Gates mark the entrance to your living space. They provide guests and passers-by an impression of the residents. Wrought iron gates do exactly this, but are they the best options? How do they match against steel gates and fences? Find out below.
Pros and Cons of Using Wrought Iron for Gates and Fencing
Why Does Wrought Iron Not Rust?
Wrought iron can rust—it is iron, after all. But when cared for and coated regularly, it can last a lifetime. How is that?
Wrought iron is a strong version of the metal. Being shaped and stretched under high heat, it is rich in carbon. Such nature as well makes it easier to recondition compared with other metals, especially cast iron.
How Can You Tell If Iron Is Wrought?
Wrought iron is easily crafted in various intricate shapes, like ornate ironworks for gates, railings, fences, wall decorations, and gates. It is more resistant to corrosion and rusting, is denser, and has a slightly grainy wood texture when compared with steel and faux iron.
But if you don’t trust your eyes, there are tests you can do to check for the genuineness of your metal gate or fence. Here are the common ones blacksmiths and metal workers use:
Take half-inch square and cut it with a saw halfway. Bend the remaining connection. You will see smooth fracturing and fine grains on the break if it’s genuine wrought iron. The higher the quality of the metal, the finer the grains.
Polish a sample on a plane parallel to its length. This will expose its bright surface and linear slag inclusions that form its grain.
Take a grinding tool and use it on your sample and a mild steel sample. Wrought iron will throw long reddish sparks with a few branches, while mild steel will produce white sparks.
Things to Consider When Selecting and Customizing Your Wrought Iron Gate
Galvanizing wrought iron is one way to keep it from rusting. It is done by applying layers of zinc to iron to produce a rust-resistant wrought iron. It can be:
- Sprayed on – This galvanizing technique makes use of a mist sprayer or a handgun applicator and is often utilized on large-built wrought iron installations.
- Hot dipped – This is an ancient technique of proofing iron, wherein iron is submerged in molten zinc multiple times while drying in between each coat. This creates layers of zinc-iron alloy and zinc metal and gets in all surfaces and corners.
Construction and Hardware
Welding is still the best method in connecting wrought iron rods together. While some DIY projects you can buy at the local hardware use screws or brackets, such materials may rust, especially when they are not “compatible” with wrought iron. They get in the way of aesthetics as well as they usually come in silver or brass finishes, which are in total contrast with the typical black and muted gold railings of wrought iron gates or fences.
Wrought Iron vs Steel Gates – Which is Better?
They may be both metals but, from a scientific perspective, iron and steel are completely different. Iron is a naturally occurring metal, while steel is a man-made alloy. But when building a fence or gate, which makes for a better option? Below is an outline of the pros and cons of each to help you make your choice.
- Steel can be manufactured at a low price.
- It can resist corrosion better than iron.
- It is difficult to create ornate and intricate designs using steel.
- While steel is almost corrosion-resistant, it is not as durable as iron.
- Wrought iron is extremely durable. It has been used in building fences and doors since even before the Victorian era.
- It is low-maintenance and does not corrode or rust easily.
- It is heavy, so it makes for a great choice if security is a concern. Sturdy wrought iron fences can deter wild animals and most vehicles.
- Wrought iron, when heated, is easy to bend and mold, making it a perfect choice even when aesthetic and property value are the top priorities.
- Since it is naturally sourced and recyclable, wrought iron does not add to the earth’s carbon footprint.
- While iron rusts, maintaining it is simpler than other materials and reliable services, like Naddour’s Custom Metalworks, are readily available in localities. They have professionals who are experts in priming and repainting wrought iron railings.
- Transportation and installation may be a struggle because wrought iron is heavy.
- Cost can be expensive as it requires skill to be created and manpower to transport.
Whether you’re getting wrought iron driveway gates or a steel fence, your choice should mainly depend on your needs and preference. If you’re working on a tight budget and need a material that will do just the work, it’s not bad to opt for steel.
But if you’re willing and can shell out a bit more, a wrought iron gate or fence is your best bet. It has been proving its durability and keeping intruders out since time immemorial.
Combining the two metals is another ideal choice. With the mix of iron and steel, you get a highly durable fence or gate with the advantage of customizing the scrollwork details.
What Naddour’s Custom Metalworks Can Offer You
Make sure you’re buying the right gate and fencing for your property. Get in touch with the experts.
If you’re in Santa Ana, California, Naddour’s Custom Metalworks specializes in custom fabricated wrought iron gates, fences, and railings. Our blacksmiths and metal professionals can help you design, fabricate, and put up your ornate installations. We also have stainless steel, bronze, brass, and titanium in our catalogue should one of those be the better choice for your yard.
Set a meeting with us to discuss your exterior design vision, budget, and timeline via our fill out form. You can also reach us at (714) 266 1950. We are open from 9am to 5pm, Mondays through Fridays. Your dream wrought iron gate is just a consultation away!