Chainlink fence comes in a range of heights that make it suitable for a variety of applications. The shorter heights are commonly used in residential settings to reduce view obstructions. Taller fences are most often selected for commercial use because of the increased level of security that more height can offer.
Chainlink fence fabrics are also available in different gauges. Gauge is the measure of the diameter of the actual woven fabric metal. These sizes can vary widely, but 9 and 11½ gauges are the markets most common. The higher the gauge number the less thick the metal is, therefore the smaller 11½ gauge is used for residential fences where the family children or pets are the concern. A more durable 9-gauge material is used when a higher level of security is needed. This is more often the case for commercial or business applications.
The only difference between galvanized and vinyl coated chainlink is that a vinyl coating is sealed around the metal. So, the metal under the vinyl is actually already galvanized then the vinyl is placed around it. This is important in our question of which is better, because it makes it pretty easy to determine which one is better equipped to handle weathering over time. That would, of course, be the coated material. Standard galvanized chainlink will begin to rust over time.
Galvanized and coated materials are similar in terms of their sturdiness and longevity. Galvanized chainlink usually carries a 10 to 15 year warranty against rust and corrosion. The fence is maintenance free, does not require painting, and meets SATM specification 392 and federal specification R.R.F.-191. Black vinyl chainlink usually carries a 10 to 15 year manufacturer warranty against chipping pealing and fading and it is virtually maintenance free.
The main difference between coated or uncoated galvanized chainlink is the final appearance of the fence. One of the major advantages of any chainlink fence is its somewhat transparent (able to be seen through) design. However, it does not completely disappear to the eye. Because of this, the consumer must think about how they want their final project to look. Galvanized fence tends to leave a more rough or “industrial” appearance. While vinyl presents an overall cleaner appearance and may even blend into the surroundings depending on the coating color selected. This may be the main reason why many higher end project leaders lean toward the coated material. This will, of course, affect the final cost of the fence. The vinyl-coated material can increase the cost about $1.50 per foot on a 6-foot high fence. The final decision can really boil down to whether the purchaser wants a nicer look or a less expensive fence.