4 Low-Maintenance Fencing Options

Posted on: 14 December 2015

You don't have to choose a high-maintenance material like wood to have an exceptional fence. Many materials, like vinyl, composite, aluminum and chain link, look great and require little work to keep them in good condition. If you need a new fence but want something low-maintenance, check out these four possible options.


Yes, vinyl fences are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is plastic, but your fence won't look cheap and fake. PVC is a special kind of plastic that is strong, durable and extremely versatile. The vinyl can be molded to mimic the look of different types of wood, but because it is plastic, it may have a gleam that reveals its true nature.

Vinyl fences require little maintenance because their durability allows them to hold up well against the weather without protective paint or stain, and they aren't susceptible to rot. To maintain a vinyl fence, simply wash with water and soap when needed. In moist environments, mold and mildew can grow on the vinyl fence, but you can wash it with diluted bleach, soap, and hot water.


Composite fences are relatively new to the scene, but the material used to make them isn't. It's the same material used in composite decks, which have been around since about the 1990s. The material is crafted from recycled plastic (grocery bags, milk jugs, etc.) and wood shavings. This mixture is pressed together under high pressure, and resin holds the particles together. Because of the actual wood fibers in the material (and the molds used to craft them, which mimic wood), composite boards look almost like natural wood.

Composite fences are extremely durable and can withstand regular wear and tear well. Like vinyl, you don't have to paint or stain them, and they are resistant to rot and bugs. To clean the composite fence, use soap and water, and add diluted bleach for mold and mildew. Like all wood-based products, tannin leaching can occur if organic matter (plants) comes in contact with the wood, turning it a darker color. To prevent this, always remove organic debris from your fence.  


Iron and steel fences are a popular option because of their elegant beauty, but they require a lot of work to prevent the metal from rusting. Aluminum is a low-maintenance alternative to iron and steel fences. However, aluminum doesn't offer the same flexibility as composite and vinyl fences. You can typically only have a picket-style aluminum fence, not privacy.

The problem with iron and steel fences is that when they get scratched, they become vulnerable to rust. Aluminum doesn't rust, so if the fence gets scratched, you don't have to rush to fix it. To maintain your aluminum fence, simply spray the fence with hose or use soap and water if needed. You may have to occasionally add a fresh coat of paint, and make sure to keep plants from growing between the pickets, which may lead to structural damage.

Chain Link

Chain link fences may not be the prettiest fence you can choose, but they don't require much maintenance, and they create an excellent barrier for keeping pets and kids inside the yard. Plus, there are many options available for making your chain link fence look better, such as adding wooden posts or rails.

The metal used for chain link fences is galvanized, which means it won't rust, and you don't need to paint or stain them for protection. Cleaning is as easy as applying soap and water when needed. Some chain link fences come with a vinyl coating around the wires, which offers additional durability. The vinyl-coated chain link fences offer a softer feel, especially if you choose colors that will blend in to the surroundings, like green and brown.

If you're sick of all the work it takes to maintain your current fence, it's time to consider a low-maintenance option. These four choices require little work to keep them looking new. For more info, contact a fence contractor in your area today.