You've worked hard to put up your fence. Everything looks great. The wire mesh is tight and straight. But over time, something may happen that causes the tension in the wire to slacken. What can you do fix the problem? Watch this video and learn how to tighten up your fence using a pair of pliers.
You can use this simple technique to tighten many types of fencing materials: welded wire fence mesh, woven wire fence, lawn and garden fence, single strand wire, field fence, etc. Keep your fence looking tight and secure!
Do you know of any other different ways to tighten a fence?
Ever wondered how to stretch a fence to get it tight? This video shows you how to make and use a homemade fence stretcher you can use to pull your fence tight. In the video, 2"x4" galvanized welded wire mesh is being installed. But this type of stretcher can be used for all styles of woven wire fence as well. Steel stretcher bars are also available to buy, if you don't want to make your own.
It is important to have a level pull uniformly across the height of the fence to avoid distorting the mesh. The amount of tension is determined by the type of mesh. Welded wire fencing material cannot be tightened as much as woven wire meshes, such as field fence, horse fence, deer and wildlife fence.
Don't forget to bring along a helper like Little Bit!
I had a project installing a few hundred feet of fencing and only had four days before the weather got worse. I’d done my homework and purchased quality fencing for the install. Suddenly on the last day the rain fell in buckets. I needed to work in the rain so I went to the home improvement store and bought a rain suit that cost less than the “Made in America” brand. Happy with my purchase, I rushed home to finish my project. After changing I walked outside in my suit, bent over to retrieve a post and the bottoms came undone, literally. The seams gave way and I was exposed to the elements until I finished the remaining fence line. I learned that cheap is not always a good thing and quality has worth. Lesson learned. True story.
Variance in quality
The definition of quality is the general standard or grade of something. Excellence, class, value, and worth also refer to quality. What does quality mean to you? Quality means fulfilling the requirements and expectations one has at all times. Quality standards are set to meet minimum legal requirements. However an individual’s requirements are usually higher than legal ones set by authorities. There is a variance in quality or the perceived quality of materials such as wire and cable.
UL (Underwriters Laboratory) is a company that evaluates wire and cable products under more than 70 different product categories, using more than 30 Standards for Safety. They’re Verification programs cover safety, performance, quality assurance, unannounced factory follow-up inspection and follow-up testing at UL. Their program helps consumers, distributors and manufacturers identify wire and cabling products that meet nationally recognized safety requirements as well as industry specifications for performance and quality. Users rely on the safety of products that carry the UL Mark. Read more about UL here.
Wire fence quality
Wire mesh made in China is less expensive than mesh manufactured in the United States. This can be due to fewer restrictions, regulations, and government oversight that are a reality in the U.S. However Chinese products are not necessarily inferior but are produced under different standards. Wire mesh made in China is usually less expensive and is suitable in applications where an elevated standard of quality is not essential.
The question to ask yourself before purchasing wire mesh is “What requirements do I need fulfilled and what are my expectations of the product?" This is a good starting point. Next, educate yourself about wire gauges because this is necessary to select the right thickness of wire.
Remember that all wire mesh is not the same and there are different standards of quality.
Which is more important to you - quality or price?
Does your yard look like this?
Did Sandy wreak havoc on your fence and property?
Has the storm surge and wave action washed away your beach erosion fence and T posts?
Unfortunately this scene is common throughout the wide area of destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. Combining with another low pressure area, the super storm turned to the west, making landfall in southern New Jersey. Initial estimates of Sandy's cost are in the $30 billion range, possibly more.
If your fence got damaged or destroyed by this storm, you are faced with the decision of what to do next.
Is the damage structural? Will you need to replace the supporting posts and other key pieces and re-build the fence? How long will it take to complete the necessary repairs? You may want to do the work yourself. But with everything else demanding your attention you may not have the time and energy to do the work. There may be other more pressing issues you need to address. Calling in a professional and reputable fence installer to do the replacement work for you would be a good choice. You can relax, knowing the job will be done right.
Is the damage more cosmetic? Perhaps there are just a few pieces that need to be replaced. Can you re-use any of the old pieces to fix it? See if the items you need can be purchased at your local lumber yard or building supply store. If the repair is easy and quick, you can probably do it yourself. Think it through before you make a decision. And if you need professional help, call a qualified fence company.
Do you want to replace your existing fence? Was it old and in need of repair? Had you had grown tired of it? If you had been thinking about replacing it for something more to your liking, this could be the perfect time to make the change. Take advantage of the opportunity. Consult with your professional fence installer. Investigate the new possibilities.
Has wood snow fence been washed away? Snow fence supported by studded T posts is used for beach erosion control. Is there any beach left or has all the sand been washed away? Wave action at the time of high tide combined with the storm surge was very destructive. In many areas beach and dune topography was severely altered. After assessment it will be necessary to determine what the next steps are to protect whatever is left. If you can find the posts they might be able to be salvaged and re-used. If not, they will have to be purchased along with the snow fence.
Did you have any fence damage on your property? Is it something you need to have fixed or replaced? Or will you decide to remove it and not have any fence?
During the hurricane season your fence can be easily damaged. Strong winds can blow down large branches. Entire trees can be uprooted, landing on your fence. Often the damage can only be repaired by replacing what was there with new fencing materials.
Hopefully this hurricane season will pass you and your family and cause no damage to your home and property. If your home is spared but your property and yard were not so fortunate, you will have to take down the damaged wire and replace it.
If wood post and rail with attached wire was damaged you can replace the wire with perhaps a vinyl coated wire for long life. 2"x3" or 2"x4" and smaller meshes are available that will keep your pets and children securely in the yard. Many people prefer black vinyl coated wire as it blends in very well with the background. It does not stand out as galvanized wire tends to do.
Did your pool wire get damaged? Your pet fencing? Your garden fence? Fencing materials protecting your flowers and shrubs, especially from deer? There are many different types of welded and woven wire meshes available in both galvanized and vinyl coated finishes. And there is a wide variety of plastic meshes from which to choose.
If you decide to do these repairs yourself, remember that there are many types of fencing materials available that you will never find in your local big box store. Why not go for something different and better?
Are you having difficulty finding the type of fence you want?
Are you frustrated by the absence of knowledge about fencing materials encountered in most retail stores?
Forget to do some fencing - on purpose or otherwise?
Has the summer heat and humidity held you back?
You can catch up now as cooler weather approaches and makes outdoor work seem a lot less unpleasant to tackle.
Do you need to replace or put in a new fence for the yard, animal enclosure or to protect children when outside in the yard?
Fencing materials can be galvanized or vinyl coated, small or larger openings and various heights. For long life and appearance consider vinyl coated wire. Black especially blends into the background and almost disappears rather than boldly stand out.
Consider the terrain you will be fencing - is it level or uneven? You will want to use a fence that conforms or "racks" if the ground is uneven. On level ground a welded wire fence is perfectly suitable as there is no give to it. Welded wire is not "rackable".
Again, vinyl coated wire is available for a pleasing appearance. Which type of fence material works best for you?
There are so many different types of fencing materials available, how do you know which one to choose?
Are you overwhelmed when it comes time to make a decision?
How do you know which one is the right choice?
Most often, fences are used to either keep something in or keep something out of an area. But sometimes fences are used for decorative purposes or to define a boundary line or construction area. There are seasonal fences such as snow fence. And there are fences used to control drifting sand. The fencing materials you choose should be defined by the fence's purpose.
Fencing materials made from wire are the most common type available. The wire can be either woven or welded into a wide variety of mesh opening sizes.
There are woven meshes strong enough to contain livestock with different styles for specific types of animals. And there are deer and wildlife fences tall enough to keep out deer. Lighter gauge woven hex netting chicken wire meshes with black PVC coating can protect your poultry and fowl as well as your garden.
Use welded wire fencing materials to keep your pets and children in the yard. Vinyl coated welded meshes make an attractive and long lasting garden fence. There are many different wire gauges and mesh sizes from which to choose. Smaller meshes are ideal for animal cages and wildlife exclusion barriers.
Do you have any preference in fencing materials, woven or welded?
Which type has worked best for you?
Fences are available for every conceivable use and purpose. They can be made of wire, wood, aluminum, vinyl, paper, stone, and even recycled plastic bottles.
There are basically two types of manufactured wire fences: welded and woven.
Welded fence characteristics
- Welded wire products used as fences can be made in many different gauges - from heavy 4 gauge to light weight 20 gauge. Lighter gauges and smaller meshes are available, but are not recommended to be used as fencing by themselves.
- Mesh sizes can run from 1/2" to 6".
- Most welded meshes made from steel are either galvanized before weld (GBW), galvanized after weld (GAW) or vinyl coated (VC).
- Fences are rigid and square.
- Mesh openings are uniform and consistent in shape and size throughout the roll or panel - ideal for cages.
- Welded products can be harder to install over uneven ground.
Woven fence characteristics
- Woven wire products used as fences can vary between 9 gauge and 23 gauge.
- Mesh sizes can run from 1/2" to 8".
- Wire finishes of woven meshes are similar to those that are welded: galvanized before weld (GBW), galvanized after weld (GAW) or vinyl coated (VC).
- Fences that are woven are more flexible than welded products.
- Mesh openings are generally uniform and consistent in shape and size throughout the roll.
- Woven meshes are easier to install over uneven ground. They can be "racked" to conform to the ups and downs.
- Many of the fences used to enclose or exclude livestock are woven construction: deer, horses, poultry and game birds.
Which style of fence will work best in your next project?
What kind of experiences have you had with either or both types of fences?
Have you ever been tempted to jump a fence? Make sure you know what you're doing before you make a fool of yourself. Here are three examples of how not to jump a fence.
Have you ever tried to jump a fence, only to have things go wrong at the last second?
Is fence jumping easier or harder than it looks?
Be careful out there!
Will you build a new garden fence this year?
Do you wonder what kind of fences will work well in your garden?
There are several different types of fences available that are excellent for gardens.
Welded wire fences offer you the most choices. Available in a wide variety of:
- gauges - 16, 14 and 12.5
- mesh sizes - 1/2"x1/2", 1/2"x1", 1"x1", 1"x2", 2"x2" and 2"x4"
- finishes - galvanized before weld (GBW), galvanized after weld (GAW) and vinyl coated (VC)
In addition to the standard specifications listed above, there are other styles of fences that are designed for use in and around the garden. Some of these have smaller mesh openings at the bottom of the fence to keep out small animals.
Hexagonal netting fences are lighter in weight than welded wire products.
- gauges - 20 and 18 gauges
- mesh sizes - 1" and 2"
- finishes - GBW, GAW, and VC
There are vinyl coated rolls available in extra tall heights of 84" and 90". The black vinyl coated fences are most effective. And the black wire blends with the background becoming virtually invisible. When used as deer fence the black color discourages deer from jumping.
Deer fences are designed specifically to prevent deer from entering an area and eating trees, plants and shrubs.
- gauges - 14.5 and 12.5
- mesh sizes - 1"x6" through 7"x12"
- finishes - galvanized, zinc/aluminum and black painted
These are the heavier gauge woven fences that feature graduated openings between horizontal wires. The openings at the bottom of the fence are smaller to prevent small animals from entering the garden. All styles are rust and corrosion resistant.
Apron fences have a 12" apron at the bottom of the roll. Lay this on top of the ground to form a barrier. Animals cannot dig under the fence and enter your garden.
- gauge - 17
- mesh size - 1-1/2"
- finishes - GBW and VC
These fences are labor savers. There is no need to dig a trench and bury the wire. Vegetation grows up through the apron, securely attaching it to the ground. The animals trying to dig into your garden will not realize that they must start their digging 12" away from the fence.
What kinds of fences have you used to protect your garden?
Are you considering all the different types of fences that are available before making your choice?
Do you prefer one type over another?