Fencing is a great way to shelter your garden, enjoy privacy from neighbouring properties in your outdoor space, and provide additional security.
Choosing a fencing material that meets your needs in terms of performance and appearance is essential.
Composite fencing material is known for its excellent performance, longevity, and durability. Its high weather resistance makes it perfect for the weather in the UK.
This guide will look at the scratch resistance of composite fencing, the main causes of composite fence scratches, and how to prevent them.
What Makes Composite Materials Scratch Resistant
Composite fencing is an excellent, scratch-proof material that will provide consumers with a durable alternative to traditional wood options.
Composite is made from recycled plastic, reclaimed wood fibres, and a bonding agent. The durable composite material offers greater scratch resistance to timber products and is less likely to stain or scuff.
The wood fibre is coated and protected by plastic, and this protects it from moisture, rot, scratches, and scuffing.
The synthetic material also includes a colouring agent that is present through the board, meaning any scratches that do occur are not as noticeable as wood materials that have been stained or painted.
Scratch Resistance Testing
Ecoscape composite fencing undergoes a number of stringent tests to ensure it is suitable for exterior use. One of these tests is the ISO4586-2 Scratch Test with Ecoscape clarity composite materials achieving a rating of 2.
Learn more about the testing carried out on Ecoscape’s composite materials by visiting the Clarity Decking Technical Specification page here.
Main Causes of Scratches
While composite materials have excellent scratch resistance, they are not completely scratch-proof.
You will have some protection, but the best way to ensure your fence keeps looking great is by avoiding the major causes of scratches altogether.
This list provides some of the most significant risks of scratching that your fencing has to endure.
Nearby Plants or Trees
Having a well-installed fence can transform a garden, and composite boards will allow you to match with your composite decking surface or cladding.
You might also have trees, plants, flowers, or shrubs around the borders of your garden, but this can pose problems for your fencing.
Sharp branches or thorny plants can get blown about in the wind and continuously rub against your fencing, which can result in scratches.
Moisture and Weather
Standing water should not be as much of an issue as it is with composite or wood decking materials, but you should try to avoid letting water pool anywhere.
Snow and ice can also be an issue if it is left on composite fencing, so clearing it whenever possible, with the right material, is advised.
Composite fencing is low-maintenance compared to wood alternatives, and you won’t need to paint, stain, or treat it.
It should still be regularly cleaned to minimise the risk of dirt or mould. Dirt and debris can cause small, hard particles or stones to lodge and create scratches.
Small movements in the boards during thermal expansion can cause debris or stones to dig into the composite surface and lead to accelerated degradation of the composite boards.
If you have children, you will know that the damage or destruction they can cause should never be underestimated. Even the best-behaved children in the world will still play, climb, and investigate.
Simply kicking a ball against a fence that has dirt or stones lodged in it, toys being dragged against the composite, or feet scrambling against the surface if they are trying to climb the fence can cause all kinds of scratches.
Even well-trained pets can cause scratches on fencing, with dogs jumping up and cats climbing or using them as scratch posts.
Even if you don’t have pets, neighbouring animals, birds, foxes, mice, rats, hedgehogs, and other animals are likely to frequent your garden at different times of the year.
Many animals won’t cause an issue with your fencing, but unclean fences can make great homes for insects, and larger predators can damage the fence trying to get to them.
Outdoor furniture won’t cause as big a problem with fencing as it does with a composite or wood deck. But that does not mean there isn’t any risk.
Leaning or propping furniture against fencing or storing it close by can put your fences at risk. Heavy furniture can mark a composite board when pressed against it.
During the winter, furniture can be blown about in high winds as well. With fences having to withstand the weather, dirt, and debris already, furniture being blown against it would just cause another external threat.
Preventing scratches on your fencing material should be a priority for every homeowner.
Accidents can still happen, and that is why the scratch-resistant qualities of our composite fencing make it a worthwhile investment.
Nearby Plants or Trees
Planting trees and plants at a safe distance from fencing is generally recommended. Account for growth and regularly prune or trim back branches to minimise the risk of it reaching the fence boards and prevent damage.
Moisture and Weather
Correct installation will minimise the risk of standing water, and removing snow or ice will minimise the exposure to moisture.
Make sure your fencing is clean by using warm soapy water, soft bristle brushes, and a power washer.
Always avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the composite, and never use abrasive or sharp tools to clean it.
Having a climbing frame, football goal, and other garden toys will help to keep children from straying over to the fencing too often. Making your children aware that they shouldn’t play with fences is another step you can take.
Cleaning the fence regularly to minimise the risk of insects making homes in it should stop birds and other predators from trying to get them out.
If you have cats, installing designated scratch posts can minimise the risk of them using fencing.
If you have a dog, check that there aren’t animals like cats or squirrels in the garden before letting them out. Smaller animals being chased may climb the fence to escape, and dogs will jump up against it.
Properly storing furniture will minimise the risk of it being blown against fencing in strong winds. Putting it away in a shed or garage rather than leaning it against the fence boards will also help.
Buy Ecoscape Composite Fencing
Our composite fencing material is extremely durable and scratch resistant and will therefore not disappoint in terms of being able to withstand external factors, from children to weather to animals.
There are five colours to choose from with Ecoscapes dual finish composite fencing boards. To find out more about the great benefits and options that are available, visit the Ecoscape composite fencing page today.
Can you repair scratched composite?
Depending on the depth or severity of a scratch, there are some methods that can repair composite.
There are some fillers on the market that can be used to fill the scratch. However, finding an exact colour match can sometimes be challenging.
You can try to use a heat gun to reduce the visibility of scratches on composite. Make sure to use extreme caution as you could damage the board further.
Alternatively, you will be able to remove the damaged composite fence board and replace it completely.
Will composite fencing last longer than wood?
Yes, composite fencing will typically last for over 20 years. Wood fencing, on average, lasts only between 10 and 20 years.
Composite requires significantly less maintenance than wood fencing as well, and this makes it a popular choice in the UK for fencing materials.
Will cleaning composite with a jet washer damage it?
You can use a jet washer to clean the composite, but you must ensure the nozzle is held at least 20 cm from the surface.
A fan-shaped beam should be used preferably so that the spray is not as concentrated, and a maximum pressure of 1,500 PSI should be observed.
Does composite fencing cost the same as composite decking?
Prices will vary for different composite products. Ecoscape composite fencing costs £15.31 per board, while composite decking costs £41.55 per square meter.
Capped composite decking offers even greater protection and scratch resistance, and the Ecoscape Forma range costs £66.12 per square meter.
Installing and replacing fencing can be expensive, so taking the time to research the most suitable materials is essential.
Composite is a popular choice of fencing material in the UK because it can withstand the elements and does not rot or splinter like wood alternatives.
With warranties of around 20 years, our Ecoscape composite promises a long-lasting fencing material for consumers looking for value for money.
You may be concerned that a fence that lasts this long might not be able to maintain its appearance, but Ecoscape’s composite’s colour-holding, durable and scratch-resistant surface can.