Vinyl fencing is generally a durable, attractive and low-cost alternative to more traditional wood fencing. But like any product, there are some manufacturers and distributors trying to pass off shoddy vinyl onto unknowing consumers. If you’re in the market for a new vinyl fence, make sure you read these handy tips for choosing high-quality vinyl:
Examine samples. There’s a lot you can tell about vinyl fencing just by examining it. Holding a test piece lets you feel how sturdy it is, how resistant it is to pressure and impact, and whether it bends and stretches too easily. If a distributor doesn’t have a sample piece or is hesitant to let you hold it, beware.
Check the color. High-quality vinyl has higher levels of titanium dioxide, which makes it resistant to fading and color changes, whereas low-quality vinyl will discolor under high UV exposure. Ask the salesperson if they have an example that has been exposed to sunlight, such as a sample fence, and check the vinyl’s color consistency. If there are striking color variations, or if there isn’t a sample for you to see at all, you may want to find another distributor.
Ask the right questions. Ask whether the manufacturer uses co-extrusion (bonding two layers) or mono-extrusion (one-layer). Although mono-extrusion does not exclude high quality, co-extruders are likely to make longer-lasting fences. You can also ask whether the manufacturer follows the ASTM F964-94 standard, a voluntary quality standard for vinyl fencing manufacturers. Other questions to ask: Does the fence come with stainless steel gate hardware? Does it have substantial, heavy rails and posts and notched rail-fastening systems?
For more tips on choosing top quality materials for your fencing project, check out our fencing materials eBook.