How to Fix a Chain Link Fence

metal chain link fence

Chain link fences can become damaged in many different ways. From being bent out of shape to having fabric torn from it, having one repaired as soon as possible could save both money and time in repair costs. A simple repair may save both time and money.

Starting your repair, remove all wire ties that connect the fence to its top rail – there should usually be at least one every few feet.

Steps to fix a chain link fence

Remove the Post

If your chain link fence has one damaged post, repairing it with a simple patch may be possible. All it requires is a new rail to replace the old one and some wire ties; and of course safety precautions such as wearing eye protection, steel-toed boots and thick gloves – plus, if working outdoors you should also consider wearing a respirator in order to limit exposure to concrete dust.

Begin by locating the initial point of bend. This will enable you to decide whether it can be easily repaired, or requires more permanent solutions such as replacement of an entire fence section. When you know where the bend begins, locate undamaged chain-link fabric either side of damaged area, and straighten out hooked wire ends using linesman’s pliers.

Dig a trench around the damaged post while taking care to avoid underground utilities that might be present in its path. Next, loosen any dirt in the trench using a shovel in order to expose its base. If there’s concrete covering the base of your post, use a jackhammer to break up and remove it as quickly as possible as doing this before it hardens will make your job much simpler.

removing posts of chain link fence

Once the post has been exposed, you can start dismantling it using either a manual pole puller, using its hook attached to a concrete plug and levers to gradually disassemble it, or an hydraulic pole puller wherein its hose connects directly to its spigot in order to maximize leverage and leverage against any remaining dirt in its hole. After loosening is complete use a shovel to clear away any remaining soil in its wake.

If there are clamps holding the fence fabric to its posts, a pry bar can help loosen them. Careful removal of nails or screws attached will be required as well. Once your sections are free from posts, begin untangling their tension bars woven throughout their sections of fence.

Reattach the Post

Unless a bent chain link fence post can be straightened using only hands and pipe wrench, replacing the damaged section may be the only solution. Replacing it yourself may be done easily as part of a DIY home improvement project using tools and supplies from any hardware store; alternatively a professional may need to dig up existing concrete and install new posts in their place.

Step one is identifying exactly where the damage begins in your fence. With a pair of pliers, untie all wire ties that connect top rail and chain link mesh together – depending on their nature you may need to twist or cut these free. After untying all ties that secure damaged section to the rest of fence remove old section of top rail from fence.

As soon as you have removed the old rail, it will be necessary to create some maneuvering room by loosening one of the other existing rail ends that connects to its damaged end. Loosen it and move it over to your new section ensuring both sections are aligned perfectly with each other. Using the same technique used on another section, uncouple its coupling on top rail section 3 before sliding it back into place using similar method.

Once you’ve made these purchases, purchase an equivalent section of top rail from either a hardware or home improvement store. If a smaller section cannot be found that matches exactly, larger will do as long as its dimensions match those of the existing rail. When your new top rail arrives, simply place it against the damaged section and use your pliers to connect its ends to those already attached on existing top rail.

fixing post of chain link Fence

To ensure the replacement section is securely attached and does not sag, it is necessary to weave its newly attached ends into the existing fabric using either pliers or some of the wire ties you removed previously. Once this step is completed, your replacement section can be ready for its final steps.

Replace the Rails

Even though chain link fences are extremely resilient, wear and tear can occur that compromises their integrity, endangering you, your family or pets. However, most moderate damages can easily be repaired at home with just your own hands or with help from others if the bends originate near an entrance point to the property. In such cases it will help determine where straightening out bent rails is possible without additional tools or replacement parts – or else contact an electrician or repair service for professional assistance.

Start by finding an undamaged section of fence fabric near a bent or missing piece, and using lineman’s pliers to untwist wire ties holding chain-link fabric onto either side of the damaged section on both sides of your damaged area. Depending on the length of your fence, several pieces may need to be untwisted before you find the hook that holds fabric together at its top section and use your lineman’s pliers to straighten out this wire before carefully uncoiling it from it without further damaging it or damaging its contents.

Locate the non-tapered section of your replacement rail. If you don’t know its exact length, find something close. Measure and cut off any excess using your tool before installing your new rail by sliding its tapered end into the shorter portion of the existing rail before sliding a coupling onto its other end. Repeat this same process to secure the bottom rail.

Replace the Mesh

If a tree fell onto your fence and crushed a section of wire mesh or created a large hole in it, replacing the entire broken section may be necessary. To do so, locate where the damaged mesh connects with the top rail and find an undamaged section which connects. Depending on its vinyl coating type, rebending might also be an option, although replacing is generally easier and faster.

With work gloves on, identify the rail wires connecting chain link mesh to the upper rail, then use lineman’s pliers to untie them and set aside unneeded wire ties to reuse later.

replacing wire mesh of chain link fence

Locate an undamaged section of lower rail and start unwrapping wires from one section to the next, untangling them as you go along until all sections have been unwrapped. You’ll quickly discover that these wires don’t get as tangled up like those in higher rail sections; making this task much simpler. When done, find their top ends and twist off of undamaged sections by twisting.

Use the damaged section of wire mesh as a guide when measuring out what piece to replace it with. Aim to cut an identical piece 1-2 links longer than its predecessor to fill any gaps that remain. After unhooking from its roll of fencing, remove its top end from underneath by pulling on its hook. Finally, straighten out its lower hook before pulling to unhook itself from any wires at its top end and pull to separate from them completely.

As soon as the new chain link fabric has been suspended from the top rail, you can begin weaving it into your existing mesh. When weaving it in, be sure to stretch out and tighten its replacement fabric so it remains taut as you do this process. When finished weaving in, tie down with existing wire ties as before as well as applying more around each location as desired.

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