DIY Tips To Clean And Condition Your Chain Link Fence

From added security and privacy to the overall increase in your home's value, it is easy to see why a fence, like one from Quality Chain Link Fencing, is so appealing. As a homeowner, you most likely know the importance of maintenance. However, you may not be familiar with the proper ways to clean and maintain your chain link fence. While chain link fencing offers a durable coating that prevents rust and discoloration, washing the metal fencing each year ensures appeal and a longer lifespan. Using high-powered sprays and toxic cleansers may seem ideal, but are too harsh for the metal of the fence and your surrounding landscape.

Using this guide, you can clean and maintain your chain link fence without harsh chemicals, expensive contractors, or complicated equipment.

Borax and your Garden Hose

If you have a light accumulation of dirt and debris on your fence, rinsing with your garden hose is sufficient. However, for areas with stubborn patches of dirt and debris, consider borax. This powdery soap is gentle, yet strong and effective for dissolving dirt, dust, bird droppings, and insects from your chain link fence.

In an outdoor pump sprayer, combine the following:

  • 3 gallons of water
  • 2 cups of borax

Shake your sprayer bottle to dissolve the borax into the water. Pump the handle to create pressure in your sprayer nozzle. Then, apply a coat of the borax solution to one section of fence. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before rinsing with your garden hose.

White Vinegar for Mold and Algae Growth

If your fence has dark green or black patches, you may have mold or algae. At the first sign of these patches, you may reach for a bottle of bleach. Bleach is an effective mold and algae remover, but it may also kill the grass, flowers, and plants surrounding your fence. In addition, chlorinated bleach is hazardous to your health. For many people, bleach causes respiratory issues and irritates the skin and eyes. For a less toxic option, clean your chain link fence with white vinegar.

While surprising to hear, vinegar is 5 percent acetic acid. These acidic properties are antibacterial and antiviral, so they are effective mold and algae removers. To remove these unattractive and unhealthy patches from your fence, combine the following in an outdoor sprayer:

  • 3 gallons of water
  • 2 gallons of white vinegar

Wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles, spray a thick layer of the solution on moldy areas. Allow the vinegar solution to soak the patches for 30 minutes before rinsing with your garden hose. For stubborn areas, scrub with a soft-bristled brush and rinse.

Steel Wool to Remove Rust

Even with proper cleaning and maintenance, your chain link fence will begin to rust in areas. In most cases, the rust will not affect the function of your fence, but it can be unappealing. Thankfully, scrubbing the rusty areas with a fine piece of steel wool can help.

After cleaning your fence, rub the rusty area with super-fine steel wool. Do not use excessive pressure, but gently rub the steel wool in back and forth motions to remove the rust. If the steel wool does not remove the rusty patches, purchase a jar of rust remover jelly, or naval jelly, from your local hardware store. Apply a few drops to a clean cloth and rub onto the discolored areas. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before wiping off with a wet rag. Lastly, add a few drops of mineral spirits to the same area using a microfiber cloth.

Installing a chain link fence was a large expense, so protecting your investment is smart. Using this guide of DIY tips, you can ensure your fence is functional, attractive, and valuable.