Chain Link Fencing: Difference Between Galvanized Before Weld (GBW) And Galvanized After Weld (GAW)

When installing chain link fences on your property, opt for fences that have been galvanized. This means a protective zinc coating has been applied on the fences to prevent rust and corrosion. Galvanized chain link fences tend to be more expensive and cost approximately $8.99 per foot with a warranty period between 10 to 15 years. There are two types of galvanized chain link fences: galvanized before weld (GBW) and galvanized after weld (GAW). Most consumers are not aware of the differences. Although minor, they make a huge difference in the quality of the fencing.

Differences in Manufacturing Process

Visually, GBW and GAW chain link fences look very similar. The main difference lies in how these fences have been manufactured. The wire of GBW chain link fences were galvanized prior to being fed into a welder and made into fencing. At the weld point where the wires cross, the protective zinc coating has been burned away. This leaves this type of chain link fencing vulnerable to rust and corrosion at this point because it is unprotected. Rainwater will easily cling onto the intersected area and slowly eat away at the wire. In most cases, you can easily see the burn marks on the fence.

GAW chain link fences, on the other hand, are first welded into the fencing pattern. Afterwards, the entire mesh is drawn through a bath of molten zinc and galvanized as a result. Because of this, there are no vulnerable points, and the intersections are completely sealed and protected. GAW chain link fences are less likely to corrode or rust and typically have an extended lifespan, although they also come with a higher initial cost. This type of chain link fencing also requires less maintenance services and repairs, as they can tolerate and withstand environmental and elemental factors a lot better.


Just because the chain link fencing you have purchased has been galvanized, it does not necessarily make the fencing a lot stronger, durable and secure – especially, if you are not aware of the differences between GBW and GAW. How the fence has been galvanized and the processes involved play a huge factor. In the end, it's definitely worth splurging and installing GAW fences rather than GBW fences because they can better resist corrosion and rusting. Most manufacturers do not specify which galvanization process has been used. You'll need to be diligent and find out yourself.  For more information, contact Elrod Fence Co. or a similar company.