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Galvanised Fence Post Benefits

Sep 19, 2023 - 3 min read
Galvanised Fence Post Benefits

There’s a fairly new financial concept in the construction industry that probably hasn’t quite got to home-owners and their garden fences yet. It’s called Total Cost of Ownership (normally abbreviated to TCO) and it’s about budgeting not only for the cost of build but the cost of maintenance and repair across the life expectancy of a construction or installation.

In taking a long-term view of costs, it’s an idea that makes huge sense. It’s long been known that building with inferior materials may seem cheaper in the short-term but that, when you include repair and renewal costs, investing in quality at the outset works out to be more economical in the long-run..

As home and fencing installers alike will tell you, the biggest single point of failure in maintaining fences in good order is broken fence-posts. Timber posts rot and concrete posts crack allowing water to seep in and rust the reinforcing rods until the post collapses. A longer-lasting fence post is on everybody’s wish-list.

Why Galvanisation TFM reduces TCO

Steel is a super-strong material for fence posts. Better still it is comparatively light – up to 60% lighter than a comparable reinforced concrete support. But, like iron reinforcing rods, it will rust.

However, coating the steel post with a protective layer of zinc crystals can increase what is known as TFM (time to first maintenance) by an enormous amount – most experts suggest to at least 70 years and probably longer. ‘First maintenance’ is defined as the time that 5% of the surface is rusted – so hardly deteriorated at all.

Given that treated timber fence posts have a life span of between 10-15 years, and concrete ones have a life expectancy of around 20 years in good conditions, galvanised steel posts massively dilute TCO.

Take out tip - Go for a hot dip (with a side of frogs' legs)

Galvanism dates back to 1780 when an Italian scientist named Luigi Galvani made a dead frog’s legs twitch by passing an electric current through them. The term was coined in his honour by a contemporary physicist Alessandro Volta – the genius after whom ‘volts’ are named and who invented the first chemical battery. Taking this rather quirky thought to the macabre extreme, in 1798 Giovanni Aldini, Galvani’s nephew, even conducted electrical experiments on an executed criminal in London’s Newgate prison getting one eye to open and the right hand to rise up and clench. Really weird – don’t worry, we’re sticking to fencing!

Actually, quite how this connects to plating steel with zinc is rather shrouded in mystery. Suffice to say that in 1837 the French inventor named Stanislas Sorel filed a patent for a ‘galvanic’ method of protecting iron from rust by ‘hot-dipping’ it into a bath of molten zinc. The rest is history – ever since galvanised steel has been used the world over.

Team DuraPost - We're simply electric!

To put things in a nutshell, at Team DuraPost we now have a wonderful galvanised fence post that reduces the long-term cost of owning a garden fence whilst reducing the time and stress it takes for installation due to its lightness. We reckon good old Luigi would think that’s electrifying news – and what’s not to like about that?


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