When you think about patio covers, the last thing you consider is vinyl. That is understandable, considering that you rarely see this type of material used for the structure.
You may find wood, metal, stainless steel, and concrete patio covers but never vinyl. Why is that? Perhaps people are not as keen about choosing synthetic human-made plastic because of some misconceptions regarding vinyl patio covers.
Deck and patio construction is big business in America. For example, in 2019, the industry is projected to hit $783 million, with more than 4,000 companies operating across the country and employing over 6,000 employees. The market has a compound annual growth rate of 3.0 percent.
Nevertheless, here are some of the misconceptions about vinyl:
- Vinyl is not sturdy. It is the most common myth surrounding vinyl patio covers that they are not strong enough to withstand any weather conditions. This type of material does not warp like wood or bend like metal. Unlike wood, ants, wasps, and termites cannot bore into vinyl, so you would not encounter insect infestation. The only drawback is its limited color options. However, you can paint the material with acrylics if you want unique shades.
- Vinyl cannot withstand the weather elements. Your vinyl patio covers are meant to shield you from the sun and rain. But people still doubt whether the material can handle extreme weather. It is time to put those fears to bed. For instance, there is no way that vinyl will melt under the sun. The PVC will warp at temperatures of 197 degrees Fahrenheit. It also starts to get soft at 129 degrees Fahrenheit. How about in cold temperatures? The material begins to get brittle at -10 degrees Celsius. However, nothing will happen unless you deliberately strike it with a hammer. Just for the record, the hottest temperature on record in Orange County is 117 degrees.
- Vinyl is extremely flammable. What most people do not know is that vinyl plastic is designed to be flame-resistant. Research shows that it is even more resistant to fire compared to wood. Even if another source of fire is present, PVC will not spark until it reaches temperatures of 730 degrees Fahrenheit. It also would not ignite by itself until it hits 850 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, compare that to wood, which is susceptible to fire at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. So, blaming vinyl for house fires is highly irresponsible.
- Vinyl does not last long. It is another myth that, unfortunately, still exists today. People think that vinyl patio covers do not last long. However, research studies on lumber and PVC vinyl fences showed that the latter outlasted the wooden counterpart. For instance, wooden fences seldom last as long as 20 years when exposed to the elements. In contrast, the vinyl would not start to disintegrate after a maximum of 50 years.
Those are the common misconceptions about PVC vinyl. Unfortunately, the pervasiveness of these myths has caused damage to the industry. And if you need an extra reason why you should choose vinyl for your patio cover, consider this: the material is way cheaper compared to wood, aluminum, and steel.