A wrought iron fence can be a decorative piece to any home. While they do not offer much as it concerns privacy, they are elegant and durable, qualities that make them a great choice for many projects. Wrought which means hand-shaped Iron, fundamentally means a very low carbon iron alloy that is popular for its pliability and strength. In contrast, there are iron alloys such as “cast iron” which contain more amounts of carbon atoms, making it more brittle. If there is a need for iron to be fashioned in a particular way, wrought iron will be the preferred material because of its malleable qualities.
Wrought ironwork forged by hand has small flaws, dents and other irregularities such as hammer marks which are visible upon close inspection. They are valued antiques because they show that a true smith produced the craft. Today, some ironsmiths fashion solid handicrafts of wrought iron, but it may prove difficult to find any that will make fences out of wrought iron and perhaps even harder to finance such a contract.
A wrought iron fence is comprised of horizontal and vertical members. These vertical bars are called spires, and they make up the majority of the fence. They are always spaced out and are embellished with ornamental pieces called finials.
The horizontal bars run along the spires and parallel to each other near the tops and bottoms of the spaced spires. They are instrumental in keeping the spires spaces fixed and hold the whole fence together, thus their importance to the fence structure cannot be overemphasized.
In 16th century colonial England, only the aristocrats and the wealthiest could afford to import wrought ironwork for their high budget but splendid red brick and cut stone apartments and manors. However, by the early 1800s, blacksmithing as a vocation grew amongst locals and thus ornate iron became more accessible. In the Victorian era, foundries became more invested in making these fences and thus it became more common in England.
Today contemporary wrought iron fences are not always 100% wrought iron. There are alternatives preferred to the original for reasons like wrought iron as a raw material is hard to come by. Alleged wrought iron fences are more likely made from the more accessible steel or aluminum and are better technically referred to as metal fences. These lighter-weight panels come together with fasteners, making the job of mounting them easier and requiring fewer workmen. The classic glossy-hue that wrought iron fence painting has been characterized with has been upgraded. There is an innovation of longer-lasting, a multistep powder-coating process that reduces costs for both initial purchase and long term care and are today more preferred. Even if a fence is called wrought iron, chances are that it is completely void of any iron content. A vogue craftsman can create mixtures both from raw materials and manufacturing methods, and to keep costs low he may likely combine cast-iron fine points with vaulted-steel pickets. One of the common materials often used is aluminum. Aluminum in many ways resembles wrought iron and is cheaper. While highly considered for its lightness and hairless installation process, it’s durable in harsh climates.
Other great options to Wrought Iron include:
They are sheets of steel bent into hollow fence pickets. Steel is considered when looking for strength but a maintenance-minded guide will promptly advise you that steel can scratch and rust.
It is pre-shaped like steel fencing into preassembled panels or pieces. As a guarantee, aluminum will never rust; it is also about four times lighter than steel.
It can be crafted to mimic true wrought iron. More intricate designs are available than with tubular fencing. They are typically stronger and more secure than tubular steel.
These alternatives are great but some of their cons include their lack of durability, strength, and sheer appearance of wrought iron. One might also add in few cases a susceptibility to rust and need for constant maintenance.
Benefits of using wrought iron for fencing
Staying Power: Wrought iron scores high on Yard Fences Staying Power Meter, if not the highest. It is durable and will endure many years of harsh climate and even poor treatment.
High Level of Security: Wrought iron fencing provides landlords and house dwellers with better security as it’s stronger than many other fencing materials. Because wrought iron is a tough nut to crack, it makes it a good choice of a border around your house.
Exquisite: Without a doubt the most artistic fencing material available, wrought iron can be customized to be as basic or embellished as you would want it to be.
Resilience to Biological Components: Although wrought iron cannot keep rodents out, its integrity is impenetrable to the burrowing rodents and other damaging pests that can plague wood. This makes it the perfect fence material in yards with flora and fauna.
Disadvantages of Wrought iron fencing
Quality wrought iron is one of the most expensive fencing materials, the expense can be cost-effective over time. Installation can be labor intensive. This also adds to the high cost of having a wrought iron fence. Wrought iron is heavy and requires good workmanship and meticulous installation to make it last.
The open rail design is such that the outside can see whatever is happening inside and this doesn’t afford much privacy. Now, this can be minimized with nice-looking hedges or flower gardens.
It requires high maintenance for rust and corrosion. There is the time that goes into the inspection and the money and more time that goes into the maintenance proper.
There are some things to take into consideration, however, when it comes to the lifespan of wrought iron. Primarily, this will come down to its upkeep, maintenance, and the climate. Due to the process which wrought iron undergoes during creation, there is a probability of weathering after some time of exposure. Weathering over time would lead to corrosion and rusting, a real menace with this kind of metal as it proves especially difficult to get rid of.
Periodic maintenance can help ensure that this does not happen and keep your wrought iron fence sturdy and attractive. Areas with a considerable amount of rainfall and high humidity are advised to get their fences some good sealant and paint coating regularly, at the very least twice a year. In moderate climates, sealants and paint will only need to be applied every few years. An occasional thorough inspection for chips on the paint and sealant would prove useful in catching early corrosion spots. If however, rust has already occurred you can get it off -and keep it that way by doing the following.
- Using an abrasive like coarse sandpaper to remove the rust. Then going over it again with less coarse sandpaper to obtain a smooth finish.
- Gently wash the metal with detergent and water, then rinse with warm water and allow to dry. Ensure that areas not affected by the rust are properly covered before you embark on this restoration or you might just create a new problem. Use a rust-inhibiting metal primer to coat and fill the gaps of the site being treated.
- Spray or smear on a top coat to match your existing fence, or try something different if you so desire.
Wrought iron can be interspersed into almost any design that you can think of, and this broad customizable option has helped put it on paper and reality as the leading options for outdoor fences. If the material is right and it is well taken care of, it could outlast its
Let us give you a free quote on your Wrought Iron Fencing project.