Salt-laden sea winds make coastal fences far more susceptible to corrosion than those inland.
Simon Fuller, Chairperson of the Fencing Contractors’ Association, recommends the following to increase durability in salty situations:
- Use wire with aluminium content. A zinc/aluminium wire will last three to four times longer than ordinary galvanised wire - 25 years compared to 7 years on an exposed coastal site.
- Use a heavier gauge wire - 3.5mm instead of the usual 2.5mm.
- If possible, use staples with aluminium content also.
- Use stainless steel wire for post footings.
- Check the fence regularly as wire will deteriorate quickly once rust appears.
- Replace deteriorating sections promptly.
- Watch areas particularly exposed to spray drift, including places where sea winds funnel inland, as corrosion is likely to set in earlier in these places, without necessarily affecting the whole fence.
Photo below: Corrosion on a coastal fence
Open SpaceTM Magazine No. 66, March 2006 © QEII National Trust