You may need to conduct repairs to a chain link fence for a number of reasons: a tree fell on it during a storm, it was cut by trespassers, or it stretched and popped out of place under the weight of a snowplow. Whatever the cause, it's an easy repair with some tools, instructions, and a little help.
Step 1 - Find all the Damage
Inspect along both sides of the fence in places where there is obvious damage. Branch out from there to check for loose posts, gates, and top rails as well so you're aware of everything that needs attention. Make note of these areas on a rough diagram to keep track of them all.
Step 2 - Measure and Buy new Parts you Need
Take measurements between intact fence posts to learn the standard length of fence railing for your existing fence. Then, count the posts that run throughout the damaged area to calculate the length of new fence railing you will need.
Measure the thickness of the fence railing as well so you can buy the same size you currently have in your fence, either 1 3/8-inch or 5/8-inch. If the fence posts or gate have been damaged, take one of each with you to get replacements in the correct size.
Assess if you will need new chain link, too. Some of the material will be able to be bent and refitted, but if the metal is badly bent or cut, it will need replacement. Buy all necessary parts and the hardware to attach everything.
Step 3 - Remove the Damaged Fence Rail
Start by cutting the wire ties that hold the chain link to the rail. Then, place the new fence rail on top of the old one and mark where you're going to cut on the damaged one. Mark the other end of the new rail where it will meet a joint.
Set the new rail aside and cut the damaged one into 24-inch pieces with a hacksaw. Slide the very end off of the joint and set all these aside for later disposal.
Step 4 - Remove and Replace Damaged Posts as Needed
Remove the fence railing all the way to any damaged posts. Clip any ties that are still intact and slide the old posts out of position. Install your new ones using the same post holes.
Step 5 - Install the New Fence Railing
Remove the nearest end post cap, brace bands, and the vertical tension bands from one end of the fence. Slide the new fence railing into the rail cap slot, and along to where it's needed. Attach the end of this fence railing to the end post rail cap, and reconnect brace and tension bands.
Step 6 - Fix the Chain Link Fabric
While you hold the closest post, ask someone to aid you in putting the undamaged chain link back over the new post. Insert a soft nylon cord through chain links to help pull. Look at an intact fence section to check that caps and bands are in the correct position before tightening the connecting bolts fastening the chain link to each post. Note that the vertical tension bar, woven through the chain link parallel to the fence post, is correctly aligned. Reconnect the horizontal tension bands to the vertical tension bar, and the vertical brace bands to the fence railing.
In the event some of your existing fencing was irreparable, it's at this time that you will want to clip away the damaged chain link and add in new material. Make sure to wear work gloves to protect your hands from sharp wires.
For large areas of damage, it will be easiest to cut the fencing at the surrounding poles. This will ensure that the existing fencing is held securely while you're weaving in the new material. If you have just a small hole, this will mean buying a lot of extra material, so you can clip around the damage and just have a helper hold it.
Clip and bend two vertical lengths of wire from the old fence to use in attaching the new fencing. Then, on one end, use one of these pieces to weave the ends of the two chain link sections together. On the opposite side, use the come-a-long tool to stretch the fencing tight. Cut your new material to the length you need to fill the space and use the second vertical length of metal to weave these ends together as well.
Step 7 - Maintain Your Chain Link Fence
Keep your chain link fence well maintained. Check it in spring after heavy snow and after severe storms where trees have fallen. Even if the trees fell far from your house or garage, damage to the fence at any point will reduce the stability of the entire fixture.