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The Fence Post

Alligator Easily Scales Fence

September 5, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Chain-link Fail

When thinking about alligators in the U.S. one imagines first and foremost Florida, then perhaps Georgia and Louisiana. However, their presence goes much further than that--add Alabama, Mississippi, South and North Carolina, the eastern part of Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and the bottom tip of Arkansas. 

Here is a stunner. There is a plethora of safety guidelines available online for avoiding these threats to life and limb.

 

The estimated number of alligators in just Florida is 1.25 million. By the late 80s, the American alligator was considered endangered. It has quickly recovered its population since being protected. As humans encroach upon the habitat of alligators, the incidences of interacting with these significant reptiles have increased dramatically. 

In any case, the alligator safety basics are:

  • Do not attempt to deal with alligator yourself
  • Call your local animal control or 911
  • Do not approach an alligator
  • Do not feed an alligator
  • Avoid sudden movements                                                                                                                                                                        
    gray alligator at daytime
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Topics: wire mesh, fencing materials, woven wire, welded wire

What about Zinc Coating?

March 26, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

 rust covered artistic relief  rusting ship skeleton
net

                                 The Enemy: Rust                           The Answer: Zinc

Oxygen and moisture working on iron and its common alloy, steel, result in rust. When thinking in terms of the wire used for fencing, sometimes being number one is not always tops. A Class 1 coating for your mesh or fence is anything but top rate. Now think again about that coating. It can mean: this looks fine or it'll do. In the long run (or short run), it will not stand up to the ravages of air, moisture, and abrasion. 

However, a coating of zinc reacts differently to these factors. As it corrodes. It forms a barrier or patina, running interference between it and the steel or iron that it is sheltering.

The Protector: Zinc

galvanized screw and nut

Classes of Zinc Coating 

Class 1--lightest coating of zinc; widely available and lasts 2 to 11 years in non-coastal climates. (.28% zinc per sq. foot)

  • protection drastically reduced in humid climates. (For the record, there is no Class 2.)

Class 3--heaviest coating of zinc; lasts 13-30 years, often must be special ordered (.80% zinc per sq. foot)

  • however, in humid conditions, the coating may last at least 15 years with wider wire gauges lasting longer.

Zinc galvanization--a coating for mesh and fencing that endures.

After wires are either welded or woven into a mesh, the entire finished product is drawn through a bath of molten zinc (830°F.) This galvanization-after-weave or weld method (GAW) creates mesh that emerges with a thick coating tightly bonded to the wire. Each strand of wire is protected and more importantly, each vulnerable welded or woven area is thoroughly sealed. In some circles, this is known as "galvanic healing!" Officially, this is termed, cathode-anode protection.

Jaguar Emblem

More zinc = more protection. Delaying the time until rust sets in. So the more zinc per square foot, the longer it is until it rusts.

Friability

If something is friable, it is subject to the rubbing process that works on the surface of unprotected iron or steel, which offer no natural corrosion resistant patina. Friability describes the flaking and breaking apart of a solid substance.

Simply put, what are the benefits of a Class 3 zinc coating?

  • Lowest cost over the long run
  • damage resistance--the zinc patina guards the metal underneath
  • cheaper than stainless steel
  • consistent results
  • longest life

What does an ASTM standard signify?

Seeing this on a product, such as for zinc coatings, shows that a company is adhering to a certain set of criteria for the quality of a product. These are internationally accepted guidelines, based on research, for the specifications of materials, products, and services as approved by a  governing board. (ASTM International was once known as the American Society for Testing and Materials.) Buyer beware: a company's adherence to these standards is voluntary.   

Other factors for deterioration:

                airborne sand and dust                            chemicals                                   salt                                 air pollution 

Wrecked Ship

Zinc facts:

Zinc is the 27th most abundant element in the earth's crust. 70% is mined, 30% recycled. More than 50% of this is used to coat steel and keep it from disintegrating.

Zinc is found in rocks, soil, air, water, the biosphere as well as in humans, plants, and animals.

Biology: organisms must have zinc to exist. For example, in the human body, zinc is important for cell division and is responsible for the function of red and white blood cells.

A short video:

Here's an example of zinc galvanizing in action:

 

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Topics: woven wire, welded wire, vinyl coated wire, galvanized after, galvanized, galv after

Guarding Your Pets from Wildlife Aggressors

January 14, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Coyotes                  Raccoons               Skunks               Mountain Lions/Cougars               Woodchucks

Gophers


Protect Your Vulnerable Loved Ones

coyote


As more undeveloped land is taken for house lots and commercial areas, the natural habitat for wildlife is increasingly restricted. Sightings of animals such as coyotes and deer are more frequent. The need for ways to protect pets from potentially aggressive wildlife increases. Here are some strategies in avoiding dangerous interactions with a variety of animals, your pets, and you.

Coyotes

One of the best ways to keep pets safe is to build a wire fence. To protect against coyotes, it is best to use a six-foot height. You can either bury 12 inches in the ground or bend it so it lays on top of the ground to the outside of the enclosure as an apron. This will discourage digging.

There are many choices of welded wire fencing and woven wire fencing meshes available:

Welded wire fencing - Galvanized Before Weld (GBW), Galvanized After Weld (GAW) and Vinyl Coated (VC) 

  • 14 gauge, 1" x 2" and 2" x 4" mesh
  • 12.5 gauge, 2" x 4" mesh
Woven wire fencing
 
Notes on Coyotes
 
coyote portrait
 
Generally content to stay out of sight, a hungry coyote may make an appearance. They are resilient and their numbers are increasing in some areas despite efforts to control them. Closer at hand than one realizes, they create dens in forested areas, in parks (yes, city parks too) and greenbelts. Coyote attacks are usually linked to being fed by humans and those rare attacks involve children six and younger for the most part. They will move on once they realize there are no vittles to tempt them. Be sure that pet food is not left outdoors and spilled birdseed can be a problem--it attracts rodents and therefore coyotes. They are natural predators of dogs, feral cats, and outdoor cats sometimes; however, they are more interested in rodents, berries, grasses, and your vegetable garden. 
  • Naturally, avoiding contact is best.
  • Dawn and dusk are times when they roam--avoid walking a dog at these times (easier said than done.)
  • Your dog must be kept on a leash and not far from you.
  • Dogs are vulnerable to diseases that coyotes harbor--be sure your dogs' vaccinations are updated
  • If a coyote comes too close, appear larger by standing on something (a rock or stump) and act in a threatening way, appearing as a danger, not prey.
  • The only way to keep cats safe is to keep them indoors.
  • Use noisemaking equipment to ward off a coyote that shows up repeatedly.
 

 

Raccoons 

raccoon on porch swingcute

Electric Fence

Because Raccoons are excellent climbers and diggers, an electric fence is one method for controlling them. A couple of lines of electric fence at a distance of about 8 inches above ground and another line about 8 inches away from the fence is good. Burying the fence 6 inches underground and at a width of a foot will also help. However, there are no guarantees with raccoons, they are agile and clever.

Regular Fence

It's possible to use regular wire fencing, but it must be thick enough so they can't shred it (as they would with something like chicken wire. Louis Page can advise.) Making sure that the fence is far enough from what you want to protect is crucial as they can reach in and do damage. At the top, it is necessary to bend the fencing outward--away from the pen.

Notes on Raccoons

Widespread across North America, when provoked raccoons are vicious. Raccoons aren't looking for a fight, but if cornered and threatened they will eviscerate an animal. Their teeth and claws are little daggers. 

  • Never feed a raccoon--this is a major reason why they lose their fear of humans and come closer than they should.
  • Keep pet food indoors.
  • Make sure that the area around a barbecue is kept clean.
  • Trash containers lids should be secure.
  • Pet doors must be raccoon-proof.
  • Cats are more prone to diseases that raccoons carry--keep your cat's vaccinations up to date.
  • Don't chase a raccoon away, it may be threatened and invite attack.

Not so cute

angry raccoon

 

Skunks

skunk

A fence to ward off skunks

Skunks are not gifted climbers and that's good news for us. There are methods to secure a garden area as skunks dig around plants in search for grubs. To control these diggers, apron fencing, two feet wide, must be partially buried a couple of inches around the circumference of the area you want to protect and at a height of four to five feet. This will discourage dogs and coyotes as well. 

Mercifully, skunks find humans and their pets an aberration, so they limit their foraging time to the night. Lights and activity usually repel them, so contact is rare. The spraying happens when a skunk perceives its backed into a corner or surprised. Interestingly, the spraying is used as a last resort and cannot be employed again for three or four days--I know, cold comfort, if you have been sprayed.

  • Do not attempt to scare off a skunk--back away.
  • A dog must be completely controlled for a skunk to back down.
  • In bad situations, saucers of ammonia may work as a repellent to skunks and many wild animals.
  • If the worst happens, have nearby: Dawn dishwashing soap, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and old towels (to be discarded.)

------------------------------------------------------------

Clean up brush and other debris around your property to keep animals from building nests. Seal off holes and cracks in your house. Look around your barn for entry sites and fill these in.  Make your space as inhospitable to wildlife as possible. Orphaned wild animals should be left alone--their parents are often not too far off and will return to them.

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Mountain Lions/Cougars

mountain lion

Tall Fencing Required

  • Generally, pets are safe in the yard during the day unless there have been reports of a sighting; however, nighttime is another story--this is the time when mountain lions are most active and pets should remain indoors.
  • Dog leashes of 6 feet or less.
  • For the protection of your livestock, tall fencing is required. Mountain lions are powerful: they can jump up to 15 feet and can leap a distance of 40 feet.
  • If approached, avoid running, stand your ground, pick up pets and small children.
  • Do not make eye contact, attempt to appear larger by waving your arms or using your jacket above your head. 
  • Back up slowly.
  • Give the cougar ample room, making sure to steer clear from cubs, if present.  

The name "mountain lion" includes cougars, pumas, and panthers. The reference to lions is only related to their color. Cougar is the most common name in North America. Largely found in the western areas of North America, there are some populations east of the Mississippi that are small. There is a subspecies in Florida, called the Florida Panther, which is highly endangered.

Deer are a mainstay of mountain lions and not attracting deer to your property is an important safeguard. 

 

Woodchucks

Woodchuck

Small dogs that dig (good example: terriers) can be vulnerable to a woodchuck that is sensing its territory is being invaded. Also, dogs that are protective of their space can be more aggressive to invaders and prompt an altercation. Woodchucks have razor-sharp teeth and can become hostile when cornered; though admittedly this being rare, animals are unpredictable. Cats are generally not threatened. What is most likely threatened on your property is your garden.

Deterring a Woodchuck from Burrowing and Climbing

The clever woodchuck moves below ground of course, and above.

  • A 6-foot fence is required as a minimum, with 5-foot posts.
  • Chicken wire should be dug in 10 inches or more below ground level.
  • Leave a foot of chicken wire unattached from the post at the top and bend it outwards. This prevents the woodchuck from getting a good grip for climbing over the fence.

Another possibility is:

  • Place 3 feet of chicken wire flat on the ground around the perimeter of the garden.
  • After which, secure a 4 to 6-foot fence vertically 6 inches in from the chicken wire edge which leave 2 1/2 feet of chicken wire on the outside on the ground.
  • At the top, leave 12 inches of the chicken wire bent outwards away from the garden, unsecured.
  • The woodchuck will not be able to dig under the vertical fence because of the 3 feet of chicken wire surrounding the garden.

woodchuck fencing drawing

Image from Mass Audubon Society.org

As the Old Farmer's Almanac advises: The best woodchuck deterrent is a fence.

Gophers 

gopher

Gophers are highly destructive animals. They live in burrows and like to eat many of the plants that people have in their yards and gardens. They are voracious--eating half their body weight each day. 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.

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. Electric fencing is another option for restraining gophers.

The Bad News on 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 anybody, but especially for children and elderly individuals. Before you know it, a child could have a sprained ankle and an older person could end up with a broken ankle, wrist or hip. Then there are the diseases--

  • Rabies
  • Plague and hantavirus
  • Monkey Pox, the most common--which exhibits flu symptoms--aches, swollen glands, fatigue and small pustules on the skin
Their tunnels can cause soil erosion by diverting irrigation water. During a gopher's digging activity, lawn sprinkler systems and plastic water lines can be gnawed on and damaged. 
  • A burrow system can cover an area of 200 to 2,000 square feet.
  • Food storage and nesting areas can be as deep as six feet.
  • Feeding burrows with a 3" diameter are most often 6" to 12" below ground. 

gopher holes 

 

 

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Topics: woven wire, welded wire

Everything You Need to Know About Wire Gauges Used In Welded & Woven Wire Mesh & Fence

July 14, 2017 | by Debbie Page

 
Wire Gauges, Those Numbers, and Numbers into Inches
 
Here is everything you need to know about the wire gauges used in welded and woven wire mesh fences. We cover what a wire gauge is, what do the different numbers mean and even provide a handy chart converting gauge numbers into inches.
 
Micrometer for meauring wire for welded wire fencing (Source: Britannica)

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines wire gauge as any of various systems consisting of a series of standard sizes used in describing the diameter of wire.

The Rolling Mill

The process all starts with heavy coils of large diameter wire called rod made in a rolling mill. The rod is then shipped to a wire manufacturing mill. To make the wire used in wire fence and mesh, single strands are "drawn" through a series of increasingly smaller dies or plates and reduced to a specific gauge/diameter. The gauge is determined by the wire's final use - single strand wire, welded wire mesh or woven wire fence. Heating of the wire is not required in the drawing process. Here is a photo from a Riverdale Mill, one of the mills in the United States that supplies welded wire for us.

Welded WIre Fence Producer for Louis Page

There have been several different gauge designations since this process was introduced. Numbers have been used to designate wire diameter since 1735. They originally referred to the number of draws used in the process. The first draw was called 1 gauge, the second 2 gauge, the third 3 gauge, on down to the final draw of the thinnest wire being made. This is why thick wires have a lower gauge number than thin wires. 9 gauge wire is thicker than 14 gauge because it requires fewer "draws" than 14 gauge.

The Birmingham Wire Gauge

Stubs Wire Gauge for welded wire fencing source wikipedia

The Birmingham Wire Gauge, also known as the Stubs Iron Wire Gauge, was originally developed in early 19th-century England as a means of standardizing gauge sizes. It has been used in a medical setting (needles) since the early 20th century. In 1855, Brown and Sharpe established a formula-based progression of 39 steps - from 1 gauge through 40 gauge. This is now known as the American Wire Gauge and is used extensively in the United States.

The Most Common Gauges

The following values show in inches the most common gauges of wires used in welded and woven wire mesh and fence:

  •  8.5 gauge - 0.155 inch
  •  9 gauge - 0.1483 inch
  • 10.5 gauge - 0.128 inch
  • 11 gauge - 0.1205 inch
  • 12.5 gauge - 0.099 inch
  • 14 gauge - 0.080 inch
  • 16 gauge - 0.0625 inch
  • 18 gauge - 0.0475 inch
  • 20 gauge - 0.0348 inch
  • 21 gauge - 0.0317 inch
  • 23 gauge - 0.0258 inch
  • 27 gauge - 0.0173 inch

There are many different combinations of wire gauge and mesh size manufactured. You can select the right product for the requirements of your project.

 

Shop Online at https://shop.louispage.com/

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Topics: welded wire mesh, welded wire, welded wire fence, wire gauges

Uses for Welded Wire & Woven Mesh Fencing

February 27, 2017 | by Debbie Page

Vinyl coated welded wire

Welded Wire Mesh and Fence

So what are welded wire meshes and fences?

  • As the name implies, welded wire mesh fences are made from wires that have been welded into a mesh.
  • In most cases, the same gauge of wire is used throughout the roll.
  • Welded joints are rigid and have little flexibility.
  • Many welded products with larger openings are used as fencing on ranches, farms, in parks and on construction sites.
  • Mesh sizes can range from 1/2" x 1/2" up to 6" x 6".
  • Meshes with smaller openings are usually made with lighter gauge wires.
  • These are mostly used for screening.
  • Some specifications of welded meshes are vinyl coated.

And how can you use them?

Welded fencing is ideal to use on flat terrain where little flexibility is necessary. Some examples of uses:

    -Swimming pool fences

    -Emu and Ostrich Fences

    - Garden Fences

    - Dog kennels

    Sheep and Goat Fences

     -Railing safety panel inserts

ks_2.2_dogs.jpg

Woven Wire Mesh and Fence

What are woven wire meshes and fences?

  • Fences made by weaving the wires into a mesh.
  • Different gauge wires are sometimes used in the same roll.
  • Woven joints are flexible yet very strong.
  • There are a wide variety of mesh size openings available.
  • Hexagonal netting (chicken wire), field and farm fence, deer and wildlife fence and ornamental fence are some examples.

And what are their uses?

Woven wire fences are ideal to use in situations where the ground is uneven. The inherent flexibility allows the fence to adjust more easily to grade changes. Some examples of uses:

    - Garden Fences

    - Horse Paddocks

    - Boundary Fence

    - Orchard Fence

    - Farm Fence

Keep these differences in mind when you are planning to install a fence. Which type do you want to use? Or maybe you need expert advice on what products to use?

Call us today for a free quote! 800-225-0508 or email sales@louispage.com

chicken_hex_1-resized-600.jpg


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Topics: welded wire mesh, swimming pool fence, welded wire, garden fence, deer fence

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