In 1835 the renowned French chemist Henri Victor Regnault left several flasks of vinyl chloride near an open window, exposing them to sunlight. When he returned some time later he was shocked to discover a white solid polymer inside the flasks. Regnault had discovered PVC. This primitive version of PVC was brittle, essentially a curiosity, and it was many more years before the commercial potential of the product was tapped. A talented B.F. Goodrich scientist named Waldo Semon took up the challenge, and in 1926 he successfully developed a process to plasticize PVC with a unique system of additives.
PVC‘s applications are legion, but nowhere is its use so visible and striking as it is in the fence and deck industry. A casual survey of any tastefully tended section of suburbia will bear this out. Perhaps the product’s greatest asset is its sheer endurance: PVC will still look like new long after wood has begun to age and flecks of rust have appeared on iron. Compare the warranties available for different materials to fully appreciate this feature. Lifetime guarantees are not unheard of for PVC fences–the same cannot be said for wood and iron.
Even better this longevity comes without any extra maintenance. As a matter of fact PVC requires less care than other common materials. Staining can extend the life of a wood deck and a professional repaint can add years onto the life of an iron fence–all PVC needs is an occasional wash with a garden hose and it’s back to looking like it did the day it was bought. It’s no surprise that PVC products are often billed as “Maintenance-Free”.
PVC is easy for your fence and deck company work with as well. A well-equipped shop is capable of producing PVC fences that match the look of their wood and iron counterparts to a “T”. PVC lattice, pickets and finials are all available, and can be combined with a dollop of healthy imagination to create some truly extraordinary and memorable designs.
All of these benefits come without an exorbitant price tag. Today’s factories are capable of churning out an impressive selection of profiles at record speeds. Each piece is as similar to its neighbour as two pins in a sewing kit-such is the industry’s enviable reputation when it comes to quality control. With the length of the warranties involved, it can’t be any other way. Economies of scale work their magic and the prime beneficiary is the consumer. The short story-PVC‘s pricing is competitive with other fence and deck materials.
Wood and iron fences are of course still popular–PVC isn’t so much replacing them as it is complimenting them in your favourite neighborhood. Never before has there been more choice when buying a fence or deck than there is today: it’s a great time to be a homeowner.