Chain link fences are known for their versatility and affordability, but one of their downfalls is that they're not always so durable. Some chain link fences are prone to rust and wear, leaving you with an ugly, unkempt fence after only a few short years. There are high-quality, durable chain link fences out there, however. To make sure you get one of them, ask your contractor these questions before having a chain link fence installed.
Is the fence treated with a rust-resistant coating?
Establish whether the chain link fence you're having installed is coated with any special non-rusting material. Some are coated with vinyl, which is quite obvious since it tends to be black or white in color. Others, however, may simply be finished with a rust-resistant, metallic paint, which you may not be able to identify visually. Either of these coatings will ensure your chain link fence stays looking good for years to come. However, if yours has the metallic coating, ask if it needs to be reapplied at certain intervals. Many homeowners accidentally overlook these instructions and are then left wondering why their so-called "rust resistant" fences are rusting after three or four years.
Watch out for chain link fences being sold at bargain basement prices. Often, these are noncoated, which means they may rust rather quickly.
If a few links become damaged, can they be replaced without replacing the whole fence?
There are several different types of chain link fences. Some types are designed so that small sections can be "untwisted" and replaced if they become damaged. Others are made from longer wires that are woven in intricate patterns, making it nearly impossible to replace just part of the fence. Ask which of these circumstances is the case with the fence you're considering buying. If your contractor tells you the fence will be hard to partially repair, ask if there's another type of fence he or she offers that comes apart more easily.
Is the chain link fence designed for the climate in your area?
If you live somewhere with a mild climate year-round, even the thinnest of chain-link fences are likely to withstand the elements. However, if you live somewhere with high temperatures in the summer or a lot of snow in the winter, you'll need a more durable fence with thicker links made to withstand the challenges of your climate. Chain link fences are typically approved for different climates. Ask your contractor to show you paperwork that proves your fence is intended for the climate in your area. Otherwise, you might be left fixing a snow-bent fence in a year or two.
When having a chain link fence installation, don't assume all chain link fences are the same. By asking the questions above, you can gain some insight regarding the durability of your fence and ensure you're choosing one that won't require extensive repairs.