Are Garage PVC Wall Panels Any Good? (10 Interesting Facts To Know!)
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Are Garage PVC Wall Panels Any Good?
Drywall is the most popular sheathing material for garage walls followed by plywood, OSB and Fiber Cement Boards. PVC Wall Panels for your Garage is an option but are Garage PVC Wall Panels any good?
Garage PVC Wall Panels are excellent when used as Finishing over Drywall or as Slatwall Garage Wall Organizer. PVC Wall Panels can be used as an alternative to traditional sheathing if you are on a budget, but it is not the best choice.
Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), also referred simply as Vinyl, is a type of plastic. PVC is a durable thermoplastic made from ethylene in crude oil and chlorine in sea salt. The Vinyl Chloride Monomer is polymerized, through a series of chemical processes, to create PVC resin.
PVC is used extensively as a building material in the construction industry. Piping, Siding, Doors & Window Frames, Fencing, etc. The list is endless.
In this post I explain 10 important & helpful facts about Garage PVC Wall Panels that are worth knowing so that you can make your own decision.
1. Are Garage PVC Wall Panels Waterproof?
Rigid PVC is certainly waterproof. The waterproof property of PVC is an important reason most plumbing pipes are now made out of rigid PVC.
Flexible PVC is waterproof too. Guess what raincoats and shower curtains are made of? That’s right, PVC!
From a chemical composition point of view, PVC gets its waterproof property from the fact that a Vinyl Chloride molecule does not have an OH group.
Garages, especially detached garages, are often damp places. Garage PVC Wall Panels help provide the waterproofing required.
Using Garage PVC Wall Panels to cover the entire drywall of a garage wall helps make it waterproof. Alternatively you can use it as wainscoting panels to cover just the bottom one third of the drywall to protect it from water flooding on the garage floor.
2. Are Garage PVC Wall Panels Fire Resistant?
The flammability of a thermoplastic material is measured and expressed as Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI). LOI is the minimum %age of Oxygen (in an Oxygen-Nitrogen mixture) that will sustain flame on the thermoplastic material. Once they start burning, they produce flammable gases & smoke that can fuel a fire further.
Many plastics such as Poly Propylene (PP) and Polystyrene have an LOI of 17-18 making them highly flammable. Rigid PVC, on the other hand, is Fire Resistant as it has an LOI of 40-45.
Having said that, PVC will structurally fail much before it catches fire. PVC ignites at 750°F (399°C) but the maximum service temperature for PVC is only 140°F (60°C). PVC Wall Panels will therefore not comply with Section R302.6 of The 2021 International Residential Code (IRC).
3. Are Garage PVC Wall Panels Weather Resistant?
PVC has poor weatherability as it will soften as temperatures rise but become hard & brittle when temperatures drop. PVC softens above 140°F (60°C) and becomes brittle at around 32°F (0°C)
PVC also degrades when exposed to UV radiation from the sun. The degradation is not heavy but PVC Siding will certainly fade & lose its gloss on exposure.
4. Are PVC Wall Panels Chemical Resistant?
PVC has high resistance to many acids, salts, corrosives, bases, fats, and alcohols.
However, PVC has very poor resistance to most solvents & chlorinated hydrocarbons. As these are likely to be present in a garage, PVC Wall Panels must be used with caution, if at all.
5. Are PVC Wall Panels Pest Resistant?
PVC has very high resistance to all types of pests, as it can not be eaten by Insects, such as termites or beetles, that eat cellulose based sheathing such as wood, plywood, OSB, etc. PVC also has very high resistance to growth of organic life forms, such as mold, mildew, fungus, etc. as it is moisture resistant.
6. Are Garage PVC Wall Panels Durable?
Garage PVC Wall Panels are very durable. Indoors, they last for 40 – 50 years, which is the life of a typical garage. The fact that PVC Panels are both Water & Fire Resistant, already gives them a head start over other sheathing materials.
PVC Wall Panels are highly durable because PVC
- Does not rot like wood or wood based products
- Does not rust like iron, steel or even aluminum does
- Does not disintegrate like drywall when wet
7. Are PVC Wall Panels Easy to Install?
A great advantage of PVC panels is that installation is a really easy DIY project. This is because PVC Panels:
- Are very light
- Can be cut with a stanley knife or a handsaw
- Can be fixed using adhesives or countersunk screws
- Come with a tongue and groove profile
8. Do PVC Panels Look Good or Bad?
Aesthetics is such a matter of personal choice that it is impossible to answer this question.
If beauty means good clean lines, a surface that is smooth and spotless, then you will find PVC panels beautiful. But if you are looking for your garage walls to have a natural and cozy look & feel, then garage PVC wall panels will not satisfy you.
9. Are PVC Wall Panels Easy to Clean?
It is extremely easy to clean PVC wall panels because they are so smooth and non-porous. Almost nothing sticks to it and spills & stains can not penetrate the surface. Some dust may accumulate but it comes off very easily.
To keep your garage PVC wall panels looking as good as new, just use a damp cloth and a mild cleaning agent to wipe the panels occasionally.
10. Are PVC Wall Panels Expensive?
Very basic PVC wall panels are not expensive. They are in fact a bit cheaper than fiber cement boards. However, they can get a bit pricey if you are looking for great looks or storage functionality.
The Best Way to Use PVC Panels for Garage Walls
In my view the best way to use PVC Wall Panels in a garage is to use slatwalls so that you can use it for storage. Further this way it goes on top of drywall and you get the best of both worlds.
PVC Slatwall is an excellent add on to a Drywall garage wall to help you organize the storage of garage tools, gardening equipment, camping gear etc.
You can take look at Proslat Heavy Duty PVC Slatwall Garage Organizer.
Art3D has some cool options. They are so beautiful you can use them in your home too! Check out Art3d Navy Blue 3D Wall Panel PVC Slim Wave.
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.