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The Fence Post

Galvanized vs. Vinyl Coated Wire Mesh & Fence

June 8, 2009 | by Duncan Page

Which One Shall I Choose?

There are many different wire fence products available from which to choose. And it can be difficult to know which one to buy. One of the decisions you will need to make is whether you want a galvanized fence or a mesh that is vinyl coated.

Some differences between galvanized and vinyl coated wire mesh and fence?

Galvanized fences and meshes are either welded or woven. There are Galvanized Before Weld or Weave (GBW) and Galvanized After Weld or Weave (GAW) meshes. The difference between these two types is explained in our blog "Galvanized Before vs Galvanized After Mesh & Fence". The most common and most readily available fence meshes are GBW. These are the commodity meshes sold by all the big box stores. GAW products are:

  • harder to find
  • they are higher quality
  • more expensive 
  • they will last years longer

Both share the same characteristic of having a galvanized finish. But GAW meshes are far superior.

Vinyl Coated (VC) fences are also available in either welded or woven meshes. They are different from galvanized products because they have a double layer of protection from rust and corrosion - vinyl coating over previously galvanized wire. This gives these meshes an even longer life. The highest quality and longest lasting products with the best rust protection are those that feature vinyl coating on top of GAW wire. These are the meshes used in such things as lobster pots and crawfish traps.

Why are vinyl coated meshes more expensive?

The cost of the vinyl applied to the wire adds to the cost of the final product. Additional handling and processing during the manufacturing process also add to the cost.

And vinyl coated fence, is it really worth the extra expense?                                                              Meshes and fences that have been vinyl coated have the longest lifetime due to the extra protection they have against rust and corrosion.


What about how it looks?

They are also more aesthetically pleasing. The black and green color stand out less than the brighter galvanized finish. In fact, black mesh tends to disappear into the background, becoming virtually invisible. You can see whatever is on the other side of the fence more clearly.

It is also important to remember that although the initial cost of a vinyl coated fence is higher, it may ultimately be less expensive. Don't forget the cost and aggravation of needing to replace a product with a shorter lifetime.

The choice between galvanized and vinyl coated fence

Think about how long you want the fence to last. How frequently will you want to replace it? If you want a fence that will last a long time and maintain its nice appearance, go with the vinyl coated mesh. If you only need the fence to last a few years, use a GBW mesh.

Again, consider aesthetics--

Think about how you want the fence to look. If the fence will be in a prominent place and you want it to look attractive, use a vinyl coated mesh. If the fence will be less visible and you don't mind a utilitarian appearance, use a GBW mesh. You can also use a GAW mesh if you want the fence to last longer.

And if you need further clarification, please don't hesitate to call us and ask questions--(866) 328-5018

Topics: vinyl coated wire, GAW, GBW, black vinyl coated

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