Product Guide: Vinyl/PVC
A versatile option, vinyl fencing is cost-effective, aesthetically appealing, and low-maintenance.
- Cost-effective – Vinyl fences come with extensive warranties, with some manufacturers providing lifetime warranties for their products.
- Aesthetically appealing – Vinyl fences come in a variety of styles and colors. They can be made to look like many different types of fences, from wood to ornamental, making them a naturally appealing choice that can be more economical than but just as pleasing as its authentic counterpoints.
- Low-maintenance – Vinyl comes pre-designed, meaning that painting is not required. Maintenance is generally delegated to a periodic washing.
Vinyl fences are used in many applications, including residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural.
- Residential – A versatile option, homeowners are attracted to the many styles of vinyl, from those that conform to pool safety codes to attractive privacy styles.
- Commercial / Business – The low-maintenance needed for vinyl makes it a popular choice among businesses including restaurants, hotels, and amusement parks.
- Industrial – Vinyl is an economical choice to add architectural intrigue to an industrial complex, as well as provide a shield between citizens and any waste or storage areas.
- Agricultural – The smoothness of vinyl provides a safe environment, particularly for horses.
The American Society for Testing and Materials recommends the following minimum standards for producing vinyl fencing:
- D792: Physical Property of Rigid Vinyl
- D256: Izod Impact
- D638: Tensile Yield Strength
- D790: Flexural Yield Strength
- D638: Tensile Modules
- D635: Rate of Burning
- D696: Thermal Expansion
- D1435: Outdoor Weathering
- D1784: Cell Classification
- D4726: Specs for White Rigid PVC Exterior-Profile Extrusions (Assembled Windows and Doors)
- D2444: Impact Resistance
- F1999-00: Installation Practices for Vinyl
When specifying a vinyl fence, it is recommended that all homeowners, architects, engineers, and specifiers consider the following questions:
- Is it made in the U.S.A.?
- How much wind load does this fence need to bear?
- Vinyl fences are durable, withstanding extreme climate conditions. The properties of vinyl make it resistant to fire, meaning that it is a self-extinguishing material.
- Do the rails need to be reinforced, or is the standard gauge adequate for your purposes?
- Do the posts need to be reinforced with concrete? How much?
- Do the posts need to be installed below the frost line?
Local building codes should always be consulted for the minimum fencing requirements in that area.