The average lifespan of your fence depends greatly on the materials they are constructed out of. Generally, fences will last longest when properly installed and regularly maintained, whatever the parent material might be.
Wood fences, depending on the type of wood can last from 4-40 years. Metal chain link fences last an average of 25 to 30 years or more and are easily and inexpensively repaired. Vinyl fence will last an average of 35 to 40 years but repairs are less convenient and more expensive. Each type of fencing requires different levels of care and maintenance procedures for optimal longevity.
Choosing fence materials, colors and designs are just a part of finding the perfect fence to suit your security and aesthetic requirements. Two of the most important factors during your search for your perfect fence should be durability and longevity.
Although the style of your home, climate of your area and purpose of the fence play a large role in selecting the right fence material, it’s best to understand what differentiates one fence material from another so you can pick the best fence for your application.
The most commonly used wood types for fences are spruce, cedar and pine, so the longevity of your fence naturally depends on the type of wood it’s made from. Cedar may last for 15-30 years, spruce may last for 4-7 years and pine may last for 5-12 years.
Treated wood, however, increases this longevity: pine and spruce may last for 20 years and cedar may last up to 40 years. Remember that moisture is one of the biggest factors that diminish your fence’s longevity. Wood fence panels and pickets that touch the ground become affected by moisture and that can reduce the life by up to three years. Avoid damage caused by water and moisture by using treated or stained posts and backfill post holes with concrete or gravel to keep moisture away from the wood.
Wooden fences look great but can be the shortest lived fences
A wooden fence is a popular choice for homeowners whether you’re going for a rustic look or just want to match the style of your house. As good as they look, they are generally the most vulnerable fence type and require special attention to maintenance practices.
With proper attention to fence maintenance and repair your wooden fence will last for decades. You need to regularly maintain your fence to keep it from aging. Stain and paint your fence, then re-stain every two years and paint every four years. Repairing your wooden fence as it becomes damaged will also help it last even longer than is average.
Chain link fences and ornamental aluminum fences are sturdy and great for large-scale projects. When deciding how to fence in a large area, the best choice is usually either a chain link or an ornamental aluminum fence. Both are very cost effective for protecting large areas, and require little to no maintenance outside of general repair.
These fences last on average 25 to 30 years and can be extended even further beyond that lifespan with proper maintenance and prompt repair. A damaged chain link fence rail can easily be repaired by cutting out the bad section and sliding in a new piece. What Type of Fence Lasts the Longest? Chain-link fences with a galvanized finish that doesn’t rust are the longest lasting fences. All other components of the fence are made of steel and are also galvanized, so there is relatively no maintenance. Chain-link fences are economical and secure.
Chain link comes in a variety of vinyl-coated options aside from durability, chain-link fences can also be customizable without losing the homeowner’s visibility.
Metal fences are the sturdy option that comes in three types: chain link, wrought iron or aluminum. Chain-link is the most inexpensive and long-lasting, although it does provide a more industrial look (not the best for those who want a more decorative aesthetic). Aluminum fences are an attractive ornamental fence with the classic look of wrought iron, and the low maintenance of aluminum.
Wrought iron and aluminum fences combine beauty and strength and can be shaped into unique designs. You can also odd ornamental applications and other fence accessories for artistic embellishments while still enjoying the durability of a metal fence. As far as maintenance goes, wrought-iron requires a rust-resistant finish every few years to avoid corrosion.
Vinyl fences require the least amount of effort to maintain and their typical lifespan matches a hands-off approach to fence maintenance. Vinyl fences or PVC fences are quickly growing in popularity. They are durable and relatively maintenance-free—just hose it off with some water. While color options are limited, vinyl fences are available in a wide range of styles including picket, lattice, privacy, and even split-rail.
Most fences will last a long time with proper care, but few can do it longer than a vinyl fence. These fences require the least amount of personal time invested to keep them clean and maintained. Vinyl fences require little maintenance and are highly durable which allows them to last for up to 4 decades with proper care. The average lifespan for a vinyl fence is 35 to 40 years.
If you’re thinking about securing your property with a fence so that you can safely let your children play or easily let your pet outside, there are important considerations to keep in mind. There’s nothing like the curb appeal that fences can add to the exterior of a home (not to mention the privacy and security they can bring to your property), but knowing which fence type to choose can be a tricky process! Finding a fence that can maintain a sharp appearance for a long time while keeping maintenance costs down should be one of your goals. As you can see, longevity matters when it comes to fences.