When you are handing over your hard earned cash for a privacy fence, the thing you and everyone else wants to know is, what is the life expectancy of the fence? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, so let’s take a look at the different types of fence material, how long you can expect it to last and what you can do to prolong the life of your newly installed fence.
There are several factors that impact the life expectancy of a wood fence, particularly, material, maintenance and climate. Usually there is a linear relationship between cost and longevity – spruce is the cheapest and it tends to last about 4 to 7 years while pressure-treated pine can last anywhere from 5-12 years. Both of these wood materials are subject to discoloration and need to be treated and sealed with stain or paint every 2 to 3 years to preserve its appearance and durability. With proper maintenance and care, spruce and pine fences can make it up to 20 years.
If you want to go with a wood that has a higher upfront cost, but is longer lasting, cedar is the top choice. A naturally durable hardwood that has a beautiful red color, cedar can last up to 30 years with far less maintenance than what other woods require. Redwood is also a popular option with a similar profile as cedar and lasts about as long.
Chain Link Fence
An affordable option that everyone is familiar with is the chain link fence. Typically made of steel, the chain link fence has a few different options that affect the longevity and appearance of the fence. If the steel is galvanized, the fence will last up to 20 years – galvanization is a process that coats the fence in zinc and is done so with the purpose of preventing rust. If you desire further protection along with a different visual style, chain link fences can also come with a vinyl coating on top of the zinc coat. Even with the vinyl powder coat, the fence has a life expectancy of 20 years. If your fence does not have a powder coat, there are rust-resistant spray coats that can be applied for greater protection. Washing your fence will also help prevent rust and prolong the overall life of a chain link fence.
A coated cast iron fence will last up to 20 years, but if you want to pay for a fence that could last centuries, a wrought iron fence is the way to go. Whichever iron you choose, they both come with many decorative options and will give a very distinctive aesthetic. Iron is prone to rust, which is why it comes with a coating to protect it. To get the most out of the protective coat, give your fence a cleaning every once in a while and be sure to keep it safe from the weed whacker. The fence coating can stand up to the weather, but if a weed eater hits the fence, it will damage the coating and expose the iron to the elements and rusting will ensue. Wrought iron is not prone to rust as it is put through a process of removing impurities from the metal, which is why it costs considerably more. The ornamental iron fence is not always necessary, but it is always a beautiful choice that is worth the investment.
Vinyl is a fence material that is growing in popularity and comes with different stylistic options. It comes in different qualities. These fences are UV-resistant which protects them from the blistering heat put off by the hot Texas sun. Another thing to look for in a vinyl fence is one that is made with titanium dioxide, which prevents discoloration. Maintaining a vinyl fence is as simple as hosing it down with a mild detergent every so often and when all is properly cared for, you can expect your vinyl fence to last 20 to 30 years. However, not all vinyl fences are of the same quality and you should always check to see what the manufacturer warranty guarantees. Some vinyl fences even come with lifetime warranties!
We have several years of experience installing all different kinds of fences and we’d love to help you figure out what option is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck! Use our online Fence Estimator Tool to get the process started!