Chain Link 101: All You Need To Know About Chain Link Fences

If you have pets or kids that need a fenced in yard, chain link is an economical and easy way to keep them safe in your backyard. In this article, learn the benefits of chain link, what types of chain link fencing are available, and how easy repair and maintenance can be.

The Advantages of Chain Link

Chain link fencing is a very popular option for both residential and commercial uses. For homeowners, chain link can provide a safe barrier between children and pets and the outside world.

The most significant advantages of chain link fencing include:

  • Affordability. Chain link fences are much less expensive than wood, vinyl or other fencing materials.
  • Durability. Chain link fences are constructed of galvanized steel, which can last for many, many years – even under the most severe weather conditions.
  • Low maintenance. Whether you choose plain galvanized or vinyl coated chain link fencing, there is little to no maintenance required.
  • Easy installation. Any experienced, do-it-yourself guru can install chain link fencing.

In addition, unlike wooden fences, chain link isn’t vulnerable to termite damage or damage caused by other animals. It can also stand up against severe weather better. It also doesn’t require painting, staining or sanding.

Types of Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fencing comes in a variety of sizes and styles. The quality of chain link fencing is determined by:

  • How much steel is used in its construction.
  • What type of coating is used.
  • How well it is installed.
  • What type of ties are used to attach the fabric to the framework.

The wire thickness and “diamond sizes” of the chain link determines how strong the fence is. The fabric can weigh as much as 141.2 pounds, and as little as 76.2 pounds on a five foot tall fence.

The gauge of the chain link can vary widely, but the most common gauges are 9 and 11.5. Lower gauge numbers indicate thicker metal. For example, 9 gauge chain link is used more often in commercial fences because it is stronger.

The framework also plays a role in strength, with different diameters, thicknesses and post lengths available.

Chain link fences are available in different styles. All chain link fencing is galvanized steel, but it is also available with a vinyl coating, available in different colors. Galvanized and vinyl-coated chain link are both typically guaranteed for 10 to 15 years against corrosion. Galvanized steel does begin to rust after that warranty and the vinyl-coated fencing may begin to chip, peel and fade.

Other than style, the most significant difference between galvanized and vinyl-coated fencing is cost. Vinyl-coated material costs, on average, about $1.50 more per foot.

Maintenance and Repair

Chain link fences from a place like Quality Chain Link Fencing are nearly maintenance free, but some minimal cleaning and minor repairs can ensure a long life for your fence.

Cleaning chain link, whether it is vinyl-coated or the plain galvanized version, requires only water. On occasion and for tougher messes or stains, you may need to scrub with a soft bristle brush and soapy water.

Repairs can be just as simple. If you plan to do your own repairs, you’ll want to have access to the following tools:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Pliers
  • Hearing & eye protection

Common causes for needed repairs include cut or damaged chain link and bent top rails. Doing these repairs is as simple as cutting out the affected sections and replacing them. Deciding to make your own repairs can save you a lot of money. For example, if you hire a professional to repair a top rail, it will cost you about $150 plus the cost of materials. If you’re mechanically inclined, you can do the work on your own for about $60.

Use the information in this article to help select the type of chain link fence you want to install. Chain link is a great, inexpensive and virtually maintenance-free option to keep your kids and pets safe in their own backyard.

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