Galvanized versus Vinyl Chain Link Fence: Is there a difference?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin

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Tue, Oct 01, 2013

 

chain-link fence vinylChainlink fence is one of the most popular types of fence used in today’s market. This particular fence material is very flexible and ease of installation is a definite chainlink strong point in a variety of applications. A project where the proposed fenced terrain is not flat is an instance where chainlink is the perfect solution. This popularity stems in part from chain link’s relatively inexpensive price.

Chainlink is also ideal for projects that will cross long stretches of terrain that do not require any beautification, like the rear perimeter of military bases or any large government installation.


chain link fences

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. 

The only difference between galvanized and vinyl coated chainlink is that a vinyl coating is sealed around the metal. The metal under the vinyl chainlink is actually already galvanized then the vinyl is placed around it. This 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.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. These sizes are usually 48' chainlink or 4 feet chainlink. Taller fences are most often selected for commercial use because of the increased level of security that more height can offer. The heights for these fences are 6 foot chainlink and they go up to 8 feet high chainlink.

Galvanized and coated fence 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 virtually maintenance free. It does not require painting and meets ASTM specification 392 and federal specification R.R.F.-191. Black vinyl chainlink usually carries a ten to fifteeen year manufacturer warranty against chipping pealing and fading. And, it is also maintenance free.

Chainlink fence fabrics are also available in different gauges. The fence 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 and prison fence jobs.

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 design. But it does not completely disappear to the eye. So, 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.

chainlink vinyl fence

This may be the main reason why many higher end projects 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 more polished look or a less expensive fence
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Topics: Fence Design, Residential Fence Choices, Commercial Fence, Fence, Prison Fence