Have you ever wondered whether vinyl fencing comes in any other colors than white? It seems like that’s all you can find when you look at vinyl fence models. Does it come in any other, darker colors? The short answer is it does, but most vinyl fence manufacturers don’t offer it and with good reason.
Vinyl fencing was born from the PVC pipe industry. It has long-term durability and structural integrity because of the base ingredient, PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Yet the PVC pipe industry forgot an important factor when they made their first vinyl fencing: ultraviolet rays break down PVC. This was overlooked because PVC pipe is typically behind walls and underground.
As vinyl fencing became more popular, customers began using it in more outdoor applications. Though for this to be accomplished something needed to be added to the vinyl to allow it to hold up to UV light rays, which is how titanium dioxide was introduced to the mix. Now, titanium dioxide is a main component in inhibiting these UV rays, meaning vinyl fences now offer long-term durability, flexibility and weather-ability.
How does this affect color?
Titanium dioxide is a white pigment, making it more difficult to manufacture vinyl fencing in darker colors, but recently fencing manufacturers have found ways to achieve this. The process involves tweaking some of the manufacturing steps to produce a durable and maintenance free-fence in many different, darker colors.
This is where the bigger problem comes into play.
Vinyl expands when heated. So when continually beaten by the sun’s UV rays, it begins to look more like taffy than a fence. And dark colors only amplify the warping of the vinyl, because the darker the fence, the more heat is attracted, and the more pliable and warped it becomes.
This is why you don’t typically see vinyl in dark colors. Vinyl, even with proper components, will store the sun’s radiant energy and cause the product to be hotter than the air temperature. A dark brown vinyl fence (versus white or lighter color) in the Texas sun could wind up drooping over or even laying flat out on your lawn.
In return, many reputable fencing companies have opted not to carry darker colors as an option so they can still guarantee lifetime warranties on their vinyl fences, as they know the light-colored vinyl fencing is able to hold up long-term to all conditions, including heat.
Something to note is these easy-to-care-for light colored vinyl fences hold up well to routine property maintenance, including most types of weed eaters. For those who have painted fences, you may quickly notice scratches and damage due to normal property maintenance. Painted fences need painting almost every year. Vinyl fences, due to the makeup of the product, really need little to no maintenance, ever.
Lastly, if you really want a dark colored vinyl fence, painting it is an option. An epoxy-based paint needs to be used on the smooth vinyl surfaces in order for proper adhering. One of the many pros to vinyl fencing is it does NOT require painting maintenance, so if you decide to paint it, you will need to know it will need to be repainted in time. Disclaimer: Painting your vinyl fence will more than likely result in loss of manufacturer’s warranty, so be sure to check before pulling out a spray gun.