Deciding what fence to go with for your property can be a pretty big deal. There are a lot of options to choose from, from styles and materials to colors and different dimensions. Sifting through all of this information can be tough. We get it, believe us.
Installing a fence is also a chore. It’s a fairly large project and once you’re finished, you’re likely breathing a sigh of relief. However, for some fence owners — the work may not be finished. Depending on what type of material you go with, you may be in it for the long haul with a ton of maintenance. This is especially true for areas that have harsher climates and may end up extending that headache of yours.
There are materials that take away this stress. Over the years, fencing materials have undergone some changes and property owners have begun to realize the benefits of certain materials over others. If you don’t want to spend all summer washing, scraping, painting, or treating your fence — then there are definitely some materials to avoid.
So, we’re going to go over all of the fence options you should install if you want an easy to maintain solution.
This is definitely the most practical and beautiful looking fence you can go with. Vinyl is made using polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a type of plastic that is extremely durable and easy to maintain. Plastic gets a bad rap, but we can assure you that this is no cheap alternative.
Vinyl provides a long-lasting solution for your enclosure all while being extremely easy to maintain. Because it’s so smooth, washing this material is a breeze. Dirt, dust, debris, grass clippings — they all can be easily removed with water. At the very most, you may need to use a wet sponge to wipe it down. But for light cleaning all you need is your garden hose.
Because vinyl is so durable, you probably won’t need to make any significant repairs depending on the thickness of your vinyl. This is especially great for homeowners with big dogs or children that may like to play around in the yard and bump into the fencing. Vinyl also doesn’t require regular paint jobs. Anyone that has ever painted a fence will tell you it’s a nightmare. So this is another big reason to go vinyl.
Depending on what type of vinyl fence you get, you may have the option to have removable posts and railings. These are convenient if you ever do have to make a repair, you can simply remove the panels and perform any necessary maintenance.
You have likely heard of wrought iron fencing and have probably seen it around before. While this is a traditional take on a beautiful fence style, wrought iron isn’t necessarily the most durable or easy to maintain.
That’s where steel fencing comes into play. Steel fences offer the same aesthetic but with much more durable material. You really can’t beat steel when it comes to fence strength.
While it is the most durable, there are some preemptive steps you’re going to have to take to get the most out of your steel fence. First, we recommend a powder coat finish to reduce the chances of peeling or blistering paint. Also, steel has a tendency to rust if you don’t take care of it. Really, the only thing that can cause this is scratches or scrapes. So, if you ever see any marks on your steel fence, take the time to treat them.
Just like with the steel fencing option, aluminum offers a traditional take on metal style fencing that is easy to maintain. Compared to steel, there are some pros and cons for aluminum.
While aluminum may not be as durable and tough as some other metal fence types, it will not rust, unlike iron or steel which are both prone to rust. Instead, aluminum corrodes a different way. You may notice a chalky white residue forming on your fence from weathering. Don’t sweat! This is completely normal and is actually protecting the aluminum from further damage.
If you want to restore your fencing back to its spotless glory, all it takes is mix together equal parts white vinegar and water. Use a sponge and wipe down your fence, then use a hose to rinse off the solution — that will do the trick.
Similarly to steel, a powder coating will prevent blistering or peeling. While this fence is definitely durable, just like any metal it can get scratched. Touching up an aluminum fence isn’t much of a chore at all. Just a little paint here and there and you’re fence will be looking brand new.
While we tend to steer homeowners away from wooden fence options, composite fencing meets in the middle. This style is made up of recycled plastic and wood pieces, and it’s pretty darn tough. It’s also a green option. What do we mean? Well, because your using recycled materials you’re not only saving trees — but also doing your part for plastics as well.
Because it’s such a tough material, you won’t have to worry about repairs too much. Keeping dirt and debris off your composite fence just takes a little elbow grease. Just grab a soft brush and gently remove unwanted dirt with soap and water.
Because there is some wood to deal with here, you should take some preventative measures to avoid mold or mildew. Traditional fence cleaners should do the trick. Every Spring and Fall, make sure to clean off your composite fencing to ensure that there isn’t any leftover pollen or other debris left behind.
Why We Don’t Recommend Cedar
While cedar fencing has been a classic, it’s very difficult to maintain. Wood is vulnerable to rotting, peeling and sagging. It’s a pain to keep moisture off of, which can lead to all sorts of trouble for your fence. Warping in the rails or posts can pretty much destroy your fence and you’ll end up replacing more than it’s worth.
Colors are also prone to fading. While there are some measures you can take to prevent too much discoloration, it’s far more difficult than the options we presented above. Not to mention you’re going to be dealing with pests like termites. Overall, the lifespan of cedar fencing just isn’t worth your wallet — especially when there are beautiful options out there that last far longer and are much easier to maintain.