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A wind storm took down one of the trees on our property and it landed across a chain link fenceTree on the Fence after the tree is gone

Given the height of the tree, the overall damage was fairly limited. I have attached pictures with tree on and off of the fence.

Given that a tree mushed it, the fence seems to have reasonably little damage -- the top rail is obviously toast along with two post caps but the posts themselves did not move. I believe that the fence is 48" high, galvanized.

The question I have is how much work would this repair be and how would I go about it? The chain link fencing itself is pretty mushed. Does it make sense to try to bend it back or should I weave a new section in? Would the fence need to be re-stretched?

At the moment, I am trying to decide if this is a DIY project or if I should have a pro come in.

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FYI -- I did fix this as a DIY project. I had to replace the top rail, weave in some replace chain mesh to replace the badly crushed section and then untie and re-stretch the chain fabric to the back post of the fence. Rented the fence stretcher from the local Home Depot. –  Jack Jun 11 at 13:18
    
I've just deleted a spam post that plagiarized a relevant Family Handyman article. –  Niall C. Dec 12 at 17:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think the answer depends on what "pretty mushed" means. And before you read on, here's a caveat: my sole experience with chain link fences is taking them down, not putting them up (but I've taken down quite a few :-)).

That said, my experience is that the links will collapse in on one another, not actually bend. Which means that the fencing as a whole can be straightened out again. Also, even though the posts appear untouched, you should ensure that they're plumb.

The rails are easy to replace; every home center should carry them, as well as the caps and other accessories. The important piece that you'll need is a coupling: a short section of pipe that fits snugly over the ends of two existing pieces, to join them together (in the fences that I've disassembled, this is just press fit, not welded or brazed, but I suspect a dab of epoxy would help).

Cut the existing rails with a reciprocating saw, close to the existing rails that still have caps (you could also use a hacksaw; you won't be able to get enough clearance to use a pipe cutter). Slide the new section(s) of rail through the caps, attach them to the posts, cut to length, and slide the coupling in place.

That just leaves re-attaching the fencing. I think that you can stretch it to the rail using baling wire and a pair of pliers: loop the wire through fence and rail, and twist it to take up all slack. Then attach normally.

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Don't want to do an insurance claim? I suppose it, might depend on your deductible.

If the chain fabric is badly bent, I would probably weave in a new section. You will need to restretch using a come along or block and tackle.

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My deductible is $1000, I am hoping that the fix will be less than that... –  Jack Apr 23 '12 at 16:56
    
@kdgregory's response was spot on... I've repaired and moved a number of chain link fences and this should be a fairly easy DIY project you should be able to accomplish for less than $100. –  ShoeMaker May 1 '12 at 2:48

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