Chain link fence consists of two elements – fabric and framework. The fabric is the wire mesh while the framework is the series of posts and rails which support the fabric.
Fabric falls into four main categories:
- Aluminized – Steel wire is coated with aluminum by being passed through a bath of molten aluminum metal.
- Aluminum – 100% aluminum alloy wire.
- Galvanized (or “Zinc Coated”) – Steel wire is coated with zinc either before or after being woven into fabric. If it is coated prior to being woven, it is called “GBW” which stands for “Galvanized Before Weaving”. If it is coated after being woven into fabric, it is called “GAW” which stands for “Galvanized After Weaving”.
- Vinyl Coated – Galvanized steel wire is coated with poly vinyl chloride (PVC). This fabric comes in a variety of colors such as black, brown, ensor green, or woodlawn green. (Ensor is a forest green while woodlawn is an olive green.)
For residential installations, Pro Max recommends either galvanized or vinyl-coated fabrics. Both are affordable and allow the homeowner to choose what works best for his property.
When picking a chain link fabric, keep in mind that the smaller a fabric’s gauge the stronger and more expensive the fabric. For example, 9-gauge fabric is stronger than 11-gauge fabric. If you want long term durability, choose the 9-gauge. If you have a tight budget, choose the 11-gauge.
Another factor which affects the strength and price of fabric is its mesh size. Mesh size is the diagonal measurement of the openings in the fabric. For example, most residential chain link fences use a fabric with a two-inch mesh. The smaller the mesh size the more durable and expensive the fabric. For example, choose a 1”-mesh for higher durability. Or, choose the standard 2”-mesh for a lower cost.
Framework consists of the posts and rails which support the fabric. These posts and rails are made up of pipe.
Pipe comes in a wide variety of sizes and strengths to meet every budget. In brief, the wall thickness of the pipe determines the strength of the pipe. For example, SS40 pipe is stronger than SS20 pipe.
Framework is available in galvanized finishes and vinyl-coated finishes to mix or match with the fabric of your choice.
A final decision when choosing your chain link fence is whether or not you want top rail and/or bottom rail. If you want durability or need to keep in a large dog, please ask your estimator to price adding top and/or bottom rail to your chain link fence.