A wrought iron fence can be used in various applications both residential and commercial. Wrought iron is an iron alloy that has a very low amount of carbon in it, making it similar, in some ways, to steel. Below are some of the benefits and consequences of using wrought iron fences.
Con – Expensive
While wrought iron fences can provide many different looks from elegant to rustic, the look comes with a price. Wrought iron, because of its material and the difficulty involved in producing it, is more expensive than wood and vinyl fencing. Additionally, one may find it slightly more expensive to install it as well, especially if the design of the wrought iron is custom made.
Pro – More Durable
Wrought iron fencing is much stronger than other common fencing materials such as wood or vinyl. Because wrought iron is so hard to break, it is better than many other fences for security purposes. The durability also means that wrought iron fences will last much long than other fences. For the most part, these fences are easy to maintain especially if they are painted. Paint will keep the tiny pits that may form in the metal from collecting substances that may cause them to corrode.
Con – Will Show Weather Damage Over Time
There are conflicting studies about whether wrought iron is better or worse than other iron alloys at resisting corrosion. Either way the fact remains: if a wrought iron fence is weathered long enough, it will begin to corrode. Rust on wrought iron is particularly hard to deal with because of the slag in the metal. Slag is the by-product produced by smelting ore from stone. It becomes more evident when the metal is bent or etched. While the slag fibers give wrought iron a wood-like grain that is visually appealing, this grain is usually accompanied by tiny pits that can collect corrosion causing water. It is difficult to clean these pits, especially if they are beginning to rust. As mentioned above, painting the wrought iron may keep rust from forming, but over time, weathering will cause the paint to chip and, as a consequence, new paint will need to be reapplied every couple of years.
Pro – Decorative
The term wrought was applied to this type of iron because it could be wrought into many different shapes and designs. The alloy itself has an elastic and malleable nature that many artists and designers can shape into interesting patterns. There are books and websites that feature interesting wrought iron fence designs and photos which are great for finding ideas to use in ones home.
Con – Privacy
Although wrought iron can be bent into many different designs, fences made out of this material are usually very easy to see through. In general, the straight bars and sweeping swirls that are common designs for wrought iron fences are considered “open” designs. Open designs usually feature iron bars that are close enough together to keep people out, but wide enough apart to look through.