Vinyl fencing can look sleek and offer a ton of privacy. However, it’s not the best material for everyone out there.
Before you determine if vinyl fencing is right for you, consider the downsides. Then, you can determine if the pros outweigh the cons.
Table of Contents
- What Are the Disadvantages of Vinyl Fencing?
- Why You Shouldn’t Use Vinyl Fencing
- Alternatives to Vinyl Fencing
- Does Vinyl Fencing Have Disadvantages?
What Are the Disadvantages of Vinyl Fencing?
Vinyl fencing is susceptible to extreme weather conditions. If mold, mildew, or algae get on it, they can stain the material. Vinyl also isn’t a natural material, and it can be expensive to buy and install vinyl fencing.
Up close, vinyl doesn’t look as good as wood, and you have fewer color options. If you want a different color, you can’t just paint the vinyl.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Vinyl Fencing
Vinyl fencing isn’t the best option for a lot of people. If you’re considering using the material, you should also think about the potential drawbacks.
Here are some reasons why you should avoid vinyl fencing.
Susceptible to Weather
Vinyl isn’t very strong, so weather changes can cause major issues. When it gets cold and hot, the material can expand and contract. That makes the vinyl easy to break.
If it gets windy where you live, a strong gust can bend or break your vinyl fence. Also, the vinyl can’t stand up to things getting knocked into it. Even if it’s fine during a few storms, you never know when something will happen.
The only time when vinyl is safe is if you live somewhere where the temperature never changes. So outside of Southern California, vinyl fencing can be unsafe.
Impossible to Repair
After your vinyl fence breaks, you can’t easily fix the issue. Your only option is to go back to the store and buy a new section of vinyl fencing.
If you experience a lot of extreme temperatures or winds, that can be a problem. You’d need to spend a lot of time and money fixing the broken fence. However, you might avoid those issues if you get a fence of a different material.
That means you can’t easily fix the issue as soon as you notice it. So if you have dogs, you may need to take them outside on a leash until you find new fencing.
Stains From Mildew
Mildew can easily grow on your vinyl fence, especially if your water is near the fence often. You can clean the mildew off, but that’s a hassle that many people don’t want to deal with.
On the other hand, not cleaning off the mildew isn’t the best option either. Mildew can cause health problems for you and your family.
It also just doesn’t look good on the fence, and it can come with algae and mold as well. Mold can cause just as many health issues as mildew. If you or your family members have allergies, you should avoid vinyl.
Compared to some other fencing materials, vinyl is also quite expensive. The initial cost is higher than some other options, like wood.
However, you also have to factor in the cost to replace sections that break. You may also need to account for the cost of a homeowners association (HOA) policy violation if you can’t replace the fence right away.
Over time, the cost to buy and fix your fence will add up. Now, that may not be such a problem, but all of the other disadvantages make the expenses not worth it.
Less Aesthetically Pleasing
From far away, a vinyl fence can look good since it emulates wood. However, it doesn’t look as great when you get up close to it.
Even good vinyl fencing can look cheap and unappealing. That might not matter if you never have guests over, but people might judge you for your fencing choices. If you want your yard to look nice, you need to get a good fence.
Now, the aesthetics might not matter as much as the function. But it’s still worth considering, especially if you want your home and property to look good.
Fewer Color Choices
Vinyl fencing comes in colors, like white, but there are only so many options. White is a popular choice, but you can also get brown to emulate wood. But you can’t paint the vinyl if you don’t like the color you select.
So not only do you have limited options initially, you can’t change your mind later. If you find you don’t like the color you select, you have to buy all new vinyl fencing.
Also, if your fencing breaks, if you choose a less standard color, you might not be able to replace the exact shade. Then, you may need to replace the entire fence with a color you can find.
Vinyl is a plastic composite material, so it’s not entirely natural. It’s also not the best for the environment, especially when you compare it to materials like wood.
If a small piece breaks off, and you can’t find it, the plastic will stay there. It can’t break down in the environment. An animal could find it and try to eat it, so the animal could get sick, whether that’s your pet or a wild animal.
Consider more eco-friendly materials for your next fence. Then, you won’t have to worry about harming the world around you.
Alternatives to Vinyl Fencing
Since vinyl fencing isn’t the best, you have a few alternatives. Consider choosing the following materials for your fence.
Wood is probably the best alternative since vinyl looks like wood. You can use a variety of designs to build a wood fence, so it can provide more or less privacy.
It’s also a good option because you can stain or paint it in any number of colors. And if you no longer like the look, you could repaint it.
Wood is also a lot more affordable than vinyl. The material also isn’t as susceptible to breaking or to attracting mold and mildew.
Another name for “engineered wood” is composite fencing. You can choose from a variety of colors and textures to make your fence look how you want it.
It looks very similar to wood without you having to use the material. Composite fences can also look much better than vinyl, and they’re often stronger.
Chain Link Fencing
Chain link fencing is one of the most affordable choices out there. Granted, it doesn’t always look the best, but you can change the size of the chain links.
You might even be able to change the color as well. Once you set up the fence, it’s easy to maintain, and it’s quite sturdy so can last for years.
Wrought Iron Fencing
Wrought iron fencing is a metal fence, and it usually has vertical beams throughout. There’s also usually a horizontal beam near the top and one near the bottom.
This material is very strong and durable, and you don’t have to do much to take care of it. That makes it a fantastic choice for many people.
Does Vinyl Fencing Have Disadvantages?
Vinyl fencing has multiple disadvantages, including the cost. It can also break easily, especially after a storm or extreme temperatures. You also don’t have as many color choices, and it can look cheap even with the high price tag. Consider alternative materials for your next fence, such as wood.