At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Chain link fence slats are lengths of plastic, aluminum, or other materials that are designed to weave in between the chain links of the fence to block the view from one side of the fence to the other. These solid chain link fence slats are generally inexpensive and lightweight, and more importantly, they are malleable enough to weave within the chain links without breaking or bending far enough to be damaged. Most homeowners or business owners who purchase chain link fence slats do so to enhance privacy within an enclosed space and to enhance the aesthetic of the sometimes ugly chain link fencing.
Aluminum and plastics, as well as vinyl, are most commonly used for chain link fence slats because such materials are resistant to damage from the weather; rust and corrosion do not occur on such materials, meaning less maintenance, or none at all, will be necessary to keep the slats looking new. They will need to be cleaned periodically, and some slats may fade when exposed to direct sunlight for several years, but in most cases, little or no maintenance will be necessary to keep the slats looking good and remaining functional.
The size and color of the chain link fence slats will vary significantly by manufacturer and purpose. Some slats, for example, do not slide in between the chain links at all, but instead slip over the top of the fence to protect people from the sharp twists of metal at the top of the fence. Some slats may be narrow enough to slide in between one opening of the chain link, while others may be wide enough that they affix to points on the fence while covering several chain links at a time. More modern versions of chain link fence slats even mimic the design of other fence styles, such as the picket fence.
Panels and privacy mesh are becoming more common than chain link fence slats because they provide a clean aesthetic and are easier overall to install. Mesh screens affix to certain points of the fence while covering large swaths of the fence. The mesh may come in a roll that is extended over the length of the fence, unlike fence slats, which must be installed individually between the chain links. Like fence slats, these mesh panels or cloths can be made of aluminum or vinyl to prevent rust, corrosion, and general degradation.