Have you ever had a chain-link fence that would always give way underneath? Most of the time, it’s because your dog would dig under so that they can go out. If you live in a windy area, then it could also be due to the weather.
Whatever the reason for your chain link fence to get damaged, know that there’s something you can do about it.
Two Ways to Reinforce the Bottom of a Chain Link Fence
There are two ways for you to strengthen your chain link fence. One is through tent stakes, and the other is adding bottom rails. Read on to know how you can do both.
Using Tent Stakes
The simplest way to reinforce your chain link fence at the bottom is by using tent stakes. Tent stakes can be bought at any hardware store, and they are very cheap.
If you don’t want to do any kind of installation or you’re just not the DIY person, then using tent stakes is a simple and straightforward solution.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Align your chain link fence.
If your fence is already bulging or forming curves on other sides, make sure that when you place the stakes, they are in a straight line with the rest.
2. Place the stakes.
You will need a hammer or a mini sledge to do this. First, you position the stake by the fence. You want to angle it in such a way that the stake itself is on one side of the fence while the hook-like part of the stake is on the other side.
Once you got the angle right, just drive the stake down using your hammer. Just keep pushing it to the ground until the top of the stake is almost not visible.
To know if you’ve done it right, try pushing the area of the fence above the stake. If it remains rooted to the ground, then you’re done. Do this to the other damaged parts of your fence.
Using Bottom Rails
Another way to do it is by putting bottom rails just below your fence. While this is more tedious and time-consuming, it’s a great way to keep your fence more durable and long-lasting.
Here’s how to install a bottom rail:
1. Purchase a rail with the same diameter as your old rail.
For obvious reasons, you should install a rail with the same diameter as your old rail or your top rail whichever is available. Use a ruler or a tape measure from the circle’s end to the opposite end. This will help you tell the DIY store of the right diameter for your bottom rail.
2. Remove the old bottom rail.
Once you have your new rail, it’s time to remove the damaged rail. To remove them, use a pair of pliers to remove the wire ties holding the rail together. Bend the end of the ties to loosen it up and then do this for all the other wire ties.
3. Measure the new rail for cutting.
To measure how long you will use from the new rail, detach the old rail and slide the new one to the smaller. Make sure that the smaller end is slid through the other rail. To know how long, place the two rails side by side and mark the length that you will be using. A pencil mark will do.
4. Cut the new rail.
This is the most difficult part simply because you would need a pair of protective glasses and a respirator mask. Before cutting the rail using a reciprocal saw, wear protective gear, so you don’t inhale the metal dust.
Using a reciprocal saw or a hacksaw, hold the rail in place with your non-dominant hand and then start cutting through the metal.
5. Place the new rail into the old one.
When you’re finished cutting, place the new rail in the old rail. Slide the smaller end of the new rail in the larger end of the old rail. You can remove the old rail in the bolt of the fence to make it easier for you to install.
6. Add wire ties.
The final step is when you place new wire ties to secure the bottom rail with the actual fence. Using a pair of pliers, place a wire tie a few inches from the end of the rail.
The right way to place a wire tie is to loop it around the rail and around the mesh. It’s like pulling them together, so they don’t separate. Otherwise, having a bottom rail will be useless because then your dog can just go create a space between the rail and the mesh.
Once you’re done, continue adding wire ties every few inches from your last tie.
When To Use Tent Stakes or Railings
These two solutions are highly effective, depending on the reason why your fence is damaged. If your fence is damaged because your dog keeps digging, this will not be answered directly by adding a rail.
While a rail will shield the actual mesh from bulging, it will not prevent your dog from escaping if the rail is too high from the ground. If this is your problem, then you should consider lowering the bolts so the rails will be closer to the ground.
On the other hand, if your chain-link fence is not made to have rails attached to it, then you are most likely to just use tent stakes.
Tent stakes are very cheap, and you can have a pack of them for at most $5! Another reason why you would choose tent stakes is if your mesh is close to the ground.
If it’s close to the ground and there’s no bottom rail, then it makes sense for you to have stakes to pull the mesh downward. Just make sure that you put the stakes all throughout your fence so that your dog doesn’t look for other weak spots.
Chain-link fence damage is relatively common, so if you have a damaged fence, know that it is completely repairable. Or if you fancy a new fence, check out our article on best available models here