How to Repair a Chain Link Fence

Wind howled, lightening flashed then boom the old oak crashed into your chain link fence.

Replacing the Top Fence Rail

The top rail is bent at a ninety-degree angle and the fencing is sagging so low Fido made his escape to explore the neighbor’s yard. People all over town suffered far worse damage; contractors are booked already booked for weeks. It’s pretty clear you’ll be spending Saturday afternoon repairing your chain link fence.

Use a hacksaw to cut the damaged fence rail into manageable pieces. Slide the pieces out of the tie wires attaching them to the chain link.

Measure the distance between fence posts to establish the length of your new fence rail. Standard rails are usually 1 3/8 or 1 5/8 inches in diameter; measure the outside of the damaged rail to determine which you need.

Purchase the replacement rail and hardware.

Install your new fence rail by removing the post cap, brace bands and tension bands from one end and sliding the replacement through the rail caps. Attach the end of the rail to the rail cap and replace the brace bands.

Repair the Chain Link

Ask a friend to stretch the fencing back over the posts. Check an undamaged span of fence to ensure bands and caps are placed correctly before tightening the bolts connecting the chain link to the posts.

Ensure the tension bar is in place; it’s the thin piece running parallel to the post and woven into the chain link. Reattach the tension bands.

Secure the chain link to the top rail and posts with new tie wires. Tighten with pliers and double check the tightness of all hardware.

Things You Will Need

  • Hacksaw
  • Tape Measure
  • Tie Wires
  • Nylon Cable Ties
  • Pliers
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves


  • Take damaged parts with you to the fence supply store to ensure the replacement matches correctly.
  • Use heavy-duty nylon cable ties to make hand stretching the chain link easier.

About the Author

Based in Arlington, Texas, Michelle Diane has been writing business articles for six years. Her work has appeared in newspapers nationwide and on diverse digital outlets including Bounty, Breathe Again Magazine and LexisNexis. She is a University of Texas graduate and a presidential member of the National Society of Leadership.