The 101 On Vinyl: Understanding & Cleaning This Fencing Material

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The 101 On Vinyl: Understanding & Cleaning This Fencing Material

15 October 2015
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From increasing the privacy of your backyard to protecting your children and pets, a privacy fence can be a worthwhile investment. Not only will a privacy fence offer a necessary function for you and your family, but it will also increase your home's appeal and value. Unfortunately, choosing the best material for your own fence can be overwhelming. If you need a privacy fence for your backyard, opting for vinyl is a smart decision. Using this guide, you will understand the benefits of vinyl fencing and learn how to clean your new addition in a natural, eco-friendly manner.

Vinyl Fencing Basics

In the past, vinyl panels were manufactured from a type of PVC. While strong and appealing, the UV rays of the sun began to discolor the PVC, decreasing the appeal and strength of the fencing material. Today, the exterior of a vinyl fence contain a small amount of titanium oxide. The addition of this ingredient during the manufacturing process prevents discoloration while protecting vinyl's durability.

Compared to a traditional wood privacy fence that offers a lifespan of 10 to 15 years with periodic cleaning and staining, vinyl fencing offers a longer warranty without the need for involved maintenance.

Of course, the overall look of vinyl is what sets it apart from other fencing options. It is available in a variety of designs and colors, so finding an option suited to your home's style and budget is possible.

Maintaining Vinyl Fencing

Your vinyl fence will only require a periodic cleaning to prevent heavy buildup. Each year, use a pressure washer to remove dirt, dust, and debris from your fence. Opt for a light-duty pressure washer, which offers a maximum of 2,000 PSI, or Pounds per Square Inch, of water pressure. This is a sufficient amount of water pressure for removing surface residue from you fence without the need to harsh cleaning chemicals.

Connect the pressure washer hose to your outdoor garden spigot. Stand a few feet away from the fence and begin spraying in a side-sweeping motion. Move across the entire length of your fence to wash residue off the fence.

Deep Cleaning

Without washing your fence each year, weathering may create a buildup of dirt, dust, moss, or mold on your vinyl fence. If you are dealing with a more involved residue, a deeper cleaning will be necessary. Thankfully, you do not need to use cleaning chemicals that will harm the environment or affect your health.

To remove heavy residue from your vinyl, add 2 gallons of warm water and 2 cups of baking soda to an outdoor pump sprayer. Shake to mix before pumping the handle to create pressure in the sprayer nozzle. Spray the baking soda solution onto one section of fence at a time. Allow it to soak for a few minutes before rinsing with your pressure washer. The baking soda solution will dissolve away a heavy accumulation of dirt and dust in a safe, non-toxic manner.

If you notice patches of green moss or black or brown mold, a deep cleaning is imperative. While bleach is an effective mold killer, it can kill surrounding grass, flowers, and shrubs. For a safer option, choose white vinegar.

Even though you are working outdoors, be sure to wear rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator mask to prevent spores from affecting your skin, eyes, and airway. Add 2 cups of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water to a spray bottle. Shake to mix before dousing patches of moss or mold on your fence. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the patches away before rinsing with your pressure washer.

A vinyl privacy fence is a great investment for your family and home. Using this guide, you will understand the benefits of this durable, attractive material and have the skills to maintain your fencing investment. For more information or assistance, contact a local fence company.