Lengthening The Life Of Your Vinyl Fence

This piece on lengthening the life of your vinyl fence was written by freelance contributor Sally Perkins.

This vinyl privacy fence has been equalized

vinyl privacy fence

Investing in a good vinyl fence offers a great return on investment if you factor in the low cost of maintenance and longevity. Installing a fence on a quarter acre lot will typically cost between $1,800 and $3,500, according to the Remodeling Costs website. This price will ensure you not only have enough privacy but also enjoy a great curb appeal. However, the price will vary from one fencing material to another and will depend on the fence size you wish to install. The initial cost should not be the only aspect that you pay attention to. For instance, while most vinyl fences might be more expensive to install than wood fences, they are typically cheaper to maintain. With the right maintenance schedule, you can get to enjoy the appeal of your fence for many years. In case you’ve chosen to have a vinyl fence installed in your home, there are a few things you need to know.

Understanding vinyl as a fencing material

There are plenty of aspects that make vinyl the perfect material to use for fencing. First, the materials used in the fence can easily be recycled which is a win for the environment. Vinyl is also resistant to moisture and humidity, unlike wood fences. This means that it will easily survive the winter, and you don’t have to worry about pouring water on it. The fence is also strong, meaning insects cannot eat their way through it. When combined, the above factors make maintaining the fence pretty easy. Now, the key question is: in what ways can you best take care of a vinyl fence?

Clean the fences regularly

71% of home buyers consider the curb appeal as an essential factor when it comes to shopping for the perfect home. Even though you might not be willing to put your home up for sale, the quality of your fence may affect the value of your home significantly. Cleaning your vinyl fence at least once a year is essential to maintain its appeal. For the slightly dusty parts, washing the area with hose water will do the trick. As for the areas that have a little bit tougher stains, use a mild detergent and some warm water to clear them. In case you notice mildew developing on your fence, wash the affected area with a mixture of warm water, detergent and vinegar to reduce the levels of mold infestation.

What about managing the structural integrity?

Inspecting the structural integrity of your fence at least once a year is wise. Pay attention to the state of parts like the metal connectors of the fence. Hidden metallic connectors will typically connect the parts of your vinyl fence. In case these parts become visible, then you should request the installers to take a look at the fence. However, if you notice such inconsistencies within the first few weeks of installation, then filing a complaint against the installers is wise. Additionally, be careful when mowing close to the fence or else you might harm it in the process. For instance, using a weed trimmer that uses a line rather than a blade will prevent any damages that trimming close to the fence could present.

Each aspect of your home contributes to its overall appeal. A vinyl fence is only but a small part of your whole home. However, occasionally maintaining it will accentuate the other areas and save you the cost of replacing it.

Fenced Lawns: Keeping Them Green Even When You Are On Vacation

This piece on keeping lawns green on vacation was written by freelance contributor Sally Perkins.

Photo by Alvin Engler

Photo by Alvin Engler

Fencing adds value to your property in several ways. It prevents unwanted intruders that will destroy the turf that you have painstakingly nurtured over the years. If you are going on an extended holiday, you are sure that your lawn is protected from heavy foot traffic as well as the intrusion of animals that might stray into your property even if it’s your favorite friendly pooch from the other side of the fence. Fencing your property also improves its curb appeal helping you increase your home value when it’s time to sell. Even though it may be a challenge to trim the grass under the fence, a lawn also benefits from the security fences provide.

Good fences define the boundaries

Installing fences on your property especially around the lawn area screams that they are protecting the periphery. When you fence a lawn in, you reduce heavy foot traffic whether from children trampling on the grass or pets that want to run around and play with the animals next door. Your own pets also know where they can play and chill out. It’s not only flower beds that can be protected from curious and playful animals. Turf areas stand a better chance of establishing themselves well when the area is fenced reducing human foot traffic drastically. Raucous children can also learn to stay off fenced lawns making it easier to keep them green and lush.

When you’re away on vacation

It is difficult to leave for a holiday when you have a garden and lawn. But there are several ways to take care of your lawn even when away without constantly thinking about jumping on the next plane to see if your plants are okay. Remember, the grass doesn’t grow that fast when it is hot and dry such as the summer season. Nonetheless, it helps if you can trim your turf a bit so that it will be growing nicely once you are back. If you are worried about watering, give your grass a good soaking before departure provided there is no water restriction. If your neighbors are going to stick around, you might want to ask them to water your plants or irrigate the lawn. There are several irrigation techniques technologies both mechanical and manual that you can study as well to deliver water at a right time and quantity.

Fences and verdant turf areas go well together. Fencing improves the aesthetics of a home property and secures the grounds. While you are away, your lawn stands a better chance of survival if foot traffic is reduced and destructive animals are kept out by the fences.

Your Guide to Choosing the Safest Pool Fence

This piece on pool fences was written by freelance contributor Sally Perkins.

Photo by margot pandone

Photo by Margot Pandone

When it comes to pool ownership, safety is of paramount importance. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows drowning to be the second largest cause of death in children aged 1-14 — and that many of these drownings occur in residential pools. A fence is crucial for optimizing the safety of any pool. It’s a barrier between the water and children, which prevents accidents and drowning. When choosing the best fence for your pool, it should be strong, child-proof, and durable enough to withstand weather.

What makes a pool fence safe?

First and foremost, a pool fence should be high-quality and strong enough to do the job properly. The fence shouldn’t have any footholds or large gaps between the vertical slates. Children may be tempted to climb over or squeeze through, but the fence should be designed to stop them and maintain optimal pool safety. Likewise, the ground clearance should be small enough so no one can crawl under it. A minimum height of 48 inches is recommended, but check if your area has specific regulations.

What material should I choose?

Pool fences are available in many different materials to suit your needs and budget. Glass fences offer a combination of style and practicality. People tend to choose glass for aesthetic purposes (it looks great in the garden). It is, however, expensive. Wood is a more affordable, durable material which comes in a variety of designs. Wood offers a natural look, but requires regular maintenance.

PVC is an affordable, lightweight yet sturdy material particularly resistant to harsh weather. It can even be made into a solid fence for maximum privacy. Alternatively, aluminum is a stronger material and is easy to care for. However, if privacy is a priority, PVC is a better choice.

What style is best?

The best style of fence depends on your preferences. Flat-top is a common design in which vertical bars are fixed to horizontal upper and lower bars. Loop-top fences make use of one long vertical bar which is looped at the top to form two bars. Double-top fences are similar to loop-top ones and use two upper horizontal bars (usually with decorative effect).

Lastly, every pool fence needs a gate in the same material, style, and height as the fence. The gap between the gate and the gateposts should be small (under four inches). For optimal safety, the latch should be positioned on the inside of the gate and high-up so children can’t reach it.

Cutting the Lawn Without Destroying the Fence

This piece on garden fences was written by freelance contributor Sally Perkins.

Photo by Rémi Müller on Unsplash

Photo by Rémi Müller on Unsplash

Cutting the Lawn Without Destroying the Fence

Manicured lawns are beautiful and desirable, but are not always easy to obtain. Making them look nice requires a lot of work, and some extra knowledge. Grass grows fast, especially during the rainy months, so keeping it at bay is often a weekly chore. You’ll need to mow the lawn often, and you’ll need to manicure the areas around the fence. The lawn mower simply cannot get the blades of grass closest to the fence. When you’ve got a great fence to preserve, you don’t want to ruin it with dangerous lawn mower blades.

Start with a Trimmer

Use a weed eater with a line, not a blade, to trim the edges near the fence. The line weed eater will be easier and cheaper to repair than the blade version, if it accidentally hits the fence. You’ll need to trim the grass near the fence without touching it to avoid damage. Use the trimmer a half inch away from the fence post. If it is possible, shorten the bottom of the fence posts by three inches to allow the trimmer to reach underneath the fence. If this is not possible, consider aluminum tips to protect the fence against the trimmer. When trimming around a chain link fence, time and patience work best. Carefully trim between each fence portion to clean away the grass.

Consider a New Garden

Think about using mulch around the bottom of the fence posts to reduce the amount of growing grass. This is why many people include flowers at the bottom of a fence. Flowers such as marigolds or daisies look wonderful around a fence, as do small garden statues to help reduce grass growth. If flowers are out of the question, however, placing a small ring of mulch around each fence post will go unnoticed among a larger yard. Simply apply a circle of mulch a half inch thick around the posts to hold back grass growth and reduce fence damage. You’ll be able to control the lines around the fence post, and, if done properly, you’ll be able to mow without worrying about the fence line. One thing to keep in mind though, is to always change the lawn mower blades, when they get dull. Having sharp blades will naturally ensure perfectly trimmed grass.

Trimming the edges before mowing the lawn leaves cleaner lines. Using mulch or planting gardens around fence posts reduces grass growth. Using a gentle, line-fed trimmer helps keep the lawn looking evenly kept. Using these general tips helps maintain a beautiful yard without damaging the fence.