Over the years, fencing trends have changed. Wood fences have existed for centuries, but fences made of synthetic or composite materials only appeared on the market in the 1980s. As manufacturers continue to come out with new products, composite fences are becoming a popular alternative to an all-wood fence.
Let’s discuss why homeowners choose to construct a composite fence, and what is required to maintain composite fencing versus wood fencing panels.
What is a Composite Fence?
Composite fencing is made of a mixture of real wood and plastic materials. Trex Fencing and Decking is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wood-alternative decking products. Trex products use 95% recycled materials – a combination of reclaimed wood, sawdust, and recycled plastic. The recycled plastic comes from a variety of household items, such as dry cleaner bags, grocery bags, and the plastic wrap surrounding toilet paper rolls or paper towels.
As part of the Trex mission to offer environmentally-friendly products, Trex keeps more than 400 million pounds of wood scrap and plastic out of landfills every year. In fact, Trex is one of the largest plastic film recyclers in the United States, and even the Trex manufacturing process recycles factory refuse and runoff back into their manufacturing line.
The Trex method of manufacturing an attractive fencing product from recycled materials makes it an environmentally-friendly product that appeals to many homeowners.
Do I Need to Paint or Stain a Composite Fence?
Composite fencing does not need to be painted or stained to maintain its integrity. Wood fencing does. Wood inherently is susceptible to damage and rot caused by the sun, moisture, insect infestations, mold, and mildew. Covering a wood fence with a waterproof stain protects the wood and extends the life of the fence, but that stain doesn’t last forever. For optimal protection, a wood fence needs a new coat of stain every few years.
While Trex does not require paint or stain to maintain its durability, you can paint a Trex fence to create a custom-colored fence if desired.
Is Cleaning a Composite Fence Necessary?
Gathering dust and dirt is inevitable for any fence made from any type of material, perhaps some mold or mildew as well. Soap, water, and a soft-bristle brush are all you need to clean Trex fencing.
Some areas of the United States are more prone to mold and mildew buildup, which is why Trex always recommends a semi-annual cleaning of your fence. Cleaning your fence takes away the pollen and debris that support mold and mildew growth.
Cleaning a Trex fence is not required for performance purposes or stability, but it is recommended in order to upkeep the aesthetics and look of the fence. Trex refers to their fencing products as low-maintenance, not entirely maintenance-free.
How Does Trex Fencing Look Over Time?
No fence is immune to fading after long-term exposure to the outdoors. The color of a fence will fade and age. A cedar wood fence begins with red tones and turns a shade of gray with sun and weather exposure.
Homeowners can expect their Trex composite fencing to slightly change color as well. Trex fences come in three colors – Saddle, Winchester Grey, and Woodland Brown. Saddle begins as a dark tan and fades to a light tan. Winchester Grey does not start as a true shade of gray, rather a brownish/green color. It then turns to a light gray as it weathers. Woodland Brown is the darkest color option, starting as a dark brown and only fading slightly from that color.
Is a Composite Fence Easy to Install?
Installing a Trex composite fence is not difficult. Many homeowners order Trex fencing from a wholesale fencing supplier, and install it on their own. When taking on a DIY project, the most important step comes before you even purchase the materials. Take the time to create detailed plans and outline the length and location of your fence. This will help you avoid costly mistakes and wasted time in the long run.
Is a Composite Fence Worth It?
A Trex composite fence is a heavy-duty fence, approximately 50-70% heavier than similar lumber. When comparing the cost of a composite fence and a wood fence, the upfront costs for Trex are higher. However, it is important to consider the overall lifespan of both types of fence. Determine if the time and money you will spend on upkeep and maintenance is worth the additional investment.
Is a Composite Fence Right For Me?
Not everyone knows that a Trex composite fence is customizable. Their privacy style fencing comes in several sizes and dimensions. Furthermore, you can add various elements to enhance the look and design of your fence, such as post caps, accent colors, lighting, and more.
Trex also offers lattice sheets. Homeowners can incorporate a black or white lattice sheet across the top foot of their fence for a more unique appearance than traditional composite fences. Their lattice material is used for vine walls and vertical gardens as well.
A fence is a big investment. If you are looking to install a new fence or replace an old one, take the time to learn about all your options and compare composite fencing to wood panel fencing.