Vinyl fencing is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Manufacturers mix PVC resin with ultraviolet inhibitors, toners and stabilizers to form vinyl fence panels that are malleable. When the panels dry, they become rigid and resilient. The process allows vinyl fencing to be made in many styles and sizes with fence caps and decorative tops.
Numerous styles of vinyl fencing are available for any application. Picket vinyl fences work well to define or divide garden areas while allowing a view into those areas. Privacy and semi-privacy fences are solid on the bottom to keep neighbors from seeing into private locations. Semi-privacy vinyl fences usually have an opening or semi-opening, such as lattice, above the solid area. Ranch-rail fencing is a good choice for large areas; it provides large openings between its horizontal rails.
Vinyl fencing has five times the strength of wood fencing. It also is four times as flexible as wood fencing. Because of those qualities, vinyl fencing can withstand high coastal winds, flexing during them rather than breaking as wood fencing does.
Vinyl fencing panels do not require the maintenance that wooden or iron fencing requires. Wooden fencing needs to be painted to preserve its color and appearance. Vinyl fencing retains its color; it reflects ultraviolet rays, and so its color does not fade from bright sunlight. Termites do not eat vinyl, but they do eat wooden fencing, causing its demise and warranting replacement. Wooden fencing may last about five to seven years, and iron fencing lasts about five to 10 years. Vinyl fencing probably can last the duration of its buyer's life, according to Fencing-Advice.com.
Vinyl fencing costs about three times more than chain-link fencing, about twice as much as wooden, 4-foot tall fencing and about 33 percent more than wooden, 6-foot tall fencing. Wrought-iron fencing's cost ranges from about the same as vinyl fencing to about 50 percent more than vinyl fencing. The initial cost of vinyl fencing may be more than the cost of some other fencing, but its long-term cost may be LESS than that of other fencing options.