One of the most important factors to consider when deciding which fence material to use is how long it will last. You don’t want to invest time and money into installing a new fence only to have to replace it within a couple of years.
You may have heard that composite fencing has some of the best longevity on the market, and this is true. On average, composite fencing lasts for between 25 and 30 years.
In this article, we’ll examine the reasons why it lasts for such a long time. We’ll also take a look at a few handy tips about how to best maintain it once it’s been installed.
Why Does Composite Fencing Have Such Longevity?
Wood-plastic composite fencing is so long-lasting for a number of different reasons. This is largely due to the unique properties of the materials that are used to make it which give it many advantages over natural wood fencing.
To give you a better understanding of why composite fence panels last longer than other materials such as wood fence panels, let’s closely examine the reasons for it.
Wood-plastic composite fencing is made from a combination of two recycled materials. These are reclaimed wood fibres and recycled plastics.
During a process called co-extrusion, these materials are melted down and then passed through a die in order to shape them into composite fencing panels.
The addition of plastic polymers to the reclaimed wood gives composite fencing panels their amazing durability and longevity.
Like our composite decking, our composite fences are made with 95% recycled materials and the wood that we use is FSC-certified. This means that the materials used to make our products are of the highest quality and last for a very long time.
Composite fencing is naturally resistant to staining. This is due to its chemical makeup and the finish that is given to the surface of the boards or panels.
Composite wood-plastic fencing materials are non-porous meaning that they don’t absorb liquids and so are far less likely to stain than wood fences are. If any surface stains do occur to your composite fencing it is usually quick and easy to remove them.
Although staining wouldn’t necessarily mean that fence panels need to be replaced it can look unsightly. With composite fence panels, this is highly unlikely, meaning you’re less likely to need to replace them for aesthetic purposes.
The durable nature of composite fences means that they are less prone to scratching than other materials such as wood fencing. This is particularly true for composite fence panels that are capped with an extra layer of plastic polymer.
This added layer of protection gives them even more resistance to scratching and other types of damage. The most common ways that scratching occurs on traditional panels are friction during installation, animals climbing on them, and the installation of garden ornaments.
Composite fencing is designed to withstand the effects of these occurrences and reduce the risks of any repairs being needed during its service life.
Wood-plastic composite has an amazing level of resistance to UV light which means that composite fencing boards and panels fade far less than other materials even when exposed to direct sunlight.
Composite fence boards and panels will fade slightly in the first few months after they’re installed but this won’t be very noticeable and won’t last for long.
This means that composite fencing panels retain their colour well and you won’t feel the need to replace them due to fading. Light colours tend to fade even less than dark colours so if you’re concerned about fading it may be best to opt for a lighter colour.
Our composite boards come in five contemporary colours, including graphite, spiced oak, and silver birch. They’re very resistant to fading and will keep their beautiful appearance for the duration of their lifespan.
Rot and mould resistance
The plastic content in wood-plastic composite fencing makes the boards and panels highly water-resistant. Unlike wood fencing, water can’t penetrate into the core of composite fencing boards and panels. This makes them resistant to the formation of rot.
Rot is one of the main reasons that wood fences don’t last anywhere near as long as composite ones do. By being resistant to rot the longevity of composite fencing is greatly increased.
As your composite fence is naturally water-resistant you won’t need to treat, seal, or paint it in order to maintain its longevity. This will save you a significant amount of time and money over the course of its service life.
The sturdy structure of composite fencing also makes it resistant to damage by strong winds and other extreme weather conditions. Of course, any material can be damaged by unusually severe conditions but composite fencing is much more resilient than wood fencing.
Composite fence boards and panels are designed to be very strong but also flexible enough to withstand high winds. This means that the boards are able to bend slightly in these conditions without breaking.
Weather-related damage is one of the most common reasons for traditional wood fences being replaced. This is because they’re made entirely from wood and don’t benefit from the addition of plastic polymers as composite fencing does.
Contractions and expansions
Another reason for the longevity of composite fencing is that it doesn’t contract and expand at the same rate as other materials do. This is largely due to the fact that it’s very resistant to moisture absorption.
For example, wood fences absorb a lot of moisture which then evaporates when temperatures rise causing the panels to expand quickly. During low temperatures, the moisture in the panels freezes causing them to contract rapidly.
Due to this, a wood fence is likely to warp, crack, and split during temperature fluctuations which can lead to repairs and replacements.
As composite panels and boards absorb little moisture they don’t contract and expand significantly which means that they’re much less likely to crack, warp, or split.
Another benefit of the plastic content in composite fence boards and panels is that it makes them inedible to insects. Insect problems are another common reason why wooden fencing needs to be replaced.
With composite material, insects are unable to burrow down into the core of the panels and boards. So, you’ll never come home to find that your fence is riddled with insect holes and falling apart.
Real wood fences need to be treated in order to reduce the risk of insect problems but this isn’t necessary for composite fences.
How Do I Maintain My Composite Fencing?
Although your composite fence will be very low-maintenance it will need to be cleaned occasionally to keep it looking its best. You should only need to do this around once every three to six months.
It’s also recommended that you clean your new composite fence shortly after it’s been installed.
Cleaning your fence is very straightforward and there are two main ways of doing it. One way is to use warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush. You simply apply the soapy water to one fence board at a time and then gently scrub any dirt away with the brush.
If you want to give it a deeper clean then you can use a power washer. This will enable you to blast away any dirt and debris. It’s usually the best option after harsh weather conditions such as storms.
You should use a power washer with a PSI that is no higher than 3100 and you should also use a fan attachment. Make sure that you hold it at least 20 cm away from the surface of the boards or panels, and that you don’t focus on one area for too long.
For most stains on the surface of your boards or panels, you can use one of the above cleaning methods to remove them. As composite is resistant to stains this is usually enough.
However, for tougher stains such as grease and oil, you may need to use a water-based composite cleaner to remove them. You should make sure to remove grease and oil as quickly as possible to prevent deeper staining.
Can composite fences be painted?
There is no need to paint composite fencing as it’s naturally water-resistant and fade-resistant. If you would like to paint it then you should use acrylic paint and a primer. This will make your fence more high maintenance as you’ll have to re-paint it periodically.
Can composite fencing panels be installed between concrete posts?
Yes, composite panels and boards can be installed between concrete posts. Our composite boards come in small modules that can be stacked on top of each other in between existing posts which makes installation quick and easy.
Or, you could choose to install composite posts and have a full composite system in your outdoor space.
Which type of fencing lasts the longest?
Wrought iron fencing is considered to be the longest-lasting type of fencing as it lasts for around 50 years or more. However, as it’s metal it does require quite a lot of maintenance to prevent it from rusting.
Although composite fencing doesn’t last as long it requires almost no maintenance in order to retain its longevity.
Are composite fences eco-friendly?
Composite is considered to be the most eco-friendly fencing material. This is due to the fact that it’s made with recycled materials. The fact that it doesn’t need to be stained, sealed, or painted also reduces its environmental impact.
Explore Ecoscape’s Amazing Range Of Composite Fencing Today
If you’re looking for a fence that will last for many years to come and requires very little maintenance then look no further than our range of composite fencing boards. All of our boards come with a 20-year warranty and are available in five contemporary colours.