A galvanized steel fence is any variety of steel fencing that has been galvanized, or coated in another chemical or metal to prevent the steel from rusting. Zinc is most often used to accomplish this. The most common form of galvanized steel fence is the chain link fence, which consists of steel posts that hold up chain links. A galvanized steel fence is most often used for security purposes around homes and other buildings or establishments, most notably in prisons.
The galvanized steel fence is popular because of its low cost as compared to other fence materials, in addition to the ease with which it can be installed. Galvanized steel for the fencing is not particularly expensive, which means large expanses can be fenced in for the same price as a much smaller wooden or vinyl fence. While the appearance of a galvanized steel fence is not as visually pleasing as other fence materials, it is superior for security fencing because it can keep most would-be intruders out of a yard or open space; this effect is further enhanced by the addition of barbed wire to the top of the fence.
When installing a galvanized steel fence, the posts must be sunk into concrete to be properly secured. The chain link rolls are then stretched from post to post; this must be done correctly, as sagging may occur if not pulled tightly. This can lead to gaps in the fencing. Chain link fences can also be built into taller shapes. They are commonly used on baseball fields as a backstop, preventing foul balls from hurtling into the stands or a road behind the field. Chain link fencing can also be formed into boxes for transition areas between an open space and a confined space; hinged doors, also made from galvanized steel, can limit access to either side of the box.
While chain link fences are not the most attractive, they do have their aesthetic benefits: first, the gaps between the links in the chain links allow plenty of light to pass through, meaning the fence will not interfere with available light on plants or lawns. Second, signs or other decorations can be easily hung from the chain link fencing, since there are ample attachment points. Banners are commonly hung from chain link fences to promote businesses. Third, the fence is versatile; if the owner of the fence decides he or she does not want transparency, plastic slats can be placed between the chain links, eliminating any transparency.