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Vinyl Fence Systems FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions of our Vinyl Fence System

What is vinyl made of?

The base ingredient is rigid PVC (polyvinyl chloride) modified to provide superior impact strength and ultraviolet (UV) resistance. The formulation is similar to that of vinyl siding, which has a 20-year history of providing long-term durability and structural integrity.

Is vinyl recycled plastic?

Technically, “recycled” refers to post-consumer or post-industrial materials coming from the waste stream. PVC can, and is, being recycled. We use CertainTeed’s vinyl fence, decking and railing products that do not use the waste stream as a source. However, we do reprocess our own PVC where it meets our rigid specifications. The use of this reprocessed material keeps it out of the waste stream, positively affecting our environment.

How strong is vinyl?

Vinyl is impact-modified for flexibility and overall durability. All vinyl fence, deck and railing meet or exceeds the requirements necessary for excellent performance in the field.

Will vinyl break in cold/hot weather?

As with most plastics, vinyl will become less flexible in colder weather conditions. However, unless subjected to unusual impact, it will not break. It is normal for materials to expand and contract during temperature changes. Our vinyl products have been engineered to accommodate normal temperature swings and changing climactic conditions.

Why can’t I get vinyl fence, deck or railing in dark colors?

Titanium dioxide is the main ultraviolet inhibitor. It is a white pigment. Therefore, it is difficult to obtain a dark color while having this significant amount of white pigment. Dark colors also absorb heat. There is no current technology that dissipates this heat buildup.

Does it chalk?

Light chalking is a normal occurrence of any pigmented surface. Washed away by rainfall and normal changes in weather, this process helps to keep your fence looking like new. In effect, it could be described as virtually maintenance-free.

Is vinyl safe for children and animals?

Vinyl products have smooth surfaces with no nails, sharp edges or splinters. You, your children, pets and animals are all safer. Vinyl has a tough surface, retains virtually no moisture, has no taste, and is non-porous.

Will vinyl turn yellow?

No. Vinyl products contain 10 parts titanium dioxide (TI02), which prevents ultraviolet degradation.

Will vinyl burn?

PVC has a high flash point of 900°F and does not readily ignite. It is therefore categorized as being “self-extinguishing”.

Will a weed eater scratch or hurt a vinyl fence?

Vinyl fencing holds up to routine property maintenance, including the use of most types of weed eaters.

What is the warranty and what does it cover?

All of our fence, deck, railing and garden products are backed by a lifetime limited warranty (not installation or labor). The warranty covers rotting, peeling, cracking, chipping and discoloration. Refer to the warranty certificates for additional information.

How do I clean vinyl?

Use of a non-abrasive liquid cleaning agent is normally sufficient. However, for more stubborn stains, a product similar to Soft Scrub may be helpful. Refer to the Care and Maintenance section of the warranty certificate for additional information.

Can I paint it?

There should be no reason to paint vinyl. If you decide to paint it, an epoxy-based paint needs to be used in order to adhere to the smooth vinyl surfaces. As with any painted product, it would have to be repainted in time. Any painting of your vinyl product voids its lifetime warranty.

Will my vinyl deck fade? Is one color less likely to fade than the other colors?

As is similar with siding, everything fades some over time. Our PVC products will not fade, over the life of the product, to the point in which there is a visible difference between pieces. Lighter colors do better against fading and all the colors we carry tend to be on the light side.

Can I butt the vinyl deck planks together for a 50′ run?

If the temperature at the time of installation is within 30 degrees of maximum temperature seen for the area, the deck planks can be butted. If not, you should allow for an approximate 1/8″ gap.

How do you install  vinyl products?

Similar to most fencing, vinyl fence is installed with concrete around each post. In addition, there is concrete and rebar inside each gate post and end post. Railing posts are reinforced by galvanized steel post supports available for wood or concrete mounting. Posts can be routed for top and bottom rails. Rails can also be attached to existing posts using wall mount brackets. Deck planks install directly to joists and handle like wood. Refer to installation guides for more step by step instructions.

Why is vinyl fence more expensive than a wood fence?

Very simply, it’s not! Although your investment is more initially, this is where your expense ends. The cost difference is quickly eliminated once the substantial cost of continuous maintenance of a wood or metal fence is considered. Vinyl fence, deck, railing, and garden products are the economical way to go, confidently saving you time and money with a fence backed by a lifetime limited warranty.

What is the best way to install a railing in a wall to wall situation? Is it possible to use the wall mount bracket without plate?

Using the wall mount bracket with plate is the easiest method. However it is possible to do with the brackets without the plate if you slit the end of the rail to slide over the bracket. This cut will be visible from below once the job is complete and may not be as aesthetically pleasing as the wall mount bracket with plate method.

Will uplift be an issue with the Colonial Porch Post?

In high wind areas it could become an issue. We recommend on our structural porch post packaging to take uplift into account when installing the product and to utilize the tie down kit if unsure. We offer an optional tie down kit to provide metal to metal tie down connections.

How do I install vinyl railing between existing wood posts?

Rails can also be attached to existing posts using wall mount brackets, sold separately.

Can I install vinyl fencing on a concrete surface?

Yes. A hole can be core drilled into the cement. Use hydraulic cement to hold a pipe in place and utilize EZ-set brackets (similar to a railing installation) with the vinyl post sleeved over the brackets. Another installation would be to use rebar cemented into the concrete in the corners of the post and then fill entire post with standard concrete to solidify.

Can the vinyl railing be used on a second story?

Yes, it meets all building codes when installed per instructions. It is also important to remember that liquids won’t leak through the vinyl but can leak through the gap between planks. Most water will run along the length and off the ends. Liquids will not be absorbed into the non-porous surface.

What can I use on my vinyl deck to melt ice?

Rock salt or Halite will work fine without harming PVC.

How do I install vinyl railing at a 45 degree angle?

We have 45 degree end and line posts. Posts are turned to 22.5 degrees to split the angle, rails are miter cut on 22.5 degree angles, and the remaining assembly is the same as for straight sections. If attaching to a wall/wood post, you will need to use wall mount brackets with an angled shim block in back. Refer to our updated step by step installation guide for additional instructions.

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