Was Your Chain Link Fence Damaged By A Falling Tree Limb? Here's How You Can Fix It

While chain-link fences are quite durable, the force of a falling tree limb is easily capable of causing severe damage. In most cases, a falling tree limb will bend or break the fence's top rail and push the posts out of alignment. Thankfully, repairing your chain-link fence is easy, and the replacement parts are inexpensive. If your chain-link fence has been damaged by a falling tree limb, here's how you can repair it and restore it to perfect condition.

1. Straighten the Fence Posts

The force of a tree limb falling onto a chain-link fence will likely knock some of the fence posts out of alignment, and you'll need to straighten them before you can repair the top rail. In most cases, fence posts can be straightened by hand—simply push them back into place. If this is unsuccessful and you need more force, attach a come-along to the fence post and a nearby tree. Ratchet the come-along to bring the fence post back into position until it's perfectly straight.

2. Replace the Damaged Top Rail

Measure your fence's top rail in order to find out its diameter—most residential chain-link fences use top rails with a 1-3/8" diameter. You'll need a replacement of the exact same size. You'll also need to purchase a top rail sleeve that fits your fence's top rail. This is a slightly larger section of pipe that's used to join two pieces of top rail together.

Once you have the replacement top rail, you'll notice that one end of it is tapered. This is called the swedged end, and it fits into the un-tapered end of another piece of top rail in order to securely connect them.

Remove the chain-link mesh from your fence's top rail by untwisting the fence ties or cutting them, then remove the damaged section of the top rail using a hacksaw. Measure the gap between the two undamaged top rail sections that are left behind, and then cut your replacement top rail piece to the exact same size. Don't cut the swedged end off of your replacement top rail—measure from the swedged end and cut the un-tapered end, leaving you with a shorter section of top rail that has both a swedged end and an untapered end.

Place the top rail sleeve over an undamaged section of top rail and then feed the untapered side of the replacement top rail into it. For maximum stability, the undamaged top rail and the replacement top rail should meet in the exact center of the sleeve. Next, insert the swedged end of the replacement top rail into the other section of undamaged top rail. Reattach the chain-link mesh to the new top rail using fence ties, and you have completed your repairs.

3. Inspect the Chain-Link Mesh for Damage

In most cases, a falling tree limb doesn't affect the chain-link mesh itself. Some of the links near the top rail may have become slightly crushed, but this is only a minor cosmetic issue—it doesn't affect the strength of your fence.

If the chain-link mesh has become torn or if you want to correct its appearance, you'll need to replace the damaged section. You'll need to untie the mesh from the top rail, cut away the damaged section and then splice replacement mesh into the area. You splice chain-link mesh by tanking a single strand of chain-link mesh (which are included as part of chain-link mesh replacement kits) and running it between the links of the replacement mesh and the adjacent undamaged mesh. This provides an extra link between the two that joins them together.

Overall, repairing a chain-link fence after a tree limb falls on it is typically not a difficult process, and it can be accomplished with few tools and inexpensive replacement parts. If you encounter difficulty or the damage is extensive (such as a snapped post or rail end), visit a website like http://www.aandrrent-a-fence.com to get in contact with a fence repair service. Having your chain-link fence repaired by professionals is very inexpensive due to the low cost of the parts required and how quickly repairs can be made.