Metal Fencing - Durable Fence Choice
Metal fencing is a popular choice for many reasons: durability, strength, longevity, a large selection of choices, and the ability to provide views through the fence without sacrificing protection.
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Some common metal fences include:
- Chain link
- Wire and wire mesh
- Wrought iron
Some metal fence styles are ornamental, while others are purely functional. Chain link, wire and wire mesh are generally considered functional metal fences. Considerations for these fences include choosing proper gauge (thickness) of fence components to assure proper protections; fence height, fence support, and the fence's purpose (Do you want to keep animals or children in? Or keep animals or children out?). Based on the fence's purpose, be sure that heads, hands, paws or hooves cannot get stuck in the fence openings, and that they are both high enough and laterally strong enough to assure containment..
Ornamental metal fencing like wrought iron and Aluminum can perform the tasks of the functional fences, but have the added value of adding architectural beauty to their list of benefits. Considerations include fence height, ornamentation details, and topography, as fence installation techniques vary with ground slope.
You should be aware that installing ornamental fence is often not a do-it-yourself project, as it can require specialized metalworking skills, as well as skills in installing fence components in conjunction with other structural elements (brick, concrete, or stone).
Metal fencing, like all fencing, needs protection from the environment.
Some common protectants include:
- Galvanization, which is an electroplated layer (usually zinc) over the structural steel of the fence
- Powder coating, which is a paint-like powder that is applied to the fence, and industrially baked to a hard glossy finish. Powder coating can be applied in a large variety of colors.
- PVC coating, which is a plastic coating over the fence components
- Paint specifically designed to cover metal.
Proper maintenance of metal fence is a key to its effectiveness. Repair broken wire promptly, and strengthen any supports that are bent or broken.