What Can We Do About Rust on a Chain Link Fence?

What Can We Do About Rust on a Chain Link Fence?

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Chain link fence is one of the most popular fence choices in the world. People love it because it’s cost-effective and durable.

However, even durable fence types like chain link will eventually start showing signs of age and that usually includes rust. Here’s what we can do about rust on a chain link fence and when you might need to think about replacing rather than repairing.

Examine the Rusted Areas

The first thing you want to do when figuring out how to handle a rusted chain link fence is to inspect the rusted areas closely.

If your fence has just started rusting, the rust should only be on the surface of the galvanized steel. This kind or rust can usually be removed from chain link mesh and chain link fence structures.

If the rust has penetrated deeper into the mesh or tubing, the fence might not be salvageable. Deeper rust can’t be removed, and if it has gone all the way through the wire or metal, there’s no way to save that piece of your fence.

How to Repair Rusted Chain Link Fence Mesh and wire

If your fence structure is still in good condition but you’ve got rust on your chain link mesh and wire, there are several ways to approach this.

If the fence only has surface rust, you can try wire brushing or pressure washing the mesh and then applying an anti-corrosive paint like cold galvanizing or one of the other products on the market.

If the chain link mesh and wire have deeper rust that is compromising the structure and strength of your fence, then you might need to replace the chain link mesh and wire completely. You can do this without replacing the structure of the fence, so if your fence posts, rails, fittings, and other fence components are still in good shape, you can keep them and simply add new mesh and wire.

This is a much cheaper option than replacing the whole fence, and if the rest of your fence is still in good shape, it will prevent the rust from spreading, which it will tend to do over time.

How to Repair Rusted Chain Link Fence Structure

If your chain link fence structure is also showing signs of rust, you will follow the same basic process as for mesh and wire.

First, inspect the fence structure to see if the rust is on the surface or has penetrated deeper.

Next, if you only have surface rust, clean it off the metal by scouring or pressure washing.

Finally, apply a zinc-rich or corrosion-resistant paint product onto the fence structure.

If you have deeper rust and your structure has been compromised, you might not be able to save the fence. In this case, you should probably remove the whole fence and replace it with a new one.

How to Repair Rusted Chain Link Gates

Chain link gates can also rust, and when they do, they can become harder to use and even unsafe or insecure.

When you are considering whether you should repair the rust on your chain link gates or replace them, do a thorough inspection again and consider whether it’s only some elements of the gate that are rusted or whether there is rust throughout.

You might be able to recover a chain link gate with new mesh if it’s only the mesh covering that’s badly rusted, and it is possible to cut out and reweld sections of your gate.

Most chain link gate hardware can also be replaced if it is rusted.

The Cost of Repair Versus Replacement

One important thing you need to consider when you’re trying to figure out what we can do about rust on a chain link fence is that the more repairs you need to be done, and the more complex they are, the more they will end up costing.

There comes a point where a repair becomes uneconomical, and it’s better to simply replace the whole fence.

You should also consider how long your repair might last. Most chain link fence rust repairs will give you, at most, a few more years of service before you will need to do more repairs or replace the fence, so consider if it’s worth paying for repairs now and in a few years' time.

Find a Fence Repair Specialist

If you have a chain link fence that is rusted and you’re not sure which options will work for your project, your best bet is to find a chain link fence repair specialist to provide a quote and advice.

Not all fence companies offer repair services, so you might need to call or email a few companies in your area to find one who can help.

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