Wrought iron fencing has long been a favorite amongst homeowners and property owners alike. The classic feel and beautiful aesthetics are just a few of the reasons why so many people decide to go with this timeless look.
That being said, there are certainly some pros and cons associated with this fence material. Traditional wrought iron has a tendency to chip, rust or even rot. Depending on how corrosive the materials are, or the environment that the fence is in, the wear and tear can be minimal to extreme. Nowadays, many companies tend to stray away from actual wrought iron and opt for alternative materials instead. While the materials may be different, the functionality and look are preserved. Here at Northland Fence, we use galvanized ornamental steel to achieve a more durable and maintenance-free solution.
Because of this, we’ll give some tips on how to maintain both traditional wrought iron and our galvanized steel types. But before we get into maintenance, we think it’s important to know what some of the ups and downs are of having a wrought iron fence.
Pros and Cons
Pro: Very Tough
One huge upside to using any metal, but especially iron or steel, is that it’s extremely durable. This makes it far more appealing for property owners that are looking for security fencing. Depending on what the fence is made from, these are typically easy to maintain. If they are properly painted and coated, you won’t have to worry about much deterioration. Metal begins to wear when foreign substances get trapped in the fence, but a solid coat of paint will prevent this.
The classic look and rugged stature of a wrought iron fence will cost you a bit more than the alternatives (wood or vinyl). It’s simply a more expensive material and installation can be a bit more labor-intensive depending on the installation method.
This may come as no surprise, but one of the biggest upsides of a wrought iron fence style is how incredible it looks. There really is no other metal fence type that matches the elegance and incredible appeal that this fence can bring to your home. It’s called ornamental for a reason. There are also different shapes and styles to choose from with this material.
Another potential downside of wrought iron style fencing is that they are not great for privacy. While they are perfect security fences, they have gaps that can be easily peered through. The iron or steel bars are close together enough to keep intruders out, but they aren’t flush. People will be able to see through to the other side with ease.
OK, What About Maintenance?
Well, we thought about putting this in the “con” section, but one possible downside to wrought iron fencing is the maintenance required to keep it in tip-top shape. With actual wrought iron, you’re going to be in for a world of trouble with rust and corrosion. Extreme weathering can really take a toll on iron, and you’ll eventually end up
That’s why we stick to galvanized steel. You’ll get the same great look and the same incredible appeal without having to worry about weathering nearly as much. That being said, there are certainly some steps you can take to maintain the look of your ornamental fence.
1 – Inspect
Depending on where you live, you may be able to get away with checking in on your fence every few months. But here Minnesota where weather extremes can go every which way, we would recommend inspecting your fence once a month. This goes for any area that has lots of rain, high or low temperatures, and locations with lots of snow and road salt.
2 – Clean
If you want the finish on your fence to stand the test of time, be sure to clean regularly. If your fence has a decent paint job and finish, a simple wipe down with water and a towel will do the trick. However, if during your inspections you notice bird droppings or other types of animal excretion, you’ll want to use soap and water to make certain that it’s all gone. Use a paint-safe soap. The same can be said if you notice salt from snow removal services on your fence. You’ll want to take care of salt quick so that it doesn’t corrode your fencing.
3 – Paint when needed
One of the biggest issues with metal fencing is that the paint protects your steel or iron. If your paint chips or flakes away, parts of your fence can become exposed to the elements. If this happens, you risk weathering. If you notice any flaking, chipping, bubbling, or deterioration of paint on your fence, be sure to take care of it right away. Brush away any damaged paint with a wire brush and use a primer, apply at least two coats. Once that has dried, go over it again with rustproof paint for another two coats.
Precaution Is Your Friend
With ornamental fences, it’s all about keeping them in mint condition. The best way to do this is by being preventative with your maintenance efforts. Inspecting your fence doesn’t take a lot of time and will save you a ton of time and effort (along with money) down the line. If you do happen to stumble upon rust, you’ll need to take care of it right away, because it will spread. A wire brush will be your friend here. Use it to sand down the area all the way down to the bone (in this case the bare metal). Use rust mort and follow the directions carefully. Then it’s back to priming and painting.
Ornamental fencing is a great way to add appeal and beauty to your property. If properly maintained, these fences can last years and provide you with a great aesthetic and ultimate security. Interested in a wrought iron style fence installation? Contact us today!