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Chain Link Fence Maintenance

Having a chain link fence can enhance the protection of your yard. They are durable, stable, and long-lasting. But, a chain link fence can only stand strong with proper maintenance.

Chain link fence maintenance can be time-consuming and difficult, but there are many options for finishes and upgrades to make the maintenance process less cumbersome.

Repair Rusted Chain Link Fence

The most common ailment found with chain link fences is rust which accumulates and penetrates the metal. Especially if you live in a wet or damp climate like Minnesota spring, rust is almost inevitable.

Check out our easy rust-removing processes below! These use everyday household materials and don’t require a professional.

Applying Rust Protection To Chain Link Fence

The best way to protect your chain link fence from rust is the properly treat it every year by applying rust protection. You can do this by yourself by spraying a rust-resistant coating on your fence once a year. Make sure to especially spray the bottom as that’s where moisture gathers from the grass and dirt.

First Approach to Chain Link Fence Rust Removal

The first approach we suggest to remove rust is fairly arm-intensive. You won’t have to go to the gym after this!

To do this approach you will need to gather the following materials:

  • High-pressure hose
  • Wire steel-bristle brush
  • Steel wool or coarse sandpaper
  • Toothbrush
  • Naval jelly

First, hose down the area of the fence that has rusted on the highest pressure possible. Start from a further distance and then come closer (within a few inches of the fence) to get the particularly rusty spots.

The purpose of this pre-wash is to get rid of any debris and large flakes of rust. Rinse it once more after you are finished on a medium-pressure setting and then wait for the fence to dry.

Next, use your wire brush to scrub off the larger areas of rust that are stuck on the fence. You don’t need to apply much force, long and consistent strokes should do the trick for the bulk of the rust remaining. Use steel wool or coarse sandpaper to get the small corners and any remaining stubborn rust patches.

If after this there are still spots that linger, apply the naval jelly directly with a toothbrush and wait for 10-20 minutes. Then wipe the jelly off with a towel and the rust should come with it.

Second Approach to Chain Link Fence Rust Removal

The second approach to removing rust is a bit easier on the arms but takes more time. Both processes work equally efficiently.

For this approach you will need the following items:

  • Broom
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Scrub brush

Use the broom to clear debris and remove the larger rust flakes. Next, soak the paper towels in vinegar and cover the rusty spots for 30-45 minutes. This should begin to break down the rust and make it easier to remove.

Once the time is up, remove the paper towels and use a scrub brush dipped in vinegar to scrub down the rust on the fence. It shouldn’t take much effort.

Watch carefully for rusting spots on your chain link fence because the faster you catch them, the less time it takes to clean off. If it becomes a recurring problem, you may need to consider adding an anti-rust finish to your fence.

Chain Link Fence Finishes

Our chain link fences are made from black steel, a coating specifically designed to resist rust. This means if you are consistently finding rust on your chain link fence you may need to get it refinished.

Refinishing your fence is another easy DIY project that can save you money in the long run from repairs and replacements. All you need is metallic anti-rust paint. We highly recommend making sure that your paint is specifically for fences.

Before painting, you should clean off the fence of both debris and large spots of rust. These will prevent the paint from binding to the metal and being effective. You can leave smaller rust spots, the paint should cover them up and bind fine.

Do not paint the whole fence, that is a waste of money and likely to make the original galvanization flake off. You only need to paint the parts of the fence where the original galvanization has deteriorated or eroded. Apply primer with a roller brush and then put the anti-rust paint over it. For corners and tight spaces that are hard to reach with the roller brush, use a regular paintbrush.

This will help drastically with your fence’s strength, durability, and longevity, and lessen the number of times you have to clean off the rust.

DIY Chain Link Fence Upgrades

The main reasons chain link fences are overlooked is because of their lack of visual privacy and aesthetic view. However, there are many chain link fence upgrades you can do yourself for cheap to make it more visually appealing. With smaller fences, this could even include making it into a full privacy fence without compromising the strength of a chain link fence.

Privacy Fence Upgrade

To make your chain link fence into a privacy fence, you need fence boards, conduit clamps, and wood screws. Link up the boards around the entire fence and attach them to the chain link rails using the conduit claims. Then screw them in at the top and bottom of the fence posts.

Upgrading to a privacy fence is a time-intensive job, and thus why it is only recommended for smaller fences. But for those who do it, you get the visual privacy you want and the durability of a chain link fence.

Fence Post Upgrade

You can upgrade your chain link fence aesthetic no matter the size. Instead of lining the entire fence with boards, like a privacy fence, attach each board to the fence posts and then cut the remaining boards to fit the length between each post. Attach them horizontally with the conduit clamps and they cover the distance between each vertical board.

This simple DIY upgrade will give your fence some unique style.

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The Final Words on Maintenance

Chain link fences are great for several reasons, but low maintenance is not necessarily one of them. If you want them to last, you need to put in the effort.

However, rust is natural, and it happens no matter the amount of work you put into maintaining your fence. That’s why it’s necessary to know how to combat rust easily with materials you can find around the house and some good old-fashioned elbow grease. If your remedies aren’t keeping the rust away, you may need to look into refinishing your fence.

If you simply don’t have the time to devote to keeping a chain link fence great, other fence types are virtually maintenance-free like vinyl fencing, ornamental fencing, and privacy fencing.

However, if these are simply too much for your budget, or you want to sturdiness and durability of a chain link fence, try a DIY upgrade for aesthetic improvements.

FAQs About Chain Link Fence Maintenance

Does planting near a chain link fence cause damage to it?

This depends on the type of plant you are hoping to have. Climbing plants such as ivy or vines are fine because they will simply climb the fence. However, with other plants, you should give your chain link fence some space because they can damage the fence posts with their roots.

How to weatherproof a chain link fence?

Chain link fencing is naturally weather-resistant. The only thing you need to worry about to keep this status is occasionally cleaning it with a hose and a stiff-bristle brush.

Does climbing a chain link fence damage it?

Climbing can damage a chain link fence, but it is long-term damage. Climbing a fence, whether it be kids or pets doing it, can loosen the linking wires attached to the fence posts, and, eventually your fence will sag.

Get a Free Quote

Whether you’re looking for a beautiful, maintenance-free vinyl privacy fence, a sturdy chain link fence, or a ornamental fence, we’re ready to show you why we’re Minnesota’s highest and best rated fence company.

Use this form to request a free estimate or call us at 763-316-4881.

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Northland Fence of Apple Valley

6275 147th St. W Suite 102
Apple Valley, MN, 55124

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