Chainlink is one of the most popular fence materials on the market. Its popularity primarily stems from its low price point and its ease of installation due to the material’s flexibility. Chain-link fence adapts to almost any terrain comfortably.
Chainlink material’s wide range of heights makes it suitable for a variety of applications. The shorter heights are commonly used in residential applications, while taller fences are mostly selected for commercial use due to the increased level of security that more fence height can offer. Chain link is also ideal for projects that will cross long stretches of land that do not require aesthetic pleasing attributes such as rear perimeters of military bases or any large government installations.
Chainlink fence fabrics gauges are varied by application. “Gauge” refers to the measured diameter of the actual woven fabric metal. The higher the gauge number the less thick the metal is. For instance, 11 ½ gauge chainlink is used for residential fences where children or pets are a concern, while 9 gauge chainlink is used in commercial or business applications where a higher level of security is needed. Fences gauges vary extensively, but 9 and 11 ½ gauges are the most common on the market.
When it comes to galvanized and vinyl coated chain link fence, the only true difference is that a vinyl coating is actually sealed around the metal. Therefore, the metal of the fence is already galvanized when the vinyl is sealed over it, making the material better equipped to handle weathering. The galvanized fence without vinyl covering will rust over time.
Both fence materials are similar in terms of their sturdiness and structural longevity. Standard galvanized chain link usually carrier a 10 to 15 year warranty against rust and corrosion and meets SATM specification 392 and federal specifications R.R.F.-191. Black vinyl coated chain link usually carries a 10 to 15 year manufacturer warranty against chipping, pealing, and fading and is virtually maintenance free.
When it comes down to it, both fences are similar in many respects, but if visual aesthetics is a key factor in deciding on what fence application is right for your fence project, vinyl coated chain-link stands above its non-coated counterpart. However, if a more “industrial” appearance is needed, then a bare galvanized fence material would be more likely to meet that requirement. When it comes to price point between the two, the vinyl-coated material can increase fence cost by a minimal amount per foot.
Article contributed by Michael Fugere.