What You Need to Know About Vinyl Fence and Railing

Vinyl fence and railing has advanced significantly since PVC fence first appeared on the market. Engineered using the latest industry innovations, these products boast a beautiful appearance that’s made to last.

How is Vinyl Fence and Railing Made?

When vinyl fence and railing first came into use the vinyl was extruded using a process called “mono extrusion.” this means it came out of the extruder with all of the materials and chemicals blended so that they were equally mixed throughout the entire thickness of the product. Throughout the years advancements in vinyl production have led manufacturers to use a process called “co-extrusion,” in which two elements from two silos are extruded at the same time. This process optimizes the chemical content in each of the elements resulting in a stronger, more durable product with greater weatherability.

Considerations When Buying Vinyl Fence or Railing

How can you tell a great product from an inferior one? It’s what is inside your fence and railing that counts. The higher the quality of raw ingredients used, the better the product will look and perform.

Here are some things to consider when buying vinyl fence and railing:

  • Ask the manufacturer if it uses virgin resin. This ensures dependable performance.
  • Ask what grade of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) was used. Titanium Dioxide is used ensure a bright white finish that resists fading even after exposure to moisture and UV sunlight.
  • Ask the manufacturer whether they use acrylic modifiers. These increase the strength and flexibility of vinyl fence for maximum impact resistance.
  • Look for a tongue-and-groove positive locking system, which helps vinyl fence stand tall during heavy winds. Some vinyl railing systems also have a locking mechanism where rails interlock with the post, as opposed to just sliding in. This provides a more rigid fit.
  • Look for a product with color and texture features within the top 10 – 15 mils of capstock for maximum performance.
  • Any manufacturer, fabricator or installer can make claims about a product, but there’s no substitute for documented testing. A product may look great when you’re looking at a photo or sample, but how well will it hold up over time? Make sure the product you’re considering has been rigorously tested to meet stated quality standards.
    Consider only fence or railing products that have been manufactured in accordance with ASTM F964-09, the standard specification for exterior profiles used for vinyl fencing and railing.
  • Look for a manufacturer or fabricator who is a member of the Vinyl Fence, Deck and Railing Manufacturers Association (VFDRMA), a Division of the American Fence Association. zThis organization develops product performance standards to govern all manufacturers.
  • Verify that the vinyl fence or railing product you are considering is backed by a limited lifetime transferable warranty. Anything less may indicate the manufacturer or installer isn’t confident in the product.