1. Home

Discuss in my forum

What are the pros and cons of PVC vinyl fences?

By

Mold can build up on a PVC vinyl fence -- a con.

Picture showing build-up of mold on a PVC vinyl fence.

Joanne
Question: What are the pros and cons of PVC vinyl fences?
Exploring alternatives to traditional wood fencing...?
Answer:

While much fencing designed for privacy or decoration has traditionally been made of wood, PVC vinyl fences have become quite popular. But what are their pros and cons?

The pros of vinyl fences are as follows:

  • Vinyl fences offer low maintenance -- never paint or stain again.
  • At a distance, some high-quality vinyl fences do resemble the traditional wood fence designs for which they are substitutes.
  • Vinyl fences don't splinter, making them a child-friendly alternative.
The cons of vinyl fences are as follows:
  • Since PVC does expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate, this material becomes more brittle in the cold, making it susceptible to damage.
  • Up close, a vinyl fence is a vinyl fence, any resemblance to wood from afar notwithstanding. For the true lover of the look, smell and feel of wood, no substitute will do.
  • Another drawback is the price. Vinyl fences are more expensive than their wooden counterparts in terms of upfront cost. However, you may save money in the long run, after maintenance costs for wood are considered.
  • A final con to mention is build-up of algae, mold and mildew.

Reader, Joanne reminded me of this final con. She says that her neighbor installed a white PVC vinyl fence for privacy along their property line. "Within a year," reports Joanne, "the north side which faces my front door (my home is sideways on my lot) had green and black stains all over it. It's a mess" (see picture above).

Back to > Fences FAQ Index

Back to > Index to All FAQs

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.