Interested in your vinyl fencing options, and leaning toward PVC / Vinyl? There are plenty of reasons to consider this material over wood or even metal. It’s highly durable, easy to clean, can last a very long time, and is far more affordable than other options. However, not all vinyl types are created equal.
Vinyl = PVC = Plastic
Before we go too far, let’s get something out of the way. Vinyl is made out of PVC, or polyvinylchloride. It’s the same material used to create the plumbing pipes in your home. It’s plastic. Anyone who tells you that vinyl is not plastic is either misinformed themselves or is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
Differences in Vinyl
One of the first things you’ll need to consider is the thickness of the material. Generally, the vinyl thickness is measured decimal form as in 0.150 or sometimes just called 150. That is the thickness in inches. A reading of 0.150″ is equal to about 5/32nds of an inch. A few companies refer to “mils”. One mil equates to 1/1000th of an inch. Obviously, the thicker the material, the better quality the fence will be. Thicker vinyl is more resistant to all types of damage, including:
- String trimmers (See our Fence Armor products for the ultimate protection)
- Damage from UV light
- Impacts from rocks
These are just a few possible examples. Your fence actually has to withstand an incredible range of threats on a daily basis, running from sun exposure to subfreezing temperatures to lawnmower tires and more.
With thicker vinyl comes a higher price tag, though. It’s more difficult to manufacture, and it requires more in the way of raw materials to make, as well. This means that vinyl fencing made from thicker plastic will cost more than fencing made from thinner plastic, but that it will better stand the test of time.
There are plenty of other differences in vinyl fencing options out there. For instance, some fencing is colored, but the coloring process used can vary greatly. Some vinyl types have the color embedded in them so that if peeling or chipping occurs, there is no visible difference. Other fencing types have the color applied only a few microns deep in the plastic, which means that possible chips, cracks and the like can create visible scars.
See more in our Free ebook Vinyl Fence Buyer’s Guide
So, how are you supposed to make an informed decision, save money, and still get a fence that will look great and stand the test of time? The best option here is to work with a fencing expert who is able to explain the differences in your vinyl fencing options and help you find the best solution for your needs and budget.