Take a closer look before you buy fence panels
When purchasing fence, the old adage applies: “You get what you pay for.” Kijiji and Craigslist are awash with ads for temporary fence panels, but before you lay out hard-earned money for ‘a great deal,’ it’s worth looking closer to see what you are actually getting.
Temporary fence panels are typically constructed of either chain link or welded wire mesh. Both offer a sturdy and effective barrier for construction projects.
Chain link fencing is interwoven metal wire creating a “diamond” pattern. The mesh is secured to the frame using steel components. The common mesh size for chain link is 2″ x 2″ but many other sizes are available.
Welded wire fencing is constructed of criss-crossed metal wire creating a rectangular pattern. The mesh is welded at every intersection, and directly to the frame. Common mesh sizes for welded wire are 2″ x 4″ and 2″ x 6″ but as with chain link, other variations are also available. Welded wire offers the added benefit of being very difficult to climb, which may be a consideration for your job site.
Be sure you know the wire gauge before buying: The lower the gauge, the thicker the diameter of the wire and the stronger the mesh will be.
Fence panels are commonly available in 10′, 12′ and 13′ lengths. When comparing different fence offers, divide the cost per panel by the number of linear feet, so you can compare pricing more accurately. While shorter panels may be easier to handle and transport, longer panels allow for quicker set-up (i.e. setting up 120′ of 12′ panels can be 20% faster than setting up the same linear footage of 10′ panels).
Temporary fence panels are generally hot-dip galvanized to prevent to prevent rust and corrosion. Galvanizing After Weaving involves forming the wire into a fabric first and then soaking it in a large galvanized bath which adheres the zinc coating. This ensures that all the wire is coated, even the cut ends created during the weaving process. If the fence is Galvanized Before Weaving, the wire is pre-galvanized before it is formed into a fabric. The weaving process creates an exposed cut ends that will lack coating and be more apt to some minor rust in wet and severe weather conditions.
Powder coatings over untreated steel will quickly flake or chip. Powder-coating over galvanized steel, however, offers not only the aesthetic benefits of vibrant colour and excellent gloss retention, but other benefits as well. When powder-coating is used together with galvanized steel, a ‘duplex’ system is formed, and the synergy between the two systems provides protection far superior to galvanizing or powder-coating alone. According to the American Galvanizers Association, combining paint or powder-coating with galvanizing, results in a 1.5 to 2.3 x longer life than the combined life of each process on its own.
Flat ground stands tend to be sturdier and safer to the public than pipe or block feet which can be a tripping hazard. Ground stands may have pre-drilled holes allowing them to be more permanently anchored to the ground. Threaded and bolted steel u-clamps offer an extra measure of security for your site, because they are far more difficult to remove by vandals than standard top clamps.
Still trying to decide? Read more: To Rent or Not To Rent