Chain link fences are popular fencing options for industrial use as well as for some residential uses. Actually, not every chain link fence is the same, so understanding fences differences is important to select the right one. Whether you need a new one installed or an existing one repaired, knowing the different qualities and uses for fences is essential for making the right fencing purchase.
Chain Link Pros and Cons
There is no doubt that chain link fences are strong, durable, and efficient for certain fencing needs; however, along with the positives do come with some negatives. On the plus side, they are strong and can withstand weather, snow and ice and not be damaged by the sun. Chain link comes in various heights and thicknesses and can be erected quickly and efficiently.
On the flip side, chain link fences are not very attractive, making them better suited for industrial use. They are easy to climb and can offer little privacy unless plastic is woven through the mesh to create a visual barrier. Although they are very strong with galvanized mesh, the fencing material can corrode after a while. Once this happens, they begin to lose strength.
Different Chain Link Fence Qualities
- Gauge - This fence is made from wire woven into a metal mesh fabric. A lower gauge wire is thicker and stronger than a higher gauge. For industrial applications, a gauge of at least 9 is recommended, while a gauge of 11 or slightly higher may be sufficient for residential fences.
- Wire Coatings - Chain link is usually galvanized by applying coatings to the core of steel wire in three different ways: hot-dipped after the fabric is women (GAW), coated before the mesh is woven (GBW), and coated before weaving with aluminized mesh. GAW is less expensive but tends to leave a rougher coat that may include drips and pieces of the zinc coating. Besides galvanized or aluminum coatings, some fences may be coated in PVC before weaving. Vinyl coated mesh is best suited for residential applications. Green is the most common color, although it can be ordered in almost any color.
Chain Link Fence Residential Uses
There are many attractive choices for residential fencing, making it suitable in some residential applications. Vinyl coated mesh is useful as an enclosure around swimming pools; fenced-in dog runs; and for use in small yards where blocked-out sunlight or too little space is a concern. Plastic strips woven through the wire mesh is a way to improve the appearance and privacy of existing chain link fences. When safe containment of kids and pets is a priority, chain link fences can also be installed inside of a wood fence.
The important considerations to make when deciding on chain link fences is how and where they will be used. Discuss any fencing needs with a local fence service before making a purchase to ensure the fence chosen is appropriate for the desired application. An experienced fence company should be able to provide good fencing advice about the most up-to-date products available in chain link fence installation!