Why Use a Vinyl Fence or PVC Fence for Florida Hurricane Zones

Residential vinyl & PVC fences are great choices for hurricane fences in Florida

For South Florida & Central Florida homes, PVC or vinyl fences are oftentimes the best solution to many problems, first and foremost privacy and security, but also, as a resilient barrier in the face of extreme Florida weather patterns such as tropical storms or even hurricanes.

In the majority of Florida, our standard vinyl privacy fences are sufficiently strong enough to withstand relative hurricane wind exposure, but it more precarious areas such as the Florida keys or in Miami, a more robust product is often required by local building codes.

What is a Florida notice of acceptance, and how does it relate to hurricane zones and vinyl fencing?

Our manufacturer, Homeland, has obtained official high velocity hurricane zone (HVHZ) testing and certification for two vinyl fence configurations that can withstand even the most devastating Florida weather.

This product approval is commonly referred to as “notice of acceptance,” or “NOA” for short. An NOA for vinyl fencing in Florida HVHZ zones is required for vinyl fence installation projects that are located within these designated high velocity hurricane zones, and you will need to submit the engineering document with your permit as well as install the exact vinyl fence section depicted in the corresponding engineering document.

Example of Vinyl Fence Wind-Load Testing for HVHZ Notice of Acceptance approval:

Vinyl privacy fences vs. Florida hurricanes

  • Most susceptible to large wind-loads, but also the most commonly approved style for HVHZ zones
  • Smarter to use approved models with larger and thicker 2″ x 7″ rail
  • Metal inserts required in rails and in posts, leading to a much more expensive material cost

Vinyl semi-privacy fences vs. Florida hurricanes

  • The slight separation between pickets allows for increased wind-flow, and therefore less stress on the system
  • Much more rarely included with NOA approvals, but varies greatly between individual vinyl fence companies
  • * we do not have NOA certification for this style

Vinyl picket fences vs. Florida hurricanes

  • The large separation between pickets allows for far more wind flow in comparison to other styles but also uses thinner profiles
  • Much more rarely included with NOA approvals, but varies greatly between individual vinyl fence companies
  • * we do not have NOA certification for this style

Vinyl fence panels are designed to blow out or bend instead of break during high wind-load

Since vinyl privacy fence panels are construction with a tongue & groove picket + picket rail system, they are not completely immovable during stress. The components have a certain amount of clearance between direct contact, and also are made from flexible PVC, or polyvinyl chloride which allows for a certain degree of bend that other fencing styles, like wood, do not feature.

After a hurricane you will typically see wood fences as the primary casualty vs. hurricanes, whereas vinyl fences may just lose a few components but maintain the overall structure.

Replacing these lost components instead of having to replace the entire fence can save you thousands of dollars over the span of time that your fence is erect.

PVC fence profiles are impact resistant

During the co-extrusion process when PVC profiles are being created, impact modification chemicals are injected into the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) mixture in order to fortify the profile against physical impacts. Hurricanes are dangerous not only due to the large wind load in excess of 75mph, but also due to the projectiles that a result of the winds force onto smaller objects.

Garden decorations, small foliage, tree branches, and any number of smaller objects can be picked up by the hurricane winds, and then launched into the surface of your vinyl fence, leading to severe damage in some cases. Impact modification during the manufacturing process attempts to limit this damage by strengthening the chemical composition in the product’s infancy.

More questions about hurricane zone fencing in florida? Contact us today!