Composite fencing is a great choice for any home. Not only does composite fencing add a sense of privacy to your outdoor space, but it also creates a luxurious finish that your neighbours are guaranteed to be jealous of. When customers speak to us about composite fencing, they’re often concerned about whether it will fade over time. Here, we’ve answered all of our most popular customer queries. What causes fading? Almost all composite fencing boards will fade slightly after being exposed to the elements. It’s not a cause for concern though – it’s a completely natural process and it’s something that you should expect to occur. The fading process happens because natural wood oils called tannins are used in the manufacturing process. These tannins are dark brown in colour and are used to ensure that all the panels are the same colour. However, when fence panels are exposed to the great British weather, some of the tannins will slowly leach out of the boards. Some people refer to this process as ‘extractive bleeding’. As a direct result of this process, your composite fencing will lighten slightly. The extractive bleeding process occurs no matter which colour you opt for. However, it’s usually most noticeable when you choose a lighter colour. How long does the fading process last? How long the fading process will last generally depends on the weather conditions and the time of year that you install the fencing. However, you can expect it to last for around 8-16 weeks. That said, if you install your fencing in the height of summer and don’t experience much rain, then it may take around six months for all of the natural wood oils to wash out. Should I expect watermarks? When the tannins leach out, you may notice that watermarks appear towards the base of your fence panels. You’ll usually spot these after a prolonged period of rain. Again, these marks are nothing to be worried about. After the boards have been wet and have dried out again several times, these marks should disappear completely. You should stop noticing any marks within six months. However, if you’d like them to disappear quicker than this, you can speed up the process by washing your fencing with water and allowing it to dry several times. Will UV damage my fencing after the first six months? After the first six months, the extractive bleeding process should stop completely. After this, your composite fencing panels will be subject to the standard weathering caused by UV rays. However, most composite fencing panels contain a UV stabiliser. This means that any colour changes should be incredibly minor, and you most likely won’t notice any change at all. Should I paint my composite fence? Although you can paint your composite fence, it’s not generally something we’d recommend. Any fading caused by UV or extractive bleeding should be relatively minor and may not even be noticeable at all. One of the main benefits of composite fencing is that it requires very little maintenance. So we recommend that you simply wipe the fencing down regularly with water and a cloth. This way, you can stop any mud or debris from damaging the fence. Composite fencing provides a low maintenance alternative to timber fencing. Although some fading should be expected, it’s a completely natural process – your fence will still look beautiful and won’t need to be re-stained or re-painted. If you’re unsure which colour of composite fencing is best for you, take a look at the options on our website. We’re proud to stock a wide range of composite fence boards, fence panels and accessories, and even composite gate boards. On the other hand, if you’ve got any questions or need any advice, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01282 677300 to talk to a friendly member of our team, and we’ll be only too happy to see how we can help.