Vinyl fences are a wonderful option for any home. They’re lightweight, come in a wide array of colors, and with their bendable structures, they can last for a very long time. However, nothing truly lasts forever, especially if you purchased from the wrong company.
A trend 15-20 years ago was for big box stores to stock inferior products that made heavy use of cheap materials manufactured overseas by the lowest bidders using the quickest construction methods available. That generation of fence is beginning to degrade big-time, leading to homeowners seeing their vinyl fences sag and bend in a way they would not if they had purchased from a quality supplier to begin with.
With newer fences, like the ones sold here on Fencing Direct, these issues are fixed because we only stock American-made fencing parts built with the highest standards. We also offer a lifetime warranty against defects, so you can be sure a vinyl fence from Fencing Direct won’t give you these issues.
But if you purchased from another supplier, there are six major signs your fence may need replacement with a newer model.
1. Cracked Panels or Missing Pieces
Old vinyl is, well, old, and may not stand the test of time as well as newer vinyl can. If your fence is broken or missing any pieces, this could be very bad depending on which is missing. For example, people who lose post caps can open themselves up to water damage as rainwater can get inside and freeze inside the post, expanding and blowing out the post and ruining it.
Old vinyl fences are susceptible to unsightly holes and cracks, especially in areas with extreme temperature changes. The newer vinyl fences are made with better manufacturing standards, however, so you can expect a new vinyl fence to avoid this problem.
2. Sagging Posts or Gates
One sign to look for is if your fence leans or sages. Vinyl may sag, one of the drawbacks of older formulas for vinyl. If you notice sections are leaning or sagging you may need to replace them, but certain signs can determine if you should or not. Sometimes fences look like they’re sagging, but in actuality, the ground has shifted beneath them over time. Sagging is often caused by post footings shifting in the ground.
Sagging is also more common in fences that lack aluminum posts in the hinge side of the gates. Improper installation can cause this too, especially if the contractors didn’t place their posts at the proper angle. However, if everything in the base looks OK, but the fence is still sagging, you’ll need to replace it.
Luckily newer vinyl fences are more resistant to sagging so getting it replaced means you won’t have that problem again.
3. Warped, Faded, or Discolored Vinyl
Warped, faded or discolored vinyl is another good indicator it’s time to purchase an upgrade. Vinyl fences, particularly white ones are the most likely to change color from factors such as mold, algae, mildew and moss. Algae is the most common offender, but luckily this can be cleaned with a simple bleach or vinegar solution.
The outside may be non-white, but most vinyl is white on the inside which helps with heat resistance. However, dark colors faded by the sun can’t be so easily cleaned. Heat can be a big factor too, and old vinyl fences can warp, which causes the materials to melt and bend. While not all vinyl can be spared the heat, Fencing Direct fences are guaranteed for color fading.
4. Fading Paint on the Fence
Fading paint is a problem as well. While dark-colored fences may be beautiful, the sun can easily strip them of their hue and leave them dull. You could hire someone to repaint the fence, but if the fence has survived long enough to be stripped of color it’s probably a good idea to just get them replaced outright with a vinyl fence that is formulated to be the color you want from the start.
5. Rusting Screws and Nails
The metal bits and bobbles inside your fence are susceptible to damage as well. Screws and nails holding up the fence's structure can become rusted and embrittled, making them easier to break. This means something if slams into the fence or a large storm rolls through, these screws and nails may break, leaving you with serious fence damage. If you have steel hinges or latches for gates these can suffer just as much if not more so, especially if you haven’t done the proper maintenance. You have to properly grease your hinges every so often because if not up they can become noisy or loose, or even worse they could break completely. New versions of vinyl fences use aluminum in their metal appliances, and aluminum will not rust. It’s lightweight and very durable, making aluminum an industry standard.
Vinyl fences are designed to bend to a point. This flexibility is what keeps it upright during storms and minor impacts. However, if you notice the panels starting the bend in a way they shouldn’t, which is much more common with old vinyl formulas. You may need to replace your fence if you see bending.
Bending causes tensions in the material that the system was not meant to handle. The bending applies torque in places that were not meant to have torque. If unaddressed, your fence might not be able to handle the tension of storms or other impacts and will be more likely to break.
Where to Find a New Fence?
So you’ve read this blog, and after careful consideration, you realize your fence needs to be replaced. Here’s the question, though, where do you go now? Why Fencing Direct of course! With our wide selection of vinyl fences, you will surely find exactly what you need. As the name suggests, we’re direct. In fact, you can browse our online catalog, and we’ll ship it right to your door, no running to the store required. With our decades in the service industry and accurate prices, who better to give a call today?