History of Vinyl in Outdoor Construction
Even though many people think of vinyl as a modern building product, vinyl has been used successfully as a building product for many decades.
Discovery and Early Uses
Polyvinyl chloride was discovered in the late 1800′s. According to several sources, PVC pipe produced and installed in housing in central Germany in the mid 1930′s survives and is in use today.
Our suppliers have been extruding vinyl pipe since the late 1950′s, and have been extruding UV stabilized vinyl since the late 1960′s.
Vinyl fencing has been in use since the late 1970′s, when the only design available was the classic “ranch rail”, and it was typically used on farms and pastures by people who were friends with irrigation pipe manufacturers.
The idea of ultra low maintenance has always been a driving force in building product development. Soon many other styles, designs and products were developed, including privacy fence, semi privacy fence, picket fence, railings, swinging and rolling gates, arbors and gazebos, as well as patio covers, decking and pergolas.
The desire for more styles and products created the need for more and more profile sizes, designs, and colors, as well as a variety of brackets, caps, reinforcements, and accessories, and the trend continues today.
The vinyl fencing and patio cover market continues to grow and gain market share at the expense of wood, which has dropped in quality over the years.
There are many questions and opinions regarding vinyl building products, and as with many products, there is a lot of misinformation.
As you browse our website, you will find educational facts that are based on many decades of experience.
Robert Walker (P.E., Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association) writes, “From 1936 to 1939 over 400 residences were installed with PVC drinking water and waste pipelines in central Germany. Various test pipelines of PVC were laid in Leipzig, Dresden, Magdeburg, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Heidelberg and Wiesbaden during the period of 1936 to 1941. Both the pipelines for chemicals and those for water supply and waste water came up to expectations, as did the test pipelines in the cities mentioned above, apart from damage caused by World War II. The PVC pipes installed in central Germany are still in use today without any major problems.”*
* source: The Early History of PVC Pipe