Whether you need to replace broken or unattractive railings around your porch or deck or want to add a bit of curb appeal and safety to your porch, deck or pool area, railed fencing is a great choice. Open and inviting, railed fencing is available in a number of styles from turned Colonial to specialty spokes and fluted designs.
Railed fencing is typically made from a variety of materials including wood, aluminum, wrought iron, and vinyl. The material you choose will depend on your needs, preferences and budget.
Vinyl railings have become very popular in recent years due to their durability and maintenance-free designs. But there are some disadvantages to using vinyl railings that you’ll want to consider before making your final decision.
Read on to get a complete run down of the advantages and disadvantages of using vinyl railings for your porch, deck or fencing project.
Vinyl Railing Advantages
One of the biggest reasons homeowners choose vinyl railings is because they require very little maintenance. Unlike wrought iron railings, vinyl railings won’t rust. Vinyl railings are also a great alternative to wood railings since they don’t require staining or painting every few years. In fact, vinyl railings can look great for decades without any maintenance at all. Plus vinyl railings aren’t susceptible to dry rot or insect damage that often damage wood railings beyond repair.
Vinyl railings are designed to resist UV damage from the sun, so they don’t fade or yellow over time, the way other types of fencing can. That means that you can count on your fencing to retain its color for years to come.
Smooth Surface with No Splinters
Unlike wood railings that can crack and splinter over time, vinyl railings are smooth and comfortable on your hands. This makes them a great choice for homes with small children and pets.
Easy to Clean
A standard pressure washer can remove most dirt and even algae, mold or mildew from vinyl railings quite easily. Pressure-washing wood fencing often removes the paint or stain that protects the wood, along with the dirt, mold or mildew.
Stronger than Traditional Wood Railings
When made from premium, commercial-grade vinyl, vinyl railings are stronger than their wood counterparts. In fact, vinyl railings offer excellent impact protection and wind resistance, too.
While wood railings are highly flammable and can be dangerous near open fire pits, vinyl railings are very fire-resistant. This means more protection for your home if a fire starts in your yard or on your deck.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Railings
No Natural Patina
While one of the advantages of vinyl railings is that they don’t fade or change color over time, some homeowners like the natural patina (discoloration) that forms on wrought iron and wood railings over time. If you like a natural, worn look, you may want to consider other fencing materials that naturally discolor with age.
May Not Work Well with the Style of Older Homes
While vinyl railings are certainly attractive, they don’t always offer the same air of elegance that traditional wood or metal railings offer. In fact, some vinyl fencing styles can look too new or even a little out of place when used for older homes or homes with vintage styling. While it is possible to find styles that work with older homes, the available styles are limited.
Limited Color Choices
While wood and metal railings can both be painted in a dizzying array of colors, the color choices for vinyl railings are somewhat limited. Due to their smooth surface, vinyl railings do not take paint well, so adding color later is usually not an option.
As you can see, deciding whether vinyl railings are right for your home depends on a number of factors. If you’re looking for attractive, durable railings that are easy to clean and don’t require much maintenance, vinyl railings might be the perfect fit. On the other hand, if you have your heart set on a specific color, want railings that naturally weather over time, or love the elegance and style of wood or metal railings, vinyl railings might not be the best choice.
No matter what you decide, Elite Outdoor Expressions is here to help you find the best railed fencing for your home. We offer both vinyl railings and elegantly styled aluminum railings that work well for a wide variety of homes. Plus, we offer professional installation throughout Lancaster, Lebanon, York, West Chester, or Allentown, PA. Stop by our showroom today to see our selection and decide for yourself!