Has your chain link fence seen better days? Have patches of rust turned it into an eyesore? Have bent sections or gaping holes made it ineffective as a barrier? You may be wondering whether it can be repaired or whether you need to invest in a whole new fence.
Here’s some good news for you: damaged chain link fencing can be repaired, saving you the time and expense of investing in an entirely new solution. No matter what type of issue you’re facing, you can generally straighten, secure, and refinish your sagging, unsightly chain link fence.
Keep reading to learn about the different types of chain link fencing, typical damage seen and common repairs that may need to be made.
Types of Chain Link Fences
Although they may look similar, not all chain link fences are the same. SFGATE notes that they can vary in several important ways:
Mesh or Netting Size:
This includes both the chain link wire gauge, or thickness, and the mesh square size, which is how close together the wires are located. Thinner wires and a looser fence pattern can hurt the longevity of your fence.
Fence wires are available in both stainless and galvanized steel and are often coated with zinc to protect against wire oxidation. Some wiring is also coated in PVC, which adds another layer of protection against damage and the elements.
In addition to the longevity of the fence, different colors can give your fence a whole new look. Uncoated steel wires are typically what you think of in a commercial setting, but more organic colors can help your fence blend into the surroundings and look better in a residential area.
In addition to the appearance on your property, these factors can also significantly impact the performance, ability to withstand abuse and longevity of your chain link fence.
Common Chain Link Fence Damage
No matter whether your fence was damaged due to the weather, falling tree limbs, chain link cuts, or bends, HomeAdvisor notes that there are several common issues you may encounter:
Rust and Corrosion:
Uncoated fencing can rust and corrode with age, particularly in harsher climates.
Cut Chain Link Wires:
Uninvited guests may take a pair of wire clippers to your fence to gain access.
Bent, Curling and Misshapen Fencing:
Again, uninvited guests may have bent or curled your fence to gain access or scaled it to retrieve a ball. Falling debris like tree limbs can also cause your fence to become misshapened.
Damaged PVC Coating:
Weather, debris and even landscaping equipment can strip the protective coating from your fence.
Disconnection from Post:
Impact from heavy objects like falling tree limbs, and even strong storms, can cause your fence to disconnect from the supporting posts.
These types of damages impact every aspect of your fence, from performance to longevity to appearance. If you’ve noticed any of these issues with your chain link fence, don’t put off repairs. In addition to posing a safety and security risk, unaddressed issues can quickly get worse.
Chain Link Fence Repair Options
The extent and size of the fence damage determines the type of repairs your chain link fence needs. For small holes in your fence, you can often tie the mesh wires back together. For larger holes, you may need to cut out the damaged part and replace it with a new section cut to fit. Again, you can connect the new section of fence mesh by weaving it together with pliers or using ties.
For rusty chain link fencing that’s become an eyesore, a fresh coat of paint can completely transform the look. Bob Vila notes that you'll want to start by removing the corrosive rust with a metal brush. This includes brushing off the poles supporting the fence.
After that, you should hose down and clean your fence, paying special attention to whether you’ve removed all old paint chips that could prevent new paint from properly adhering. SFGATE explains that a "rust-stopping spray" can be used on areas that had significant rust. A metal primer can be used on fences that were previously painted or rusty.
After the prep work, protect the grass beneath your fence with cardboard and use a paint specifically formulated for metal. A nap roller works well for applying paint, though a brush should be used for touch-ups and missed spots.
Do you have a bent or sagging chain-link fence? The tie wires may need to be replaced or tightened. Home Depot explains that you may also need to reset the posts holding up your fence if they’re out of alignment or tilting. This can be a labor-intensive process that starts with breaking up the concrete around the base of your posts, discarding the old concrete, leveling the fence post and finally pouring a new concrete footing around it.
Why Chain Link Fencing is a Good Option
In addition to its ability to be repaired, chain link fences offer many more benefits that you may not have been aware of:
Affordability compared to other fencing materials
Sturdiness that is hard to damage
Resistance to sun, wind, moisture and other inclement weather
Little interruption to line of sight and airflow
If your current chain link fence has some condition issues, there’s a good chance that you’re not facing the expense of an entirely new fence. Particularly if your fence isn’t very old, it can probably be repaired.
The beauty of a chain link fence is its lack of required maintenance. Once a season, do a thorough inspection to check for bends, rust, broken ties and other issues. If your fence is dirty, a spray from the garden hose is generally sufficient to clean it off. With a little looking after, you can expect many years of worry-free performance from your chain link fence, even if it requires a few minor repairs along the way.
Hot dip galvanized iron wire Dense Wire Twisted Wire Iron Wire Black Annealed Iron Wire what is wire mesh Decorative Woven Mesh Architectural Wire Mesh Architectural Mesh insulating joint American Standard Railroad Clad Head For Pressure Vessels Galvanized Hog Wire Fence decorative wire mesh supplier Welded Metal Mesh Panels Stainless Steel Welded Metal Mesh Panels