Chain-link fencing helps keep your pets secure and your yard tidy, but a bend in the chain-link fence can ruin the clean lines of your outdoor space and weaken the fence integrity. Chain-link fencing is a cost-saving option when fencing a yard since initial costs are less than vinyl or wooden materials. Replacement parts are accessible and affordable, so when a top rail is bent, the best option is to buy a replacement.
Loosen Chain-Link Fabric
Your fence is made of chain-link fabric, also called mesh, that's tightly stretched across the supporting beams using a fence puller and held in place with a tension bar. If the mesh isn't damaged, removing and replacing the top rail won't interfere with the tension.
Replacing the bent top rail is a clean solution, but the old rail has to be removed first. Luckily, chain-link fences are designed to allow sections of the fence and the chain-link fabric/mesh to be easily removed. The chain-link fabric that's enclosed around the top rail will have to be untied or snipped if it's held with wires. Using a pair of pliers, grasp the loose ends of the wire fence ties that hold the chain-link fabric in place. If there are any fence ties attached to the fence posts, loosen those as well.
Unbolt Bent Top Rail
The rail should be bolted securely into the fence posts, so an adjustable wrench or socket wrench can be used to loosen the hold. Loosen both sides before attempting to remove the rail. The brackets attached to the fence will remain and hold the new rail, so be careful not to damage the brackets. (If the brackets are already damaged, they may need replacing as well.) Gently but firmly pull one end of the rail out of its bracket. A rubber hammer can be used to knock it slightly to help with removal. Remove the rail by pulling it out and placing it aside.
Insert New Top Rail
The new top rail should fit into the empty brackets. Align one rail end and slide it into place and then attach the other end. Both ends should be in the brackets before securing it to the terminal posts. Bolt the rail into place using the old bracket screws and your wrench. Once the new top rail is tight, reattach the chain-link fabric to the top rail using the existing wire fence ties or wires with pliers.
Cutting the Bent Top Rail
The bent part of the rail can also be cut off and replaced. Loosen or remove the wires holding the mesh to the rail. Mark the section you plan to cut and make sure the mesh isn't in the way. Cut near the joints or brackets so the new rail can slide into place. Using a hacksaw, cut the section of rail off. Unbolt the old part of the damaged rail from the bracket. Install a new top rail in its place by sliding the replacement into the bracket joints.