The chain link fabric that makes up your fence is going to be the part that does the actual work of a fence. Keeping out predators, keeping pets in, or holding up to weather is what the actual fabric of the chain link does. The chain link fabric is the wiring that makes up the links for your enclosure. The type of fabric that is being used will determine the overall strength and weight of the fence. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right chain link fabric for your needs.
1. Strength is Tops in Choosing Fabric
Chain link fabric comes in several different wire gauges to determine the different strength capabilities. These gauges are 13, 12 1/2, 11 1/2, 11, 9, and 6. The higher numbers are the thinner, weaker chain link fabric. When choosing a chain link fence, look at the number of the fabric gauge so you do not purchase one that is too weak. Recent studies by the CLFMI have shown that lower gauge fabric will fail when a heavy animal (around 90 to 100 lbs.) or a child (approx. 60 to 75 lbs.) throw their weight against it.
2. Think about Your Needs
When putting up a chain link fence there are different types of applications that will determine the overall fabric choice. You may only need to have a temporary fence that requires only a 13 to 11 1/2 gauge wire. This type of fence is good for a temporary shelter for small dogs, or chickens. It should not be a permanent application. The heavier gauges, 11 to 9 are good for fencing in a small yard where you want to keep animals in and children protected. Before you buy the fencing material, make sure the fabric lines up with your needs.
3. Look at the Mesh in Fabric
The diamond patterns that you see in the chain link fence is called the mesh. This mesh is important for several reasons. The most important being if the mesh is too large, then animals can either slip through or get stuck in it. This can cause injury to the animal and damage to the fence itself. Think about the use of your fence, and then determine the size of the mesh that you will need.
4. Check the Coating of Chain Link Fabric
Another aspect to think about when buying a chain link fence is the coating of the fabric. There are a few different types of coating that you can consider. The first, and most popular form of chain link fabric coating is zinc. This coating is a great protector of the fence. The amount of zinc that is on the fabric will determine the amount of protection. Another type of coating is an aluminum coating. This does not have as much protective qualities as the zinc, but is quite strong.
5. Color of Chain Link Fabric
Besides the structural qualities of the chain link fabric, you will also want to make a choice on color. There are many improvements made in the field of chain link fences and coatings. You do not have to have the basic silver. Vinyl coating is available in many different shades for aesthetics and decorations.