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The Fence Post

5 Types of Coatings for Wire Fences

June 24, 2016 | by Debbie Page


You’re all set to install a wire fence on your property. But what kind of coating will you use on the fencing material? It’s a question a lot of beginners don’t consider, but it’s an important one. The wire coating you use on your fence determines a number of factors, including how long it will last and how it will handle itself against the elements. So what are your options? Here are the basic types of wire coating for fences.

 

Vinyl Coated Fence

 

  • Class 1 Galvanized – This is the most basic type of coating, used on barbed wire and field fences. The wire is galvanized, by adding a thin, protective layer of zinc. It’s cheap and efficient, but unfortunately not as effective as other types of coating in the long term. Class 1 Galvanized wire fences start to rust quickly. They’ll last a maximum of 11 years, and sometimes as little as 2 years. In a coastal area, where there’s salt water in the air, it can last an even shorter time.
  • Class 3 Galvanized – This is a stronger, longer-lasting zinc coating. Whereas Class 1 wire coating uses 0.28 ounces of zinc per square foot, Class 3 uses a thicker coating of 0.80 ounces per square foot. It costs slightly more than Class 1, but it will last anywhere from 13 to 30 years before it rusts, making it well worth the investment.
  • ZA – A relatively new development, ZA is a Zinc-Aluminum hybrid coating. It uses less coating than Class 3, making it cheaper, but the aluminum prevents rust, so that it still lasts about the same amount of time. The result is a less expensive wire fence that will still last you up to 30 years before it rusts.
  • ZA and Paint – Paint on a fence does more than simply make it look more attractive. After galvanizing the wire with the Zinc-Aluminum coating, it’s painted with black polymer paint, which offers even heavier protection against rust and corrosion. It lasts
    even longer than a Class 3 Galvanized fence and protects against the harshest elements.
  • Vinyl – Also called PVC or uPVC coating, vinyl is the strongest wire coating of all when it comes to standing up against the elements. A thick, flexible PVC layer is added to the galvanized wire. That way, not only is it rust resistant, it also stands up to extreme temperatures, as well as UV rays and even physical abrasions against the fence. Plus, its flexibility means it won’t crack when the wire is bent. Generally available in either black or green, vinyl is the strongest, most durable, longest lasting wire coating you can buy.

     

    So which wire coating is best for your fence? It depends on what you need and where you’re located. If your main goal is cutting costs, and the fence only needs to be temporary, then you can probably get away with Class 1 galvanized wire. If you’re looking for something a little stronger, that will last longer and save you money in the long run, go with Class 3 or ZA. If you really want your fence to last a long time, then ZA and Paint is the way to go. And if you live in a coastal area, or one with other harsh elements, and want a reliable, long-lasting wire fence, then you’ll want to go with vinyl coating. Consider your needs and your options carefully. A well-built wire fence with the right coating can last you a lifetime.

     

     

    Download the VC welded wire brochure!  



 

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Topics: Wire Coating

How to Repair Your Broken Fence

April 13, 2016 | by Debbie Page

Spring is here and it’s time to prepare your fence for the warmer months. Winter can be tough on fences. Trees fall down. Branches take out fence sections. The land freezes and defrosts, making your fence unstable. By the time spring rolls around, your fence can end up rusty, misshapen or even on the ground.

Inspect Your Fence

Now is the time to inspect your fence. To begin an inspection, walk the perimeter of the fence and inspect it from bottom to top. You will want to pay special attention to where the fence meets the ground. Have any animals burrowed underneath your fence?

Plus you will want to make sure there is no rust. Fences that are constantly touching the ground tend to rust at a higher rate. Over time, you may notice that an entire section has rusted away at ground level.

Inspection should also involve shaking the fence. Is it securely in the ground? Have any of the fence posts become damaged or loose in the ground. If your fence is coated in vinyl, check to see if the vinyl is peeling.

In addition to making any notes for yourself about damage, rust or peeling, you will want to pull off any vegetation that may have grown on your fence. Although some people find ivy and other plants appealing when it is growing on fences, vegetation speeds up the decay of your fence.

Common things to note during your fence inspection include:

  • Lack of sturdiness
  • Fence post stability
  • Weld strength
  • Rust
  • Vinyl peeling
  • Vegetation
  • Holes under the fence

You will want to fix or address any and all of the items on this list in preparation for warmer months.

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APRIL SAVINGS OFFER: Spend $200 or more in April and get 5% off your order (excluding shipping costs) Call 1-800-225-0508 or emailing sales@louispage.com

Common types of fence damage and how to fix them:

Rust

Rust is the number one enemy of metal fences. Once rust sets in, you can never restore your fence 100% but you can maintain it for a long life. To repair your fence from rusting:

  1. Brush off rust with a steel brush.
  2. Spray area with your favorite metal protective spray paint/coating.
  3. Monitor fence area for any additional rust.

Peeling Vinyl Coating

Vinyl coating helps to prolong the life of your fence but over time the vinyl starts to peel. To maintain a vinyl coated fence:

  1. Trim away excessive peeling vinyl.
  2. Use 60 grit sandpaper to sand away the small piece and create a smooth finish.
  3. Spray area with your favorite metal protective spray paint/coating.
  4. Monitor fence area for any additional peeling and rust.

Fence Section Demolished by Fallen Tree/Tree Branch

Winter can be tough on trees and anything around your fence that can fall on it and damage the fence. To address a section of fence that has been destroyed we recommend:

  1. Replacing the section with a panel of the same or a similar type of fencing.
  2. Using strand wire to thread together the broken sections.
  3. Replacing or upgrading the fence.

Create A Fence Maintenance Supply List

We also recommend creating a fence maintenance supply list when you are first building a fence and annually. For the supply list we recommend:

  1. Strand wire, fence staples and hog rings.
  2. Purchasing an extra 20% of fence so you can some on hand for repairs.
  3. Reviewing warranties.
  4. Including all your fencing needs in one order.

Louis E. Page is your single source for all your wire mesh requirements. We have strand wire, fence staples, hog rings and more in our catalogue. It is up to you as to how many supplies you want to keep on hand to maintain a strong, sturdy fence. Some of our suppliers offer warranties, for example, Cavatorta, has an excellent product warranty.

At Louis E. Page, we pride ourselves on our customer service and being able to meet your needs. Including all your fencing needs in one order can save you time and ensure you have everything you need when you need it. For example, you might already know that you need welded wire mesh for your animals but what about the crops you plan on planting?

Your plants need support and we have Hortonova - Crop Support Netting. This netting is rot and rust proof, resistant to UV rays and chemical agents. It is ideal for vertical and horizontal growing techniques. You can keep your animals where you want them, plus easily cultivate plants when you combine your ordering needs.

Place an order today by calling 1-800-225-0508 or emailing sales@louispage.com.

Download our Catalogue >

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Topics: fence, repair

Gopher Problem? Try This!

September 23, 2014 | by Duncan Page

gophers

 

Gophers are highly destructive animals.  They live in burrows, and like to eat many of the plants that people have in their gardens and yards.  If a family of gophers takes up residence in your yard, you could quickly find your lawn taken over by gopher mounds and tunnels.  It is easy enough to kill or capture gophers once they arrive, but it would be greatly preferable to keep them out in the first place.

  • Problems Brought on by Gophers

Gophers can cause a number of problems.  The aesthetic damage to your landscaping is just the beginning.  Gophers also eat garden plants like carrots, lettuce and radishes.  Gophers also carry dangerous diseases like rabies.  They have sharp teeth, and, like any other animal, they can be dangerous when they feel threatened.  Worst of all, gophers make holes in your yard; these holes are a trip hazard for children or elderly individuals.  Before you know it, a child could have a sprained ankle.  An older person could end up with a broken ankle, wrist or hip. 

  • What Solutions Are Available?

There are several solutions to gopher problems to choose from, depending on your needs, preferences and budget.

  1.  Gopher Repelling Plants

Gophers have a rather adventurous palate, but there are some plants that they do not really care for.  If you plant these species at the perimeter of your property, you could make your yard a less attractive area to gophers.  Consult the plant experts at your local nursery for advice on choosing gopher repelling plants.

  1.  Traps

There are many reasons that trapping gophers may be preferable to killing them outright.  Gopher traps allow you to rid your yard of gophers easily and humanely.

  1.  Poison

Poison is quite effective at killing gophers, but there are serious concerns surrounding its use.  The poisons that are effective against gophers could also be harmful to children, pets or livestock.  If you can be certain that none of these will be in danger of ingesting the poison, it may still be a good solution, provided you have some way to dispose of the dead gophers.

  1.  Gopher Fencing

Fencing is a very effective tool for keeping gophers out of your yard.  What kind of wire mesh do you need?  To keep the gophers out, choose wire mesh fencing with no more than ½-inch openings.  Gophers are burrowing animals, so the fence should extend at least 18 inches below the surface.  Because it will be highly susceptible to corrosion, choose galvanized steel or vinyl coated fence wire.  If your yard is already populated by gophers, you will need to use one of the other methods to get rid of the gophers once you install the fence; otherwise, you could end up with a gopher sanctuary.

  • How These Solutions Can Work for You

No matter what solution you choose, keeping gophers out will make your property a safer place that is better looking or more productive.  It takes a lot of time and energy to maintain a healthy yard; do not let gophers ruin your hard work.  Choose the solution that works for you, and get rid of your uninvited guests before they ruin the party.

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Keep Bambi Out this Season!

September 18, 2014 | by Duncan Page

deer

 

Deer are among the most adaptable animals on earth.  The more than 90 different species of deer have found homes all over the earth, in nearly every habitat imaginable, from dense forests and mountainous terrain to marshes and deserts.  Though types of deer may be found in many types of biomes, deer typically inhabit the border zones that mark the transition from forests to meadows, where there is soft grass and other plants for them to eat and adequate cover for them to safely spend the night, relatively protected from predators.

Unfortunately, there is another creature that likes to live in nearly every type of habitat, all around the world.  That creature is the human being.  Deer have little aversion to living close to humans.  In fact, since they are so adaptable, most deer are quite willing to help themselves to landscape and garden plants provided by humans.  This is quite convenient for the deer, but much less desirable for the people who find their nice-looking yards destroyed by deer.  People who have never witnessed it have difficulty understanding just how destructive a herd of deer can be.

Deer Like What You Like

If you do not want deer in your yard, maybe you could just design your yard to make it unattractive to them.  The two biggest problems with this approach are that humans tend to like the same types of landscaping that deer appreciate, and deer will eat almost anything.  If you choose to live in an area that is also inhabited by deer, and you want to keep your garden or yard safe, you will need to keep the deer out.  You can protect a garden with fencing; that is the only really effective way to keep deer out.

Which Fence Do I Need?

There are many different styles of deer fence available.  When you want to protect a garden with fencing, you will need to consider three characteristics of your new fence.

  • Materials

The two most common materials used in protective fencing are metal and plastic.  Metal fencing tends to be more durable than plastic, but is also more expensive.  If you want to get the maximum life from your fence, consider using galvanized steel or welded mesh that has been coated in PVC.  This has the added benefit of blending into your yard, making the fence less of an eyesore.

  • Height

To protect your yard from deer, a six-foot fence is the absolute minimum, although an eight-foot fence is the ideal choice.  An eight-foot fence may cost a little more, but it is better to install the right fence from the start than to have to rebuild your inadequate fence a few seasons later.

  • Appearance

This is the final characteristic to consider; it is also the point where you will have the most options.  Deer fencing is available in an enormous variety of styles and colors, for everything from an austere, industrial look to an aesthetically pleasing look that blends in with the environment.

The deer in your area would like nothing better to gorge themselves on your landscape or garden.  Do not let them; you can protect a garden with fencing, and keep the deer where they belong.
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Wire 101: What is a Wire Gauge, Anyway?

September 16, 2014 | by Duncan Page

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Gauge is a measurement of wire thickness.  Wire gauge information is confusing to many people because it does not work like most of the measurement systems that non-technical people are familiar with.  For one thing, each works in reverse; as the numbers get larger, the wire gets thinner.  Another source of confusion is the fact that wire gauges do not correspond to convenient actual measurements.  To truly understand wire gauge, you must know something about the way that wire is manufactured.

How to Make Wire

To make wire, manufacturers start with a rod of metal; for fencing, steel is the most common choice.  This rod of metal is pulled through a metal plate with a hole in it.  This metal plate is called a die, and the process of pulling the metal through the die is known as drawing.  This process is repeated again and again with progressively smaller dies until the desired wire size is reached.  Originally, the gauge of the wire referred to the number of times that the drawing process was done.  Wire manufacturers started with Gauge 0 metal rods, and repeated the drawing process as many times as necessary.  In earlier times, the size of the dies and the wires produced through them could vary significantly from one shop to another, because of low-tech machining processes.  As machining and manufacturing became more precise, this variance began to become a problem. This eventually led to the standardization of wire gauge information; from that point on, each gauge measurement has corresponded to a particular size of wire.

Standard Wire Sizes

In the United States and Canada, the typical standard for wire gauge is called the American Wire Gauge.  In this system, the diameter of wire of a particular gauge is determined by a mathematical formula.  Using this formula, manufacturers are free to develop wire of any arbitrary gauge, including half or other fractional gauges.  Here is a list of common wire gauges that are used in fencing and their corresponding measurements:

8.5 gauge

0.121 inches

9 gauge

0.114 inches

10.5 gauge

0.096 inches

11 gauge

0.091 inches

12.5 gauge

0.076 inches

14 gauge

0.064 inches

16 gauge

0.051 inches

18 gauge

0.040 inches

20 gauge

0.032 inches

21 gauge

0.028 inches

23 gauge

0.023inches

27 gauge

0.014 inches

Different gauges of wire and different materials have different properties for flexibility, durability, and electrical conductivity, any or all of which may impact their usefulness as fencing material.  Your specific needs will determine what gauge of wire is best for your fence.

In many cases, the choice of wire gauge will be made for you when you choose a particular style and type of fence.  It is good to understand wire gauge information, but it is best not to get too caught up in it.  Rather than looking for a fence made of a particular gauge of wire, check out fences in person whenever possible, and choose a fence that feels sturdy.  When this is impossible, be sure to deal with an experienced, reputable vendor that can offer you more than just a number.
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