Vinyl fence panels are still relatively new arrivals in many areas. There are several makes in the marketplace. Because vinyl is susceptible to damage when it is cold, repairs are sometimes necessary. Here are the steps to replacing a vinyl fence panel.
Step 1 - Locate the Damaged Panel
Check the panel to see how much damage there is. If it is possible to replace an element in the panel, that would be the cheaper option. If the whole panel needs to be replaced you need to check how the panel is connected to the fence post.
Step 2 - Type of Fitting
There are two common methods of fitting fence panels in vinyl fencing.
The first is not much different to the way wooden panels are traditionally fitted using brackets. This is a much easier panel to replace because you only have to take off the fixing screws to remove and replace the panel. Don’t lose the screws when you remove them because replacement panels do not come with fasteners.
The second method of fitting the fence panels is to use clips that open when the panel is fully inserted so it can’t be pulled out again.
The clips open against the end of the socket the panel is inserted into. These clips, unfortunately, are deliberately designed so they cannot be depressed to allow the release of the panel. To open these clips you need to have two pieces of flat metal to insert into the slots the panel occupies. The metal will slide up to the location of the clips and allow you to pull the panel free by depressing the clips. Once you have done one joint you have to hold it open so it doesn’t latch closed again and do the same on the second joint. Fortunately, most panels are only held by two joints at each side.
Step 3 - Release the Other Side of the Panel
Using the same method, release the other side of the panel and remove it from the fence.
Step 4 - Fit the New Panel
Fitting the new panel is simply the reverse of removing the broken panel.
First, fit the panel to the brackets that are set in each fence post, and secure it with the screws or other fastener.
Second, fit the panel into the sockets in the posts and press them in until you hear the clips snap open.
Step 5 - Check the New Panels
Check to make sure the new panels are hanging correctly and are firmly fixed.
Vinyl fences are generally reliable, but they don’t have the flexibility of wood. This means that they do not do well in a collision. Sometimes something as simple as a warning notice or a couple of rocks can protect the new panel.