as more impact modifiers. The result is a fencing product that really stands the test of time and holds up against damaging UV rays. Finally, the connecting system is very strong and made to be virtually invisible. Rails must interlock inside each post. This gives the rail the strength of the post instead of just a bracket held to the post by two or 3 shallow screws.
Making Your Choice
Ultimately, commercial grade vinyl fencing is the better investment. While it is slightly more expensive initially than residential grade vinyl, that investment pays off over time with a dramatically longer lifespan and better resistance to UV rays.
The best choice is to work with a trusted fencing company that can explain both commercial and residential vinyl options, and help you make an informed decision.