4 Tips: How to Care For Your Vinyl Fence
Cleaning & Caring For Your Vinyl Fence Is Easy
The beauty of vinyl is that it’s maintenance free. Unlike wood, you will never need to paint or stain your vinyl fence which will save countless hours of time over the years. Having said that, once you invest in a vinyl fence you will want to take care of it to keep it looking fresh for years to come. Everything that is exposed to the weather and elements will start to look dirty and worn after a while if you don’t do some simple maintenance, and a vinyl fence is no exception. Here are 4 tips to help you care for and clean your vinyl fence.
1. A quick rinse with a garden hose
A simple spray of the garden hose is the best way to keep your vinyl fence looking fresh and new.
The easiest and quickest way to care for your fence is to attach a spray nozzle to your garden hose and give your fence a quick bath every month or two. This will rinse off surface dirt and ensure it doesn’t get caked on over the years. If you’ve let it go a little too long and have some especially tough dirt spots after rinsing your fence, keep reading!
2. A gentle bleach-based cleanser with a soft cloth
A gentle cleanser with a soft cloth or soft brush can help with spots and stains the garden hose doesn’t get rid of.
There may be some stubborn dirt spots that cling to your vinyl fence that need a little more elbow grease than a hose. In this case, a soft cloth with a mild bleach-based cleanser directly applied to the spot should easily remove it. Some brands we have used and like are SoftScrub and Mr. Clean. Varsol works well for extremely tough scuff marks, and a soft brush can also help with tougher stains. Just ensure that you do not use a stiff brush as it could scratch your vinyl fence. Please note that if you have a tan vinyl fence, you will not want to use a solution with bleach and we recommend testing any cleaning agent on a small, inconspicuous area of your tan vinyl fence to ensure that it does cause damage or discoloration.
3. The Magic Eraser
The Magic Eraser is a safe, easy, effective way to get rid of the tougher dirt stains on your vinyl fence.
The Magic Eraser is a brand name cleaner that is like a sponge, and thus avoids the need for a cleanser and a cloth. Simply dampen the Magic Eraser and work away at your especially dirty spots. It works very well on eliminating the tougher stains and is safe for your fence. Please note that if you have a tan vinyl fence, you will not want to use a solution with bleach and we recommend testing any cleaning agent on a small, inconspicuous area of your tan vinyl fence to ensure that it does cause damage or discoloration.
4. Power Washing
A pressure washer can be useful for cleaning a very dirty vinyl fence that has been neglected for some time.
If you have neglected your vinyl for some time and it’s in serious need of a bath, consider a power washer. The pressure from the water will be more effective in removing tough stains and dirt spots than a simple garden hose sprayer.
In some parts of the country, mildew can be a problem with a fence. It will appear as black spots and usually begins to show up in areas where the rain doesn’t fall, such as under eaves and deck enclosures. For removal, try the following solution:
CAUTION: Greater concentrations may cause damage to the vinyl materials.
1/3 cup detergent (Tide, for example)
2/3 cup Trisodium Phosphate (Soilax, for example)
1 quart 5% Sodium Hypochlorite (Clorox, for example)
3 quarts of water
Wear some gloves and use this solution with a soft cloth or soft brush to remove the mildew spots. Please note that the chemical agents in this solution may be hazardous to the environment and your skin, so take care with both application and disposal.
With some simple maintenance, your vinyl fence will look fresh and new for many, many years to come. If you have any additional questions, please contact one of our fence consultants at 877-77805733.
10 tips: How To Care for Your Vinyl & Aluminum Fence
How to Keep Your Vinyl Fence Looking Great, Season After Season
An aluminum or vinyl fence can give your property great curb appeal, with a little light care.
One of the first things you notice when you look at a piece of property – home, business, church, park – is the fence. A vinyl fence, aluminum fence, or another kind of maintenance-free fencing solution can complement the look of your property without a huge ongoing investment in repair and replacement. But even with lower maintenance, there are some things you will want to do to take the best care for your fence.
How to Care for a Vinyl Fence: 6 Tips
The great thing about vinyl fences is that they require very little care, especially when compared to other common fencing materials. But exposure to the elements, and especially lawn care, can leave them looking a step below what you would prefer.
Tip #1: Clean your fence periodically.
It’s best to clean your fence soon after it gets dirtied—for example, right after you mow the lawn, or right after a heavy rain. To clean your vinyl fence, just gather together a hose, a bucket with soapy water, a few clean rags, and a soft scrub brush. Start by spraying down any areas that have accumulated grass or dirt stains. In most instances, this is all it will take, but some larger stains may require you to resort to your soapy water, rags, and in very rare instances, your scrub brush.
Note: Never use any type of abrasive cleaner or scouring pad on your vinyl fencing. These run the risk of scratching off the layer that provides your fence with its glossy shine.
Tip #2: Clean stains on a white vinyl fence with a magic eraser.
Some homeowners have also reported good luck using a “magic eraser” on their vinyl fence to get out stubborn stains and dirt. Use it with a small amount of water and scrub the area you wish to clean. Be aware, however, that the magic eraser has small amounts of a dry bleach-like cleanser, and so we do not recommend using it on a colored vinyl fence.
Tip #3: Head off mildew as soon as it forms.
If you live in an area with excessive dampness, it is possible for mildew to form on your fence, especially if it is not in direct sunlight. If you notice mildew forming, it’s best to try and remove it before it grows and spreads.
If normal washing and scrubbing do not remove the mildew, try a mixture of ⅓ cup laundry detergent, ⅔ Trisodium phosphate (Soilax), and 4 cups Clorox bleach. Dilute this mixture in just under a gallon of water, then use it on the affected areas. You can try to scrub the areas by hand or apply the solution with a power-washer; either way, be sure to use protective gloves and eyewear! A faster method to effectively remove mold and mildew in most cases is to use a power washer with a maximum 1500 PSI tip. Be sure to test an inconspicuous area first before moving forward with cleaning the whole fence to make sure the power washer isn’t leaving any marks on the vinyl. If it does, use a lower PSI tip.
Tip #4: Resist the urge to paint your fence.
Vinyl fences are not constructed to hold a coat of paint! These fences are colored during construction, so you should be able to find a fencing color that suits you. But if you get tired of that color, resist the urge to paint it. The paint may not adhere properly to the fence, causing bubbles to form and large areas of paint to peel. Painting the fence also voids your warranty.
Tip #5: Keep heat sources away from the fence.
A vinyl fence can withstand the heat of the sun, even an intense summer sun. But a more intense heat nearby—say, from a BBQ grill or an outdoor heater—can warp or mar your fence. Be sure that these sources are at least 6’-8’ from your vinyl fence and those heating elements are properly shielded.
Tip #6: Before you may DIY repairs, reconsider screwing in any attachments.
It’s relatively easy to use screws and fasteners on a vinyl fence, but be aware that, in many cases, this could void the warranty on your fence. If your fence is truly in need of repair, it’s best to call the company that installed it and then ask them to come out. In some situations, companies with excellent customer service may also walk you through the process to repair the fence yourself if it’s a simple fix. This will, of course, save you money on the repair.FREE IN-HOME ESTIMATE
How to Care for an Aluminum Fence: 4 Tips
Caring for an aluminum fence is even easier than caring for a vinyl fence. With most aluminum fences, there are no traditional slats or panels providing a wide surface for grass, dirt, and grime. Plus, since aluminum fences are usually a darker color, whatever dirt is there does not show easily.
Tip #1: Keep it simple and clean as needed.
If and when you do decide to clean the fence, all you will need is a hose, a bucket of soapy water, and a scrub brush. Hose down the fence and then use the soapy water and brush to address any problem areas. You can also use a degreaser if needed. Just make sure you do not use harsh cleaning substances. And certainly, do not use an abrasive such as steel wool.
Tip #2: Treat hard water stains with CLR.
It doesn’t happen often, but your fence can get hard water stains, especially if there have been periods of heavy rain or flood. Using a cleaner specifically for calcium and lime, like CLR, can remove these stains. Apply with a cloth, let sit a few minutes, and then rinse after applying.
Tip #3: If you live near the coast, give them a good spray every once in a while.
If you live in a coastal area and are near the ocean, sea spray and moisture can carry salt with it, which then gets deposited on your fence. This salt can begin to eat away at the protective coating of your fence. To prevent this, spray down your fence every once in a while with water from your garden hose, which should have much less salt content.
Tip #4: Be on the lookout for signs of wear.
An aluminum fence is made to withstand the test of time. Still, there are some signs that your fence will need a little care. One of the most effective cleaners to remove small marks is to use the cleaner Simple Green along with a clean rag. Simply apply the Simple Green to the dirty area. Then, wipe it off with the rag.
Fence Maintenance and Children
Both aluminum fences and vinyl fences are made to hold up to the elements and provide your property with security, privacy, and beauty with little cost to maintain or repair. This is why these materials are considered to be virtually maintenance-free.
That said, we’ve noticed over our 25+ years as a fence company in St. Louis, MO, that fences do wear with time… and that mistreatment of fences, usually by children, is one of the top causes of problems down the road.
Discourage children from hanging on your fence, and from swinging on your gate(s). Also discourage them from hitting your fence (for example, with a stick or baseball bat). Teach them to treat the fence as if it were one of the walls of your home.
A large vinyl fence, especially a white one, is a very tempting blank canvas to a child. So, if a child draws or paints on your fence, don’t panic. Most vinyl fences are made to resist paint, crayon, marker, or whatever other art supplies kids typically have access to. Use the cleaning tips above to gently remove their “art.”
Fence Care is Easy with Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions
Although it sounds like a lot, taking care of these two types of fences really could not be easier. In the case of vinyl, you may have to wash it once 1-5 years depending on the climatic conditions in your area. a year. With an aluminum fence, you can probably go even longer between washings.
Did you know that it could be just as easy to care for your deck and railing if you only used the right materials?
Interested in a Maintenance Free Fence?
We’d love to show you some samples and discuss all the options for maintenance free fencing. We offer a free, no-obligation onsite assessment. Simply complete a short form and one of our team members will contact you to set up a date and time to visit with you. We look forward to it.FREE IN-HOME ESTIMATE
Undecided On A Fence? Dig In With Our Ultimate Guide to Fencing Ebook! Get this free guide now!
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4 Easy Ways to Clean Your Vinyl Fence
Cleaning your vinyl fence is easier than you think!
Not only is it easy to install vinyl fences, but they’re also very easy to clean and take care of. Just like all fences, vinyl gets dirty and needs to be cleaned and cared for to keep it looking spectacular all year long.
Here are four easy ways you can clean your vinyl fence and keep it looking brand new:
- A Garden Hose- This is probably the easiest and quickest way to care for your vinyl fence and should be done at least once a month or so. Rinsing your fence helps clear surface dirt and keeps it from getting caked with dirt over months or years.
- Soft Scrub and Simple Green - Soft Scrub and Simple Green are specifically formulated solutions to wash off dirt and grime on vinyl. You will want to apply the cleaning solution with a soft cloth or soft brush so you don’t scratch your vinyl.
- Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser- The Magic Eraser is a safe and easy way to get rid of tougher dirt stains. All you need to do is dampen the eraser and that’s that.
- Power Washing- If your vinyl fence hasn’t been cleaned for some time, a power wash might just be the thing you need. The pressure from the water will remove any and all stains and will be much more effective than a garden hose
Note: If you have a tan vinyl fence or another color other than white, make sure to read the labels on all these cleaning solutions so they don’t discolor your fence.
Vinyl fencing is bound to get dirty, there’s no getting around that. As long as you keep up on it every month and give it a quick rinsing or scrub, your vinyl fence will always be looking brand new.
Simple Tip for Quickly Cleaning Vinyl Fences (and Outdoor Furniture)
Hey hey! Summer is here and we’re in MASSIVE outdoor cleaning mode! Next week I’m sharing our new deck makeover (eeek! can’t wait!), but today I wanted to let you in on a little secret I discovered. You see, I had been dreading cleaning our vinyl fence. Occasionally I’ve hosed it down but the mildew and dirt started to build up and I envisioned hours of elbow grease to scrub it off. After 4 years of ignoring it, I finally got into my scrubby clothes and pulled out every cleaning product I had to tackle this cleaning feat. Turns out I only needed two things to easily handle this job (um, one of them is water), and the dirt and mildew came right off!
The first thing we did was spray the entire fence with the hose to get off the loose dirt. Believe it or not, this is after we sprayed it with a hose– YUCK.
See why I was dreading this? I don’t know the exact length, but we have two entire fences like this (and a good 4 years of dirt). Take another peek at the grossness..
I thought I’d need to use some heavy duty chemical cleaners (which I loathe with a passion), but on a whim decided to give the fence a swipe with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser first. And NO, this is not a sponsored post– I would have disclosed that already if it was. 🙂 Swipe it I did, and I was amazed when the dirt and algae (or whatever that green stuff is clinging to the side) wiped right off.
Soon, my daughter was helping too. As she cleaned, she couldn’t stop saying how AMAZED she was with the MAGIC ERASER! I had to listen to a steady steam of “WOW THIS MAGIC ERASER IS AMAZING, MOMMY! I LOVE Magic Erasers! Look at it CLEAN! Mr. Clean made these?! That guy is amazing!”
When the eraser got dirty, a quick spray with the hose cleaned it right off. And then a certain someone got me good on the backside with the hose and I may bave yelped. But that’s the fun in doing this on an 85 degree day, right? After we wiped down a section, we’d spray it to get off the loose grime otherwise it dries back onto the fence.
Less than half an hour of spraying, wiping, and spraying again and the fence seriously looks good as new. Plus we were happily soaked and ready to tackle the one on the other side of the house.
We tried this on our outdoor plastic toys and furniture with the same result. One swipe, good as new! The entire fence took about 4 Magic Erasers, and some were still good enough to use on the toys and furniture afterwards. Isn’t that so easy? NO chemicals, NO scrubbing, NO accidentally bleached clothing or need to keep the kids away while you work.
Feeling a little like Tom Sawyer when you rope the kids into helping with the fun? Totally optional. 😉
Do you have any quick tips to help out in the yard? Like for weeds? Because that’s the next to-do I’m totally dreading!
This post is sponsored by my Young Living business! Check out my essential oils page for more information on how you can get these amazing oils in your hands too along with helpful freebies, a gift from me, and tons of support:
Fence vinyl magic on eraser
VEKAfence Maintenance and Care
Over time, your vinyl fence may begin to build up dirt, mold and grime on it, diminishing the nice, clean look it had when installed. Vinyl fencing is surprisingly easy to clean and with proper maintenance your vinyl fence will last for decades.
Working from the top down with your garden hose, and a soft brush if needed, wash off loose debris. Using a mild cleaner (see list below) and a wet sponge, apply the cleaning solution and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe the surface firmly with the sponge and rinse with your garden hose. Wipe with a dry cloth if desired.
For heavy dirt build-up, you may wish to use a pressure washer. In general, vinyl materials are safe to be pressure washed, but must be done with care, as too much pressure in the wrong area can permanently damage the fence. Always follow manufacturer’s use and safety instructions of the equipment. When planning to pressure wash your fence, take caution to either secure or remove post and picket caps and/or accessories that may detach under water pressure and be damaged.
Spray a soap solution on the fence beginning at the bottom and working up towards the top with low pressure. Working in small areas will ensure that the soap will not dry on the fence before you are able to rinse. Apply the solution evenly and let it sit for a few minutes.
Begin rinsing at the top and work your way down with higher pressure. You may need to scrub stubborn areas prior to rinsing with a soft bristle scrub brush or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Always begin rinsing at a safe distance from the vinyl ensuring no damage can be done. As you begin rinsing, move closer to the fence until you can effectively clean and rinse it without damage. Too much concentrated pressure can permanently damage the fence. Thoroughly rinse the fence removing any soap residue. Wipe with a dry cloth if desired.
Cleaning your vinyl fence with at least once a year can prevent dirt from building up and help keep your fence looking like new.
For difficult to remove dirt or stains such as topsoil, motor oil, etc. use a readily available household cleaner such as:
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
- Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Cleaner
- Lysol Multi-Surface All-Purpose Cleaner
- Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner
- Vinegar and Water
In some cases you may wish to use mildly abrasive cleaner, such as cleansers or a paste-like scrubbing solution. Use of abrasive material could have a negative effect on the surface of the fence. Do not use cleaners containing aggressive organic solvents because they could affect the surface appearance of the vinyl. Examples of such cleaners are: chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, strong soaps, and detergents containing organic solvents, nail polish remover, and furniture polish/cleaners.
Always follow manufacturers instructions when using any type of PVC revitalizer products. Failure to follow manufacturer instructions may result in irreversible damage to the vinyl materials.
Cleaning Vinyl Fence
- Dish soap
- Non-abrasive scrubbing pads
To Clean Your Fence…
- Hose down the fence, preferably with a sprayer to apply some added pressure.
- It’s suggested you clean from bottom to top.
- Spraying the fence should remove most dirt, but some areas may require scrubbing.
- Stubborn areas can be scrubbed with a combination of warm water and dish soap.
- It’s advisable to use a non-abrasive scrubbing pad to avoid scratching the vinyl.
- After the fence is clean spray rinse it with the hose one more time.
Dealing with Tougher Stains
If your vinyl fencing has stains from grass or mud, dish soap may not be enough to remove them entirely.
All You Need:
- Non-abrasive scrubbing pads
- Rubber gloves
To Remove Tough Stains…
- Create a mixture of approximately one part bleach five parts water. This mixture can be changed depending on the stubbornness of the stains, but note that it is not advisable to use a strong bleach mixture if the vinyl fencing is a darker color. White fences should hold up fine even with a one part bleach three part water solution.
- Use a cloth or non-abrasive scrubbing pads to scrub away stains.
- If your fences are darker vinyl it is important to spray and rinse immediately after the stains have been removed to prevent bleaching.
Dealing with Grease, Tar or Other Stubborn Stains
All You Need:
- Scraper, preferably wood or plastic
- Tar remover, most auto tar removers work
- Alternatively you can use paint thinner or mineral spirits
- Rubber gloves
- Non-abrasive scrubbing pads or rags
To Remove Grease, Tar or Other Stubborn Stains…
- We suggest you first clean your fence with one of the previous methods before using stronger chemicals.
- It is important to wear rubber gloves and perform this cleaning in a well-ventilated area.
- GENTLY rub the stain – too much pressure can result in a polished spot on your vinyl fence.
- If necessary use the scrapper to try to gently pop off any stuck on tar.
- Rinse the fence thoroughly after the stain is gone.
Other Cleaning Strategies and Advice
- The Magic Erasers made by Mr. Clean® are a great non-abrasive option to remove stains from vinyl fencing.
- If you do have darker fences be careful with bleach solutions, and it’s advisable to test one small area to ensure the mixture isn’t going to discolor your fence.
- If none of the previously mentioned stain removal methods worked for your fence, you can try to forcefully scrub the spot with xylene.
- Seasonal cleaning once or twice every year can help prevent stains from setting in on your vinyl fencing.
- If your vinyl fence is getting mold or mildew the bleach cleaning method should not only remove the growth but also prevent it in the future.
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