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Is there anything I can spray on hardware cloth to make it last longer

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Count Orloff, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Count Orloff

    Count Orloff Out Of The Brooder

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    I am finishing up my run this weekend. I opted for the 1/2" hardware cloth as I know that chicken/hex wire doesn't hold up very well. If I spray the wire with clear lacquer when I'm done, will this noticeably prolong its durability and appearance? How long does hardware cloth last generally?
     
  2. bjash

    bjash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've had ours up for over 10 years and it doesn't have any rust yet.
     
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    If you want to paint it use Benjamin Moore Super Spec HP Acrylic Metal Primer P04.
    Its recommended for: Ferrous Metal, Galvanized Metal, Equipment, Metal buildings, Fences, General Maintenance, Painting, Masonry Substrates.

    Chris
     
  4. Count Orloff

    Count Orloff Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:In other words, galvanized hardware cloth is head and shoulders above chicken wire?
     
  5. bjash

    bjash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At least the hardware cloth that I have is. It's regular 1/2" hardware cloth, but I have noticed that the wire gauge is heavier than chicken wire.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    The galvanization already on there will be fine.

    IME the cheapest chickenwire is much more cheesily manufactured than the cheapest hardwarecloth.


    Pat
     
  7. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:In other words, galvanized hardware cloth is head and shoulders above chicken wire?

    Definately
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Three different factors at play when you compare chicken wire (sometimes referred to as hex wire) to welded wire (sometimes referred to as hardware cloth). The first factor is the thickness of the wire, or gauge. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire. Thus 20 gauge wire (common for chicken wire) is thinner than 19 gauge, etc. 20 gauge wire is quite thin and easily bendable in your fingers. 16 gauge wire is not easily bendable in your fingers, and really gives you a workout when you're cutting it by hand with wire cutters.

    Another important factor is structure. With chicken wire, the strands of wire are simply twisted around each other, which means that the openings can be stretched when force is applied. With welded wire, the connections are (obviously) welded, which is much stronger. In order to break down the structure of a welded fence, enough force must be applied to break the weld.

    The other factor to consider is the size of the openings between the wires. With chicken wire, the openings between the wires are usually 1 inch or more, which means critters can easily poke their paws through (as well as large mice/rats and snakes can just go right through). It's very difficult to find chicken wire with smaller openings. On the other hand, welded wire comes in a range of wire spacings, from as small as 1/4" by 1/4" all the way up to 2" by 4" and larger. Wire with the very small openings is often higher gauge wire than the other kinds, though.

    Unless you buy stainless steel wire (which is Yikes!!! expensive), you'll be buying a galvanized wire that has a zinc coating to deter rust. There are two kinds of galvanizations for welded wire: galvanized before weld (GBW) and galvanized after weld (GAV). The GAV wire is usually more expensive and it's considered better (stronger) than the GBW. GBW mesh can begin to rust at the connections because the welding process removes some of the zinc coating from the wires.

    Finally, you can buy vinyl coated wire that may add a little extra life to the product, but the wire underneath should be galvanized, also. I buy the vinyl coated hardware cloth for my runs mostly because it looks better to me than the plain wire, and I'm too lazy to paint all that wire black.
     
  9. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I actually considered painting my hardware wire black because I thought it would look better, but by the time we started installing it I was just soooooo ready for it to be done that I let it go. Three years later and it still looks great. We get LOTS of weather here in MN and it shows no sign of rust. Now, the chicken wire on the other hand, rusted in one season. I know the hardware wire is more expensive, but it's worth every penny.
     

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