Chain Link Fence Maintenance

Chain link fences are some of the most durable and sturdy fences in the industry. They are becoming increasingly popular in residential areas for their high-quality protection, especially for pets in the yard.

But few people know that chain link fences require fairly consistent maintenance to keep their sturdiness and not break down and weaken.

Repair Rusted Chain Link Fence

Rust is the most commonly found impairment in chain link fences. It is especially susceptible in wet climates, such as when the snow melts in Minnesota. If not treated properly, the rust can eat through the metal of the chain link fence and diminish its protective stability and durability.

With over 15 years in the fencing industry, we’ve tested every approach to removing rust from a chain link fence. We have found 2 reliable approaches to this process that are easy to do yourself and only require materials you can find in a standard home. Each one is effective, and if one doesn’t work we recommend you try the other. Read more about them below!

Applying Rust Protection To Chain Link Fence

The absolute best and most reliable way to avoid rusting in the first place is the regularly take care of your fence and apply rust protection spray. This should be done at least once a year and is easy to do yourself. Simply spray a rust-resistant coating all over your fence, making sure to get tp the bottom where moisture gathers from grass, dirt, and melting snow.

You will still need to monitor your fence for rust, but a protective coating should help prevent overall intense rusting.

First Approach to Chain Link Fence Rust Removal

This approach to removing rust on a chain link fence requires a bit of elbow grease and some time set aside in your schedule.

To do the first approach we suggest, you will need:

  • A high-pressure hose
  • A wire brush
  • Steel wool or coarse sandpaper
  • A toothbrush
  • Naval jelly

Start by hosing down the rusted fence with the high-pressure hose. Begin from a farther distance to get rid of the debris and large rust flakes before moving closer (within a few inches of the fence) for a concentrated rinse of the stubborn rust spots. Let the fence dry before moving on.

Once the fence is dry, use a wire brush to scrub the larger areas of rust that refuse to come off the fence. You shouldn’t have to apply a lot of force, but simply use long and consistent strokes on the rust. The steel wool or coarse sandpaper should help you reach the corners between the wires and any other remaining patches in hard-to-reach spots.

After this, if there are still spots of rust that refuse to be removed, apply the naval jelly with a toothbrush directly on top of the rust. Wait 10-20 minutes and then wipe the jelly off with a towel. The rust should come off right away.

Second Approach to Chain Link Fence Rust Removal

The second approach we offer to remove rust from a chain link fence is a bit easy on the arms but takes a bit more time.

For this approach you will need to gather these materials:

  • Broom
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Scrub brush

Using the broom, clear any debris and large flakes of rust off the chain link fence. Then, soak the paper towels in vinegar and apply them directly to the rusty spots on the fence. Wait for 30-45 minutes and let the vinegar break down the clinging rust.

After the time has elapsed, remove the paper towel and start scrubbing with your vinegar-soaked scrub brush. It shouldn’t take much effort or force to get the rust off.

You need to watch carefully for recurring rust spots on your fence. The faster you spot rust and take care of it, the less time and effort it takes to remove it. If rust is a recurring problem on your chain link fence, it may be time to consider adding an anti-rust finish to your fence.

Chain Link Fence Finishes

Refinishing your fence with galvanization is another project that can easily be done yourself. Doing this, while slightly more expensive at the time, will save you money in the long run by not needing replacements or repairs to your fence.

To refinish your fence, you need metallic anti-rust paint, a paint roller, and a paintbrush. While we highly recommend that the paint is made specifically for fences, it is not a necessity.

Start by cleaning off the fence of any debris or large rust spots (see the approaches to this process above). This will make sure the paint can bind successfully to the metal of the chain link fence. Smaller rust spots can be left alone, the paint should be able to cover those up and bind to the metal without problems.

Do not paint the whole fence with anti-rust paint. This is unnecessary as the galvanization has only deteriorated in certain parts and can even lead to flaking. Only put the paint on the spots that are consistently rusting. Apply the primer with a roller brush and then put the paint over top. For corners and hard-to-reach spaces, a regular paintbrush can help.

Refinishing your fence can help with its durability, strength, and longevity. An bonus is you’ll have less time you need to spend cleaning up the rust!

DIY Chain Link Fence Upgrades

One of the main reasons our clients tend to overlook a chain link fence for their residency is due to their lack of privacy and aesthetics. But, there are many upgrades you can make to a chain link fence to remedy these drawbacks. That way you can have an aesthetically pleasing fence, the strength of a chain link fence, and keep it affordable.

Privacy Fence Upgrade

Making a chain link fence into a privacy fence is relatively simple. All you need is fence boards, conduit clamps, and wood screws. First, you want to link up the boards around the entire fence and attach them horizontally to the posts and rails using the clamps. Then simply screw them in at the top and the bottom of the fence posts and voila! A private chain link fence.

Making a chain link fence into a privacy fence is a time-intensive project, so we generally recommend it only for smaller projects. If you have the time and capacity, this can also be done with longer fences, but it is a labor-intensive task. However, you do get the added benefit of visual privacy for your yard.

Fence Post Upgrade

No matter the size of your fence, giving it an aesthetic upgrade is super easy. You need the same materials as the privacy upgrade. Attach each board to the fence posts and cut the rest of the board to be able to fit between each post. The boards should be attached horizontally with the conduit clamps and they will cover the distance between each board.

It’s easy to give your fence some style with this DIY upgrade.

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The Final Words on Maintenance

Many things make a chain link fence great such as strength and durability. Unfortunately, low maintenance is not one of these things. If you want your fence to last, you have to put in the work.

Things like rust are natural. They will attack a metal fence for as long as it stands. That’s why you need to know how to deal with it before it eats through the metal. All it takes is some everyday household items and some effort. If these remedies don’t help fight the rust consistently, you may need to consider refinishing your fence.

If you just don’t have the time in your busy schedule to keep your chain link fence up to standards, there are other fence types you can look into that are virtually maintenance-free. Vinyl fencing isn’t susceptible to rust, and ornamental fencing is great for aesthetic appeal.

But, if you are set on a chain link fence, there are also DIY projects you can do to upgrade it aesthetically and give yourself some privacy.

FAQs About Chain Link Fence Maintenance

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

Climbing plants such as ivy will not damage your fence, instead, they will climb up the links and add some life! But for other plants, a good rule of thumb is to space them away from your fence the same distance you would space them away from each other to prevent damage.

How to weatherproof a chain link fence?

There’s nothing you need to do to weatherproof a chain link fence. They are naturally weather-resistant!

Does climbing a chain link fence damage it?

Long-term damage can come from climbing a chain link fence. Climbing on the fence can loosen the wires and eventually cause your fence to 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 763-325-8211.

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We Install Fencing In The Following Communities:

Northland Fence of Ramsey

6390 McKinley St NW, Suite 150
Ramsey, MN 55303

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