Chain-link is the most widely used fence system in today’s industrial, commercial and residential fence markets. Chain link allows a clear view, with no place for intruders to hide.
“It is so popular because it’s economical and has become quite colorful and stylish over the past decade.” “Continuing innovation has made both traditional chain-link and new vinyl color-coated chain-link fence systems fit into every neighborhood as well as more commercial and industrial applications.”
Traditional, metallic-coated chain-link fence remains one of the most effective, economical fencing barriers on the market today and is the number one selling fence system in the world. Chain-link fence is known for its strength and durability and has provided the most cost-effective way to protect children, control pets and safeguard commercial property and assets in both suburban and urban settings.
There is a continued growing interest in color for residential applications. Color coating gives a smoother finish, prevents rusting, and helps the installation blend into surroundings. Black is the most popular, because it is often close to being invisible; green and brown are also frequent choices. Various types of slats that add privacy or soften the look of chain link or otherwise customize an installation continue to grow in popularity for residential and nonresidential applications.
It has traditionally stood guard over commercial, industrial and government property, protecting the perimeters of airports, manufacturing facilities, mining operations, motor pools, vehicle fleets and hazardous areas.
“In residential settings, chain-link is a very practical means of providing improved safety and security.” “Chain-link offers a balance between aesthetics and meeting the security and safety needs of residential and commercial property owners with an economical, long-lasting fence system.”
Mixture of Fencing Materials
“In both commercial and residential environments, fence designers are looking for more aesthetically pleasing fence systems yet have to remain cost conscious.” “By using composite design strategies, architects can better balance cost and aesthetics.”
Composite fence strategies combine the use of less expensive chain-link fence with other fence products to reduce the cost of fencing and secure property. Street exposures and highly visible focal points use higher end alternatives, while the long runs of fence around backyards or along commercial property lines are designed with traditional metallic or color-coated chain-link fence.
“Using a more affordable mixture of fence materials provides needed safety and security while maintaining aesthetic standards and saving money for property owners.” “You can use economical chain-link fence in high-end neighborhoods and highly visible commercial properties through composite designs.”
When an additional touch of privacy around pools or commercial property is desired with a chain-link fence, slats can be used to create the privacy screen needed. Slats are inserts designed for chain-link fencing; they can be inserted vertically, horizontally or diagonally to create a unique sense of privacy and security.
Most slats are constructed of aluminum, polyethylene or wood. These slats are available in a wide variety of colors to coordinate with their surroundings; consumers and businesses even have the ability to create patterns and designs by alternating the colors of slats in a fence.
“There are even styles of privacy insert for chain-link fence that simulate a hedge.” This product is inserted vertically and cut to the height of the fence.
Slats are also an inexpensive way to improve the appearance of an existing fence. According to Mufson, slats can serve a commercial purpose as well. Many towns have ordinances that require certain commercial areas, such as dumpsters, to be slatted in so they are blocked from view.
A Matter of Economics
Chain-link fence is economical enough to use for large installations whether commercial, industrial or residential.
“When fencing 1/2 acre lots and larger, fencing costs become an issue,” Ullrich said. “Fencing large commercial and industrial sites – such as employee parking lots, fleet parking facilities, waste-water plants, airports and military bases – the costs of materials and the cost of maintenance are major considerations.”
In the residential market, chain-link fence is commonly used on small lots in high-density neighborhoods where young families frequently have both children and pets because it is so affordable, Ullrich explained. “Now, with color-coated fencing, more chain-link is being used on those larger lots found in suburban and rural areas.”
Today’s chain-link fence is built for consumers who expect metallic-coated chain-link fence materials to last over 15 years. To meet those expectations, the industry has established higher quality standards and improved manufacturing processes.
According to Ullrich, the protective coatings, both metal and vinyl, inhibit rust and ensure that quality materials provide consumers with the strength and durability they expect when ASTM standards are specified.
“Five to fifteen year warranties are generally available on chain-link fence,” Ullrich said, “and the warranty should apply to everything related to product deterioration that is a fault of the manufacturing process including the color of a vinyl coated fence.”
Most chain-link can be expected to maintain structural integrity well beyond the warranty coverage.