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Joining The Chain Gang: Cleaning And Protecting Your Chain Link Fence

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Owning a home can be challenging, since there are numerous tasks to keep your investment valuable and appealing. These tasks may include pressure washing your siding, shampooing the carpet, and replacing broken faucets, but you should also place some importance on maintaining your fence. A chain link fence may not offer much in terms of privacy, but it is an effective way to enclose your backyard to keep children and pets safe. Due to these benefits, understanding the proper techniques to clean and maintain your fence is essential.

Quick Clean

Every few weeks, inspect your fence for dirt, dust, mud, grass, and other debris. Use gardening shears to trim overgrown shrubs and flowers away from your fence.  Not only does this debris decrease the appeal of your fence, but the heavy buildup can cause the chain link to discolor and rust.

To efficiently remove this debris, use a medium-duty pressure washer that offers between 2,000 to 3,000 PSI, or pounds per square inch, of water pressure. This is a sufficient amount of pressure to remove heavy buildup without the need for chemical solutions.

Connect the pressure washer hose to your outdoor garden spigot and power on the machine. Stand a few feet away from your fence and begin spraying using side-sweeping motions. Work your way around the entire front and back of your fence, ensuring all dirt and debris is rinsed away.

Rust Removal

Even with a periodic cleaning, the galvanized steel of your chain link fence may begin to rust. Fortunately, removing the rust and restoring your fence back to new condition is possible.

Wash your fence using the pressure washer. Allow the fence to dry before tackling the rust.

Wear safety goggles, a respirator mask, and rubber gloves to protect your eyes, respiratory system, and hands from the rust powder.

Scrub the rusty areas of the chain link with a wire brush. After removing the patches of rust, sand down the galvanized steel using a handheld sanding pad. Wipe off any remaining rust and dust using a clean microfiber cloth. Spray a generous amount of rust inhibitor on these repaired areas to prevent further development of rust.

It is important to note that your fence's paint may contain lead if it was installed and painted before 1978. Consider hiring fencing professionals to avoid exposing you and your family to lead.

Paint Protection

Your chain link fence most likely has the classic silver, galvanized finish, which is suitable for your needs. However, you can enhance the look of your fence with a paint that will also protect the galvanized steel from future problems with rust.

After washing and removing the rust, add a coat of metal primer to your chain link fence. Place a flat piece of cardboard on the ground at the bottom of your fence. This will help push the grass and dirt down off the fence, allowing you to apply the paint in one swift motion.

Pour the paint in your tray and move a roller brush through the paint. Starting at the top of the fence, move the paint roller diagonally across the entire chain link section. Do not use extreme force or fast movements, since the paint may splatter through the chain link surface and onto the grass on the other side. Use a smaller paint roller to apply the metal paint to the fencing posts and rails.

Work your way down the entire length of the fence, moving the cardboard to protect the grass, as well. Then, use the same process to paint the opposite side. Use extra caution to prevent the paint from splattering onto the freshly-painted side.

A chain link fence is a great investment for your home and family, but proper maintenance is imperative. With this guide, you will understand how to clean and protect your home's chain link fence. For more information on chain link fencing, contact a company like Town & Country Fence.


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