Chain link fencing is a common, cost-effective fencing option for your yard, providing a degree of security and acting as a boundary for pets and children. Over time, due to weather exposure and age, your chain link fencing can become worn down and break apart, both ruining the aesthetic of your yard and making it easy for people and animals to slip through the fence. As chain link fencing makes use of a metal wire mesh, it requires a different sort of maintenance when compared to more traditional wooden or metal fence boards.
The most important thing that you can do to keep your chain link fence in solid shape is to keep it clean. Besides the fact that dirt and grime can mar the appearance of your fence, they can also collect and hold water close to the fence, which can cause rust and deterioration to occur.
General cleaning can be done using a mixture of warm water, household cleaning detergent, and a stiff bristled brush. However, as mesh is notoriously hard to scrub effectively, it makes more sense to pressure wash your fence first, blasting away any loose dirt, and then go over it again by hand to scrub any areas that still have dirt stuck on them.
Though the mesh of chain link fences is coated within a plastic covering to protect it against rust, the fence posts are not; if these posts are not maintained, they can begin to rust. Check the fence posts to ensure that the paint on the posts hasn’t been worn away, leaving exposed metal beneath. If it has, simply apply a new coat of primer and paint over the area. Hardware stores will have a variety of colors of exterior metal paint to choose from, so simply choose the one that best matches the color of the rest of your fence.
If rust has developed, you’ll have to use course sandpaper or steel wool to scrub away at the area until all visible signs of rust have been removed. If left unchecked, rust can spread quickly and cause the structural integrity of your fence to fail. After sanding away the rust, you’ll have to prime and paint over the metal again to stop the rust from redeveloping.
Though not as common an occurrence as it is for vinyl and wooden fences, chain link fences can still have mold and mildew grow on them due to water exposure. When this happens, you can’t scrub the entire area down effectively due to the mesh.
Instead, you should mix a mixture of half warm water and half vinegar together in a spray bottle and spray down the affected area. Let it sit for around half an hour to kill the mold (you can sometimes see this happen, as the mold turns from black or green to white). Then, use a pressure washer to blast away the dead mold.
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