While most new home communities make use of vinyl or wood fencing as their main fence material, there are still a lot of neighborhoods that allow homeowners to select from a wide variety of materials to create a perimeter around their homes. Many still choose one of the most affordable fences on the market that can keep outsiders from entering the yard while keeping pets and children safe inside: chain link fence. If you happen to own a home surrounded by one of these fences or are looking to install a fence that will last many years without blowing out your home improvement budget, here are a few maintenance tips for taking care of a chain link fence:
Keep Your Chain Link Fence Vine Free
A lot of homeowners think that vines on a fence are a wonderful way to add natural beauty to their yard. While that may be true, we don’t recommend that you grow vines, flowers or any kind of decorative plant on a chain link fence. While they may look nice, plants can grow through the chain link, causing the fence to lift on the bottom, which can create slight warps among the panels. This combined with a heavy snow or rain season can result in the fence losing its structural integrity over time. What you have left is a fence with leaning sections or bowing panels, which can cause severe bowing. Plants can also burst through the links and cause them to break, leaving sharp openings which can harm bot h humans and pets if they’re not careful.
Clean Your Chain Link Fence A Couple of Times a Year
This many sounds like a time-intensive process, but a good hosing down of your chain link fence will help it last a long time. You don’t need to do much—if you own a power hose, a good spray once a year easily does the job for keeping the fence clean. If you have a regular hose, just set your nozzle on the highest setting and give it a good watering down. For any areas with a bit of a buildup, you can often just take a bucket of water and a sponge to get rid of mud, bird poop, clumps of leaves and other debris stuck to your fence. For truly tough areas, you may need to get out a scrub brush and some dish soap mixed in with your water to keep the fence sparkling clean.
Apply Rust Protection Every Spring
If you want that chain link fence to last more than two decades, applying rust protection each spring can help you reach your goal. The most problematic area of a chain link fence is the bottom portion and many homeowners never seem to look down until that fateful day when they realize that the fence is completely rusted out just above the ground, especially if you have flowers planted close to where the fence sits. Don’t let this happen to you! Set a calendar item in whatever app you use (or mark the free calendar you get from China Garden. Come on, we know you have them hanging in your kitchen or office!), and when May rolls around, head to your local box store to get enough Rust Oleum (one of our favorites) and apply it to your fence. One can of spray covers about 15 square feet and you can even purchase it with a color in mind if you want to give your fence more visual appeal.
Repair Your Chain Link Fence When You Notice an Issue
One of the main reasons why homeowners love chain link is that if you have a sprawling yard, it’s an affordable material that’s fairly free of intense maintenance. However, over time you may find that certain sections of your chain link fence may require some maintenance. If you have children or pets that pull on or jump on the fence often, you may see a need to strengthen the connection between a panel and a post. You may also find that after a heavy winter and wet spring that the hinges on your gate may get a little rusty. Additionally, after years of heavy use, your gate may start to sage or dig slightly into the ground.
As soon as you notice something about the fence that requires a bit of a repair, take care of it right away. If you don’t, all you’re doing is setting yourself up for either a major repair job over time or the need for a replacement fence sooner than planned.
Take the time to take care of your chain link fence and it will last a long time. You can tell a homeowner who makes the effort as their fence looks as good as new once spring time rolls around because they’ve both cleaned it and made some repairs to keep the entire fence looking as if it was recently installed. It’s not all that hard to do and the one weekend you spend in the spring means the difference between a fence that last six to seven years versus eighteen to twenty. Just ask any of our fence consultants!
Thinking About Chain Link Fence?
If you’re in the market for a new chain link fence, you now have several options available to you that are much better than what was available just a few decades ago. You can now get a fence with dark green or black panels and posts and you can also build a fence with a vinyl or powder-coating, options that will automatically prolong the lifespan of the fence you install. You can also purchase commercial grade galvanized steel, which is great for homeowners with larger animals (think large dogs or horses) as these fences are extremely durable and can withstand a lot of pressure.
If you’re weighing your options for a new chain link fence or have one that needs some maintenance, contact us at 1-800-49-FENCE, click on our chat button or go to our Contact page and we’ll visit your home (or business) and give you a complete estimate.