Many people choose chain-link fencing as a perimeter barrier, because its generally more economical than other types of fencing. Consumers should consider several factors when choosing to erect a chain-link fence.
Chain Link Fence Parts
Chain-link fences include a number of components, such as the steel mesh, framework, and gate. The steel mesh is the most recognizable portion of the fence, consisting of intertwined steel wires forming the borders of diamond shapes. The framework consists of the posts, toprail, connecting bands and other supporting elements.
Finally, the gate controls access through the fence. Gates may consist of swinging or sliding driveway gates, or pedestrian gates. Quality in fences may be measured by sturdiness and aesthetic appeal. As with most items, quality is directly proportional to cost.
Chain Link Fencing Construction Materials
The strength of a chain-link fence and thus, its ability to withstand pressure depend on its mesh density, and gauge. The strength of the fence increases with a tighter, denser mesh. Thicker wiring, measured as "gauge," also increases the strength of the fence, ranging from values of 13 to 6. Consumers should note that smaller measurements in gauge indicate a stronger wire strength.
A gauge of 13 may be suitable for a temporary fence, while a gauge of 6 is very expensive and is not commonly used for most residential purposes. It is also important to note that links protruding from the bottoms and tops of fences may be sharp and many recommend blunting the edges or joining the protruding links to form wedges or "knuckles".
Although gray steel prevails as the image most people hold of chain-link fences and a structurally sound fence is based on its steel wiring, consumers may select from many choices to coat the steel mesh. Zinc galvanization provides a popular coating as it helps to prevent rust by adhering to exposed areas, however it is not durable. The steel may be galvanized before or after being woven into a mesh; however, post-weave galvanization ensures a higher level of coating.
The consumer should weigh these options balanced against the cost of the fence. In contrast to zinc, aluminum may also be used to coat fences as it lasts longer than zinc, however small breakages in the aluminum coating will likely lead to rust and also greatly reduces the fence's aesthetic appeal. Polymer coverings, such as vinyl, are also used in many cases. As polymer coatings offer more colors to the consumer, they may be more versatile as a landscaping element thus and may be desirable in cases where aesthetics override other concerns.
Framework for Chain Link Fences
The strength of the framework also depends on the diameter of the post. Wider posts contribute to strength of fences, with typical posts range from 13/8" to 23/8". The quality of the steel represents another important measure.
Residential frameworks should be made from steel with strength measured at least 45,000 pounds per square inch; however, experts advise not to sacrifice the tensile strength of the fence for a greater post diameter. Fittings, such as nuts, bolts, and bands should be galvanized like the steel mesh to prevent corrosion.
Aesthetics of a Chain Link Fence
The fence will be part of the yard and consumers should consider how the fence will relate to its surroundings. Other elements may include grass, trees, shrubbery, water features such as fountains and pools, statuary, and gate. If the fence, due to its lack of aesthetic qualities, detracts from the rest of the yard, then the appearance of the property suffers.
One method of ameliorating this problem is to hide the fence behind tall, dense bushes. Nevertheless, you should check with your community's zoning laws to ensure that your fence does not violate zoning regulations.