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How To Keep Your Vinyl Fence Looking Good

Vinyl fencing is one of the more durable and low-maintenance fence options available, but it isn't maintenance-free. Although you will never have to repaint it or replace a rotten board, it can become scratched, cracked, or even warped. Fortunately, these issues are easy to avoid if you know the following tips.

Tip #1: Watch Where You Whack

The string trimmer can be tough on your vinyl fence, since it can chew up the lower portion of the fence when you are whacking weeds. It's best to keep a no-plant buffer zone so you never need to bring the trimmer right up against the fencing. You can do this by keeping the section of lawn adjacent to the fence completely free of plants and grass, perhaps by installing a gravel or mulched border around the perimeter of the fence.

Tip #2: Turn Down the Heat

A melted fence is a strong possibility if you aren't careful about where you store your grill. Setting a hot grill near vinyl can lead to warped boards as the heat dissipates. Never use a grill, fire pit, or other hot item close to the fence. When you're done, make sure the device has cooled down completely before you place it by the fence for storage.

Tip #3: Clean With Caution

Vinyl is pretty easy to clean – in most cases, rinsing it down with your garden hose is sufficient. In rare cases when the fence it a little bit dirtier and needs a good scrub, don't give into the urge to pull out an abrasive cleaner or sponge. Abrasive items scratch the surface of the vinyl, which gives it a permanently dingy and dull appearance. Use a large, soft sponge, such as those designed for washing cars, and a little bit of elbow grease to get it clean.

Tip #4: Manage Mold Growth

Mold, mildew, and algae all equal the same thing – blackish-green stains on the vinyl. This issue normally occurs in shaded, moist areas. On a vinyl fence, it's most likely going to occur if you have plants growing right up against the fence. Avoid this by making sure your border zone also includes shrubs and climbing vines. These should be set back a few inches from the fence and kept trimmed so they don't touch the fence. Grow vines on a separate trellis set near, but not against, the fence. This way you can ensure air circulation so the fence remains dry and mold-free.