Which Fence Panels Last the Longest?
Longevity and durability play a large role in determining the type of material you will want your fence to be made of. While other concerns, such as affordability, privacy, and aesthetics are also important deciding factors, a long-lasting and low-maintenance fence is certainly something many homeowners and business owners find attractive. Popular materials like vinyl, wood, Trex, aluminum, and brick certainly serve their purpose, but how do they compare to the longevity of precast concrete fences and walls? The experts here at Permacast are uncovering which fence panels truly last the longest with minimal stress of yearly or even monthly maintenance.
Vinyl can be a great option for fencing as it is budget-friendly, relatively durable, and requires little maintenance. This material has the ability to last for years if it is installed properly and cleaned regularly with soap and water. Resistant to pests, temperature changes, fading, peeling, chipping, and rotting, many vinyl fences can last beyond 20 years. Therefore, it remains a popular choice for families looking to contain pets and enhance the privacy of their yard. However, compared to other fence panel options, 20 years no longer seems like a substantial amount of time.
Wood is among the most economical choices for fences, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the most durable or offer a long lifespan. Common wooden fence panels, like cedar, may only last 15 years, while spruce or pine may only last five years if left untreated. Treating or staining your fence every two years to keep it from aging can increase your fence’s lifespan by an additional 15 to 25 years. The biggest threat to wooden fences is moisture, which can weaken the wood, invite mold and mildew to form, and create an attractive home for insects. If you live in a humid climate or experience a considerable amount of rainfall, snow, or ice, a wooden fence will have a hard time meeting your needs.
An alternative to wood or vinyl, Trex is a composite fencing material created with recycled wood and plastics. It’s a low-maintenance and eco-friendly solution that provides durability, performance, and aesthetics. However, as this material shows fewer signs of warping, rotting, splintering, and insect damage, it does require care and upkeep. Routine cleaning with soap, water, and a soft brush should be completed periodically as well as semi-annual cleaning with products containing bleach and detergent to protect the structure from mold and mildew. As long as you are proactive in the care and maintenance of your Trex fence, it should last around 30 years.
Finding a fence that offers both beauty and strength is what most people are after. Aluminum fences can be shaped into artistic designs with the capability of providing a durable metal fence around your property. As with many metal fences, aluminum should be treated every few years with a rust-resistant finish to ensure it stays intact and avoids corrosion. With this low to no-maintenance fence, the lifespan can easily exceed 50 years.
Brick walls have the advantage of being termite-proof, fireproof, and generally windproof, handling high wind speeds as well as projectiles or flying objects. Although these structures have high durability, not all of them survive tornados, hurricanes, or more severe storms and natural disasters. Most problems with brick walls occur due to poor craftsmanship, bricks that are too small, and poor sand quality. Plant growth, freezing temperatures, and heavy rainfall are also threatening to this porous clay material. The natural wear and tear of brick over the years is lower than most other fence materials but still happens as brick is prone to expand over time, causing cracks and faults within the wall. Overall, brick walls can be expected to last over 100 years if they are properly installed, inspected, and maintained.
Precast concrete is designed and manufactured to withstand the strongest storms in almost any climate. As the mixed concrete is poured and cured, it continues to strengthen over time, even after installation. This ensures that the precast fence or wall protecting your property reaches a strength of at least 5,000 PSI. However, durability is only half of the equation. Precast concrete walls offer a lifespan of over 1,000 years, although some believe they have longevity closer to 2,000 years, proving it to be one of the greatest fence panel options available.
As you weigh your options, finances, and needs of the fence or wall you hope to build around your property, take into consideration the lifespan and longevity of your fence panels and material. If you are needing to repair or replace your fence every few years, does it make sense financially to commit to the cheaper option or invest in the most durable and long-lasting material on the market? For further information, or to begin a quote for your project, reach out to the trusted experts here at Permacast.