Cleaning vinyl fencing is easy bordering on ridiculous, especially when you take into consideration the competition and the forces at work against fences in general.
After years of having kids climbing across it, lean against it, being sprayed by sprinkler systems and small animals, then being bombed by vagrant birds your fence will begin to show its age. When you take into consideration the wind, rain, snow, freezing winters, burning summers and unforeseen acts of God, the longer your fence lasts the luckier you are. Making a traditional fence last takes a lot of work, especially compared to maintaining a vinyl fence.
How to Clean a Vinyl Fence
Vinyl fences can be cleaned with water, a garden hose or low pressure washer. Light soiling will come off with water alone. Medium soiling and gritty messes may require a soap water solution and a scrub brush. Grease and grime residue may require a mild degreaser solution, sprayed from a pressure washer on low.
Vinyl fencing doesn’t suffer the effects of the weather, it’s self-insulating against both heat and cold. Vinyl won’t get hot to the touch even in desert conditions. Vinyl won’t shatter in the cold of a blizzard, and because it’s not a porous material, precipitation rolls off instead of being absorbed causing internal damage by swelling or stagnating, etc. The plastic, though 100% recyclable, won’t decompose, rot or corrode in the ground, and will therefore stand strong against years of exposure to the elements that would eat away a lesser fence.
How to Clean a Block Fence
Block and stucco fences tend to be sturdy and firm, not prone to blowing over, but as they settle and take abuse from the above list of atrocities, the stucco can crack and become discolored. Repair may require sandblasting, patching and re-texturing stucco and repainting the entire fence, which may cost between a few to several thousand dollars.
How to Clean a Wooden Fence
Wood fences have a tendency to tip over after years of harsh weather and abuse, but that’s a different article. As far as upkeep goes, if it’s a stained wood, it may need to be pressure washed, sanded and re-stained.
If it’s a painted fence, it’ll need to be scraped, sanded, pressure washed and re-painted. It’s easier to do yourself than stucco, but its labor intensive and needs to happen more often.
How to Clean a Metal Fence
Metal fences will eventually rust. It doesn’t really matter if its chain link, wrought iron, or painted, it will eventually corrode. Cleaning the fence begins with a stiff wire brush, scraping away, rubberized or painted coating that have begun to flake, now protecting only the corrosion hiding beneath them; continuing on to more conspicuous rust spots. Serious damage may need to be removed, replaced, re-tied or re-welded.
In all of these lesser fence situations, the best solution seems to be removing the fenceentirely and replacing it with a high quality vinyl fence. At least with that, a few years down the line you’ll be able restore it to its original beauty with a low pressure hose instead of a construction crew.