One of our regular clients gave us a call last week.
Bill is an iron man, while his brother Tom is more of an aluminum guy.
“Help us out here,” he asked, “which fence is the more durable, iron or aluminum?”
It’s a common question and one which pops up from time to time with lovers of metal fencing.
Everyone has their favorite fencing material, whether it be wood, vinyl, iron or aluminum. The critical element is to get the facts right when making a decision.
We asked around the office to get opinions on the iron vs. aluminum debate, and the answers may surprise you.
On the durability question of iron vs. aluminum fencing we found:
- Rust is a big consideration
- Strength is a factor
- Where you put the fence makes a difference
- UV can affect both metals
- Which is easier to repair?
Let’s take a closer look at each point for a better idea on the durability question.
Rust is a big consideration
Whenever you think or talk about durability, rust must always be a factor.
Rust gets into the material and can eat away at it if you do not take any action.
Aluminum cannot oxidize, and so it does not rust. It can stain, and color may fade, but aluminum cannot rust.
Being rust free is a massive advantage in the durability stakes.
While iron can and does rust, if you care for the material you can prevent rust from taking hold. For many people a sign of treated rust adds character to an iron fence; showing its age in a good way.
For low maintenance and a rust-free material, aluminum has a clear advantage over iron.
Strength is a factor
If you are looking for security, then a metal fence is always a good option.
Aluminum is sturdy, but it can bend on impact. It is possible to replace the panels, and our method of attaching them makes it a very simple task.
Iron though is a tough material. It has natural impact inhibitors, and an iron fence does not bend, break or fall over too easily. Repairs may involve welding, but the strength of the product reduces the need for the work.
When it comes to strength iron is the winner, as it can withstand most types of damage.
UV can affect both materials
As fences are outdoors, they suffer the effects of the weather, both good and bad.
Constant exposure to sunlight and the UV rays in it, can do damage to the fencing material.
With iron and aluminum, UV will most likely affect the color of the fence.
It affects both fences equally.
For fade resistance and strong colors, you should insist on having a UV inhibitor in the finish of both iron and aluminum fencing.
Which is easier to repair?
As we said already both materials are repairable when it comes to damage from external forces.
Rust will not affect aluminum fencing, but it can attack iron fencing, though powder coating and vigilance should keep it under control.
Iron needs welding, but it can be easier to weld a broken rail than to replace it. Aluminum fencing can bend and buckle under pressure, but the only solution is to replace a post or panel.
A repaired iron fence has character, but aluminum can lose its shape and not look good after an attempted repair.
Where you put the fence makes a difference
This is where your fence supply company and their local knowledge comes into play.
They can tell you which material is best for your property, and how the local climate and wildlife may be a factor.
Where you are putting the fence is essential, as aluminum is more straightforward to erect on hilly ground than iron.
Ask the local team for advice, and they will help you plan the project properly.
At Fence Supply Online we love to talk about iron and aluminum fences.
Our team of experts has plenty of ideas on designs and the best material to use.
Use the Draw It & Quote It software to get an idea on costs.
Call us today for all your fencing needs.