Though, traditionally, wood has been the material of choice for fences in Philadelphia, vinyl fencing is becoming increasingly popular. Like traditional fences, vinyl fences are designed to look good along your property line. However, vinyl is not subject to many of the downfalls that are common with outdoor wood. When looking to accent your home's appearance or tastefully mark your property, vinyl fencing is an option that's well worth considering.
Benefits of Philadelphia Vinyl Fencing
Leaps and bounds have been made in the area of vinyl fencing appearance. Compared to today's models, older vinyl fencing looks pretty sub par. The fact is, though, that most people who opt for vinyl over wood do so not because of its pretty face, but because of what's underneath. When you look at the conditions a fence will have to endure in Philadelphia, vinyl fences are far better suited than traditional wood fences.
While Philadelphia is by no means the wettest cities in the country, it still gets its fair share of moisture, both in the air and from precipitation. Excess moisture causes wood to swell and rot. Moisture also creates an environment that is bug friendly, which can easily lead to insects eating or making homes in wood. Vinyl fences are impervious to moisture and will not swell no matter how much they are rained on or how high the humidity gets. They don't rot, and insects don't find them a suitable home or food source. Since moisture isn't a problem for vinyl, it also makes an excellent choice for pool fencing.
Variations in temperature can cause wood to expand and contract. This, in turn, can cause any paint on the wood to crack, chip, and peel. In an environment that is subject to a wide variety of temperatures, wood needs to be stripped and repainted every couple of years to protect it and to keep it looking its best. With the annual changes in temperature in Philadelphia, vinyl fences, though they also expand and contract, are a more durable solution because they don't need paint to protect them. In fact, vinyl never needs to be painted even if it is scratched, because it is the same color all the way through.
Basically, vinyl fencing is more durable than wood and requires far less maintenance under southeastern Pennsylvania conditions. If you are looking for a fence that is extremely easy to take care of (in general, a vinyl fence only needs to be hosed down when it is dirty, and might require a scrub with soap and water once a year to look its best) and will last a long time, you can find it in vinyl.
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Vinyl Fencing Drawbacks
Probably the biggest complaint that people have about vinyl fencing is that it's not wood. A wooden fence has a classic, Americana feel and appearance that vinyl has simply not been able to duplicate yet. While this is certainly something to consider, for many, vinyl's "not wood" qualities are far outweighed by its many benefits.
Prices for Philadelphia Vinyl Fences
The second biggest drawback for a vinyl fence in Philadelphia is the price. Though the average difference between the cost of vinyl and wood across the country is only around $1,000, it seems that Philadelphia vinyl fences are much more expensive than wooden ones. Where nationally, installing a vinyl fence is around $4,000, Philly's prices often go as high as $7,000 (while wood remains consistent with the rest of the nation at around $2,000 or $3,000). The length of use you'll get from a vinyl fence, however, might justify even this margin.