What is vinyl fencing made of?
The main ingredient of vinyl fencing is PVC (polyvinyl chloride); which can come in many different chemical forms. PVC is made as a by product of the oil and gas industry - in other words, what is left over from the production of oil and gas can be used to make vinyl. Far better to use it than to throw it away!
Our fencing is made with a formula for excellent outdoor toughness and high quality. Additional chemicals, such as titanium dioxide (Tio2), an ultraviolet inhibitor that prevents yellowing are added. Titanium dioxide can be called a “Sunscreen for vinyl”, as it prevents the vinyl from yellowing. For vinyl, this is the equivalent to SPF 40 for humans. It’s also used as food preservative and to color baked goods, such as the popular white-powdered donuts; so you know it’s safe. If you see vinyl that appears to have yellowed, you know right away that it is a cheap brand without titanium dioxide. For our fencing, the TiO2 is concentrated on the outside, where it is most needed. Also added are impact modifiers. Your fence flexes under impact but for most impacts, will not break.
How strong is vinyl fencing?
Your fence also needs to flex under wind and snow loads as well as under impact, and our privacy fencing has been tested to withstand wind of up to 100 mph. Our vinyl product is much stronger and much more flexible than wood. Added to that strength is the design of the vinyl fencing itself: internal, reinforced ribs. Vinyl does become less flexible in extreme cold and the design of the product still produces an extremely strong fence that will not break with the usual impacts – even under extremely cold conditions.
How long does vinyl fencing last?
Our fences still look brand new, years later – 50 years later, to be exact, and the manufacturer warrantees the product for a full 50 years. Nor will the vinyl blister (like paint does on a wood fence); rust (like steel fences eventually do); or decay or suffer insect damages (like wood will). Your fence will literally look just as you installed it, for 50 years.
Are all vinyl products the same quality?
Absolutely not. Some manufacturers skimp on quality to give the big box stores a product at the pricing a big box store demands. An economy product can be made with a thinner product that may not conform to industry standards or building codes. Unfortunately, these economy products usually yellow very quickly and do not have the strength of our products. Economy products may also be fabricated using inexpensive but inferior methods, such as gluing the pickets to the rails. Others require a wood post, which will still need the same care as a wood fence requires. What happens to your (cheaper/big box) vinyl fence when the wooden posts rot?
Check the warranty - lowered standards usually result in a greatly reduced warranty coverage and period.
Doesn’t it get dirty?
It does (like everything else) but the product generally rinses clean and rain may be enough to keep it clean, depending on your area. If someone is inconsiderate enough to add graffiti to your fence, it will come off with paint thinner.
Should your fence need more cleaning than the rain provides, it takes very little effort. Using a brush with water and detergent or a mild bleach solution works well. Vinyl surfaces are generally too slick for mold or mildew to grow on; and if under extremely damp situations it did, both will easily be cleaned off with a mild bleach solution.
Does it cut sound better than a wood fence?
Yes, a half-inch of pine, redwood, or cedar all cut sound by about 15dB. Vinyl cuts sounds by 22dB. Considering each dB represents a doubling of the sound volume, that’s a big difference. You would need a 2” thick wood fence to match that noise reduction.
How does the price compare to wood?
Initially, wood appears cheaper, unless you are using top of the line wood, which is about the same cost as vinyl. However – the wood fence will need repeated staining or painting every few years, and likely each time you stain or paint, you will also have to scrape and sand it – a lot of work! It’s also an added expense, especially if you hire someone to scrape, sand and paint it.
What happens when wood rots, warps or twists? You’ll end up replacing the fence. Wood will not last even close to 50 years – sometimes as few as 5 years; certainly no more than 15 years maximum. You will likely have to completely replace the wood fence at least three times before the vinyl ever needs replacing. Add that up.
Does wood still look so cheap?
Is vinyl “green”, like wood is?
Vinyl is 100% recyclable; wood is not. Both products must be trucked to your location. In BC, wood is likely to have been clear cut, which is not usually considered a sustainable, “green” practice, unless you are a forest company. Drive down any highway and see the clear cuts hidden behind a thin row of trees left to literally hide the clear cuts, or view clear cuts from the air – wood won’t look so sustainable from there, considering how long those trees took to grow. Vinyl is made once and then can be reused; it never needs paint or stain with Volatile Chemical Offgases (VCO).
Recycled fencing is made into products such as garden hoses and watering cans.
How safe is vinyl?
Vinyl is also completely smooth and will not splinter into your children’s hands or your pet’s body. Nor will it release VCOs to harm your children and the environment. It will not retain moisture and rot or mold like wood does; a wooden fence will not keep mold away from your children. Vinyl does not attract insects like wood does. It does not decay. Vinyl products (PVC) are also used for the water pipes you drink from, as it does not react with water at all. Vinyl does not leach arsenic, lead or creosote like many wood fences do.
Vinyl will not burn by itself. If you hold a hot enough flame (about 900°F) to it, vinyl will burn. As soon as the flame is removed; vinyl stops burning and self-extinguishes. This makes vinyl fencing a major advantage in case of fires, as wood fences easily spread the flames beyond any structure fire, often right over to the next structure. Do you really want your wooden fence to be responsible for setting your neighbor’s house on fire?
For strata or other multi-family dwellings, keeping any fires contained to as few units as possible is crucial. Wood fencing will spread the fire from point to point, leading to every unit possibly catching fire from the wood fence.
What colours and styles are available?
Please see the colours available for the individual styles. You can mix and match the colors of the various components, to make your fencing your own. Go to this link, to see photos of styles and colours. Vinyl Fence Colours
Can vinyl be painted?
Paint voids the warranty. Why paint something that has a finish that will last for 50 years or more? Our vinyl products are engineered to retain their beauty and good looks for a lifetime.
Can planter pots be hung from the fence?
Yes, if planned at the time of the install so the fences can be reinforced. (Otherwise, it voids the warranty.) However, planters in many sizes can easily be made to match your fence, with all the same benefits of vinyl extending to the planters. Certain fence components can also be customized, such as with your name or address. Matching trellises are also available, as are pergolas, arbors and other structures to enhance your garden while matching your fence.
Does the fencing meet all applicable safety and product codes?
Our products not only meet national and international safety and product performance codes: they are establishing new performance benchmarks for the industry.
Some jurisdictions may require a permit before installing your fencing, or have local requirements as to the height, type or style of fencing. Some subdivisions will only accept vinyl fencing, recognizing the quality, beauty and longevity of vinyl fencing. Please check your local requirements.
What is your warranty?
The fencing material is warrantied for the lifetime of the original (residential) owner, or if the property is transferred to a new owner, for a maximum of 50 years. Commercial applications, including stratas, have a 50 year warranty.
Basically, the vinyl material will not rot, split, decay, splinter, check, attract termites or other bugs, have fungal damage, abnormal weathering or discoloration under normal use and service.
See the exact warranty at this link.
Can I build my own fence?
Yes, we provide DIY kits; either based on your measurements, or for an additional charge, we’ll measure your property and lay out the design for you.
Our vinyl fencing can take a lot less time to install than wood fencing, for two reasons. The vinyl parts are factory finished, unlike wood; and our system also uses a collar mechanism that automatically adjusts so the vinyl post is set perfectly straight, very quickly. It isn’t possible to use these collars with wooden posts, so anyone installing a wood fence has to take more time to set each post exactly straight.
How is a vinyl fence put together?
Most assembly of vinyl fencing is accomplished by snapping the rails into the posts. Different fasteners may be used, depending on the style of fencing. Vinyl channels are attached using rivets or screws.
As noted above, the use of collars makes setting the vinyl post straight fast and easy.
How long does an install take?
That depends on the type of fence chosen and the extent of the job. A skilled crew can install about 100’ of fence, on a flat and open property, in one day or less. More challenging terrain takes longer. If you decide to do it yourself, at least double that time, unless you have installed a lot of fences in the past.
Do you take out the old fencing? What about my landscaping?
We can take down and take away your old fence. Just make sure it is included in your quote. Our installers will be as careful as they can be with your landscaping and any water or other utility lines in your yard. However, we can’t promise that the landscaping will always be totally unaffected.
If you have a nice landscape, something to consider is installing with post pounding vs. digging holes and pouring cement for the posts.
Post Pounding vs. Digging/Cementing posts
Generally speaking, a pounded post is stronger and the ground is disturbed very little. An inner steel post is pounded into the ground, and the post is then contained within the vinyl post. The post installation is stronger as the post is further into the ground. It’s a bit noisy as the posts go in, but the noise is over quickly. If a post is inadvertently installed in the wrong spot, damage is limited to a hole the size of the post, and easily filled.
Many installers use a bobcat with an auger to dig a hole, and then cement the post in. It’s not actually stronger as the post does not go very far into the ground, and relies on the weight of the cement to keep the fencing from tipping over. The tires or tracks on the bobcat will chew up your turf and gardens. The noise of the bobcat is about as loud as pounding posts, and the install can take longer as the cement has to harden before work can continue. Also, if a post is inadvertently installed in the wrong spot, you now have an extra pour of cement where you could have had landscaping and the bobcat has to be brought back.
What are my payment options?
All jobs are 50% down payment upon agreement to purchase/install, with the remainder due as soon as the fence is satisfactorily installed (if we are installing it). All DIY kits are paid in full before pick up or shipping. We accept cash, cheques, credit card or E-transfer.
Are you licensed, and do you have insurance?
Yes, R&D Construction is a fully licensed contractor with the appropriate insurance in place. For details, please call our office at 250-319-4224.