DIY Guide: Securing and Maintaining the Bottom of Your Chain Link Fence

Ever looked at your chain link fence and wondered how to make it more secure at the bottom? You’re not alone. Securing the bottom of a chain link fence is a common issue for many homeowners. It’s crucial to prevent unwanted visitors like rodents or to keep your pets securely within your yard.

Key Takeaways

  • A secure chain link fence bottom is essential for preventing unwanted pests or keeping pets safely within your yard. Regular assessment of your fence’s current state, including identification of any weak spots or damage, is crucial.
  • Common issues with unsecured chain link fence bottoms include pest invasions, soil erosion, debris escape, and child safety hazards. Recognizing these problems early on can save potential frustration and costs.
  • Some effective solutions to secure chain link fence bottoms include the use of tension wire, installation of bottom rails, burying the fence, or filling gaps with concrete or rocks.
  • The installation of a bottom rail or tension wire can be a simple DIY task. Measuring and procuring the right materials, followed by securing them to your fence, will greatly improve the fence’s stability and security.
  • Regular maintenance of the fence, such as regular inspections for damage, cleaning from debris, checking security features, lubrication of moving parts, and weatherizing is key for the longevity and effectiveness of your chain link fence.

Securing and maintaining the bottom of a chain link fence is essential for ensuring its effectiveness and longevity. Florida State Fence offers comprehensive tips on cleaning and maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion, which are common issues at the bottom of these fences. Ergeon’s blog presents clever solutions for filling gaps under chain link fences to keep pets safe and secure within the yard. Additionally, DIYChatroom provides practical advice on using tension wires or stakes to secure the bottom, enhancing the fence’s stability and functionality.

Assessing the Current State of Your Chain Link Fence

Before you take any action, it’s vital that you assess the current condition of your chain link fence. Understanding its condition will significantly help guide your next steps. This process might seem daunting at first. However, if you break it down into two main steps, it becomes a lot more manageable:

Identifying Weak Spots

Identify areas where the fence may be sagging or not securely attached to the ground. Persistent issues to look out for include erosion near the fence line or evidence of digging by animals. Noting these problem areas will be crucial in determining how much extra support your chain link fence needs.

Checking For Damage

In some cases, damage to the fence itself or its supporting structures might be causing issues. Look out for elements such as broken or bending fence posts, rusting links, or parts that have become loose or detached over time.

You’ll need to make sure you identify and address any signs of wear and tear or damage. If not addressed, these issues can undermine even the best efforts to secure the bottom of your chain link fence.

To get a clear picture of the state of your fence, consider creating an overview. You could mark the weak spots and damaged areas on a sketch of your yard layout. This visual representation can be very helpful in planning your next steps.

Steps to Assess Chain Link FenceDescription
Identifying Weak SpotsLook for areas where the fence is sagging or not securely attached to the ground.
Checking For DamageExamine the fence and its support structures for signs of damage such as broken posts, rusting or loose parts.

Common Issues with Unsecured Chain Link Fence Bottoms

When starting on your journey to secure your chain link fence, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the common problems stemming from an unsecured bottom. These issues are often overlooked, becoming apparent only when it’s too late. Recognizing these problems early on can save you frustration and unnecessary costs down the line.

Your first headache might just be pest invasions. Small animals, such as rodents or even larger ones like raccoons, readily seize any opportunity to infiltrate your property. Unsecured chain link fence bottoms provide easy access points for these unwelcome visitors. They not only damage your property, but also pose a potential risk to your pets and gardens.

Another common problem might be loose soil or garden debris slipping through the bottom gaps. You’d be surprised how much of your garden can escape through an unsecured chain link fence bottom. It could lead to soil erosion, resulting in an uneven yard and potential damage to your fence’s stability in the long run.

Lastly, children playing near the fence could easily get their toys, or worse, parts of their bodies, stuck in the fence. Those gaping holes at the bottom of your chain link fence present an irresistible challenge for young explorers. Not securing the bottom of your fence can result in many accidents and injuries.

While these issues might seem daunting, understanding them truly puts you one step ahead. You’re now ready to mitigate these risks and potential issues by securing your chain link fence bottom. In the following sections, we’ll delve into effective strategies and methods you can use to secure your chain link fence confidently and efficiently. So stay tuned for more insightful information.

Solutions for Securing the Bottom of a Chain Link Fence

Let’s dive into the solutions that’ll help you secure the bottom of your chain link fence effectively. Rest assured – implementing these strategies won’t break your bank.

Securing with Tension Wire

A popular and affordable solution is to use tension wire. It’s a sturdy, galvanized wire running along the bottom of your fence. This method greatly reduces the gaps between your fence and the ground.

When installing the tension wire, attach it to your fence’s terminal posts with tension bands and run along the bottom of the fence. It’s an uncomplicated process and doesn’t call for professional assistance.

Using tension wire also proves effective against burrowing and climbing animals, ensuring backyard safety for your little ones.

Installing Bottom Rails

Another solid method to reinforce the stability of your chain link fence is to install bottom rails. Usually, chain link fences have top rails to maintain their structure. By installing rails at the bottom, you’ll essentially be doubling the fence’s rigidity.

To install, feed the bottom rails through the chain link weave and secure them to the posts. You’ll have a more balanced and secure fence that can withstand high winds and prevent small objects from going through.

Burying the Fence

Burying the bottom of your fence is an effective solution to deter burrowing pests and to keep pets from digging underneath. The process involves trench digging along the fence and burying part of the fence into the ground.

Remember though, this method could lead to potential rusting if the right materials or type of fence aren’t used. Opting for vinyl-coated or aluminum fences could be a good idea for this method.

Filling Gaps with Concrete or Rocks

This solution is more of a quick fix, but nonetheless a viable option for smaller fences. Filling in the gaps between the fence and the ground with concrete or piled stones can discourage animals from trying to break in. It’s worth noting that this may not be suitable for larger fences.

While each method has its own merits, consider your specific needs and potential threats when determining the most effective approach for your chain link fence. The upcoming sections will discuss each method more in-depth, so keep reading.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Bottom Rail or Tension Wire

Securing a chain link fence bottom can be an easy do-it-yourself task if you know what to do. Whether you are installing a bottom rail or tension wire, your goal remains the same – to provide stability and keep unwanted intruders at bay. Here’s a basic guide to get you started.

Installing Bottom Rail

  1. Measure the distance from one end post to the other. Ensure that you include the diameter of both posts in your measurements. This measurement will determine the length of the bottom rail you’ll need.
  2. Purchase rails that match your fence’s height and color. Rails usually come in various dimensions. Your choice should fit perfectly inside your link fence.
  3. Insert the rail into the bottom rail end cup hold, a little piece of hardware that holds the rail to the posts. Repeat the process for the other end.
  4. Fasten the bottom rail. Use appropriate hardware (typically screws or bolts) to secure the rail in place from end to end.
  1. Start at a corner post. Secure one end of the tension wire to this post using a brace band and a nut and bolt.
  2. Unroll the tension wire, taking it along the bottom of your fence to the next corner post.
  3. When you reach the next post, cut the tension wire with enough surplus to reach the far side of the post.
  4. Attach an end of a come-along tool to the wire. Use this tool to put tension on the wire until it’s taut and defensive against any intruders.
  5. Fasten the wire securely to the post, ensuring it is firm and sturdy.

Remember, depending on your specific requirements, using either bottom rail or tension wire might be more effective. Bottom rails add stability and deterrent against large animals while tension wires reduce gaps and keep smaller animals out effectively. Choose your best suitable solution and fortify your fence bottom. Carry on with the other methods you’re employing to secure your chain link fence if necessary.

Maintenance Tips for a Secure Chain Link Fence

So you’ve done the hard work. You’ve chosen your method and learned how to secure the bottom of a chain link fence. But here’s something critical that shouldn’t be neglected: maintenance. Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your fence.

Start by regularly inspecting the bottom rail or tension wire of your chain link fence. Keep an eye out for any damages caused by weather or pests. Regular checks prevent minor issues from escalating into significant problems.

Next, don’t forget about cleaning. Yes, it might seem like a tedious task, but it’s instrumental. Dirt, leaves, and other debris that accumulate at the base of your fence can cause rust and degradation over time. Make it a habit to clean the fence and the surrounding area.

Your fence is only as strong as its security features. So, pay attention to the security accessories you’ve incorporated. Check they’re still doing their job, and replace them when necessary. Are your bottom rails or tension wires still firm, secure, and free from damage? If not, it’s time for a replacement.

Another often overlooked part is lubrication. If your fence gates have moving parts, they’ll need to be lubricated regularly to ensure smooth operation. Using a good quality lubricant will not only make your gate easier to use but also extend its lifespan.

Let’s not forget about weatherizing. If you live in a region that’s prone to harsh weather conditions, it’s essential to prepare your fence accordingly. Weatherizing helps protect the fence from damaging elements such as snow, rain, and harsh sun.

These maintenance steps are easy to follow, simple to implement, and can drastically increase the lifespan of your chain link fence. After all, securing the bottom is just the initial step. To maintain a secure fence, you have to stay proactive in your fence care routine.


Securing the bottom of your chain link fence is just the start. It’s the maintenance that keeps it standing strong and doing its job for years to come. Regular inspections and cleaning, along with timely replacements of security accessories, are your fence’s best friends. Don’t forget to lubricate those moving parts and weatherize when needed. It’s not just about installing a bottom rail or tension wire. It’s about giving your fence the care it deserves. Remember, a well-maintained fence is a secure fence. So, stay proactive and your chain link fence will thank you for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the bottom rail or tension wire crucial in securing a chain link fence?

The bottom rail or tension wire provides added stability and security to the fence. They prevent the fence from sagging or animals from burrowing under it.

What is the significance of regular maintenance for chain link fences?

Regular maintenance increases the lifespan of the chain link fence. It involves inspections, cleaning, checking, and replacing security accessories, lubricating parts, and weatherizing to prevent rust and decay.

Can the chain link fence last beyond the initial installation of bottom rail or tension wire?

Yes, by following a proactive care routine, you can significantly enhance the longevity of your chain link fence beyond the initial installation.

What care routines are recommended for chain link fence longevity?

Regular inspections for damage, routine clean-ups to prevent rust, replacement of aged security accessories, lubrication of moving parts, and application of weatherproofing materials are recommended care routines.

How does weatherproofing help in the maintenance of a chain link fence?

Weatherproofing helps protect the fence from adverse elements of weather, including rust and decay. This improves its durability and functionality.