Standard galvanized steel chain link fences are prevalent all over the United States, in use in settings such as back yards, construction sites and tennis courts. Vinyl chain link fences may be considered the more attractive counterpart to these standard chain link fences. Vinyl chain link fences come in more colors than standard galvanized steel, and because of the protective vinyl coating, these fences may last longer as well.
Chain Link Defined
Chain link fences are fences made from a galvanized wire mesh wired to poles inserted in the ground. Chain link fences are most commonly silver in color. Vinyl chain link fences are made of traditional galvanized chain link fences with a vinyl coating. Vinyl mesh fences are typically available in black, green, brown and sometimes white.
How Long Do They Last?
Depending on many factors, including the local climate and the quality of the fence you purchase, a vinyl chain link fence may last anywhere from 15 to 25 years. When considering purchasing a fence, look for a company that offers a long warranty of 15 years. This warranty should guarantee against failure from rust and corrosion.
Chain link fences come in different gages. Chain link fences with a higher gage number are less expensive and lighter, and are more prone to sagging over time. Better-quality chain link fences are made from thicker materials and have a lower gage number. Vinyl chain link fences are measured in gages just like standard chain link fences, but because the gage is set after the vinyl coating is added, a vinyl coated fence needs a lower gage to have the same size wire core as standard galvanized fences. For example, the standard gage for galvanized chain link fences used in a residential setting falls around 11. The standard gage for a vinyl chain link fence for a residential setting is more like an 8 or 9.
Climate Is A Factor
The length of time that a vinyl coated chain link fence will last depends partially on the climate. Harsher climates with a lot of rain, snow and salt will take a toll on steel fences. A vinyl coated chain link fence may resist rust more than a standard galvanized chain link fence because the vinyl coating protects the wire core. For harsh climates, the galvanized steel core of the fence should be hot dipped galvanized to ensure its long life. Hot dip galvanizing is a process that creates a bonded alloy coating on the exterior of the mesh.
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