Do you need ideas for fixing the gap at the bottom of a chain link fence? These gaps can allow your animals to escape from your yard, or for other critters to enter your yard. In this article I’ll share a concise list of 11 ways to fix the gap at the bottom of chain link fence.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Why is it important for you to fix the gap between the ground and your chain link fence?
- 2 11 ways to fix the gap under a chain link fence
- 2.1 1) Use old Tires to fill the gap under a chain link fence
- 2.2 2) Use Cinder blocks or Allan blocks to fill the gap at the bottom of fence
- 2.3 3) Chain Link Fence Stakes
- 2.4 4) You could use tent stakes
- 2.5 5) Use a decorative garden fence in front of the chain link to fill the gap
- 2.6 6) Install a tension wire to secure the bottom of the chain link fence
- 2.7 7) Install an L-footer along the bottom of your fence
- 2.8 8) Install a bottom rail to secure the bottom of your chain link fence
- 2.9 9) Lower your existing bottom rail
- 2.10 10) Put a planter box in front of your fence
- 2.11 11) Add horizontal wood boards to the bottom of the fence (using Pipe Grip Ties)
There are many reasons why people want to close the gap under a chain link fence. Some people want to know how to keep their dog from going under the fence, some may want to keep critters out, and some may want to do it for cosmetic reasons.
For me personally, it is to keep the neighbor’s dog out of my yard. I’m pretty sure she hates me. She barks at me every time she sees me. I just don’t know what she’d do to me, my kids or my pets if she actually got in my yard. And I don’t want to find out.
Below is a picture of one of the gaps under our chain link fence.
I didn’t want to learn about this: I needed to. So I hope my research helps you as you learn along with me.
These 11 ideas to fix the gap under a chain link fence are provided in no particular order. And not every idea will be right for you: it depends why you want to fill this gap. Do you want to do it to stop your dog from pushing the fence out and escaping underneath? Or do you want something to look pretty?
Is this pretty? No. But the tires have worked so far at keeping the neighbor’s dog out of my yard. They provide just enough of an obstruction to keep her out. The neighbor stacked the tires on her side blocking off where the big gaps are.
This is more of a temporary fix, but it has worked okay. Maybe you could make the tires into a potato planter?
Cinder blocks or Allan blocks provide a good physical barrier under a chain link fence. If you stack them well it should work to keep your pets in, or other animals out.
I don’t have an issue with invading burrowing pests, but I bet if you dug the blocks down in the ground it would dissuade burrowing animals (or digging dogs) from trying to dig under your fence.
3) Chain Link Fence Stakes
Chain link fence stakes are usually made of metal rebar and shaped like large candy canes, or like the letter “J”. This is why they are sometimes called J stakes or J hooks. They are usually available in 12-inch or 16-inch long varieties. You pound them into the ground and use the hooked portion to grab onto the link of the chain link fence to help secure the chain link to the ground. Usually one or two of them per problem section of fence will help to secure it, but use more if necessary. (Reference)
The ground stakes for a chain link fence in the picture above are a popular J hook, made in the USA, and available on Amazon.
4) You could use tent stakes
This is a similar idea to using chain link fence stakes, but it is a cheaper option: you could use tent stakes to stake the bottom of the chain link fence to the ground.
I’ve read that you should pound them into the ground at an angle to help secure the bottom of the chain link to the ground.
You can buy garden fence sections (like the one shown above), pound them into the ground in front of your chain link fence and then zip tie it to your chain link fence for added stability. These are the type of small fences that people often use as decorative lawn edging or flower bed borders.
I feel like my neighbor’s big dog would push these over, but will it work for you?
A tension wire won’t make the gap under your chain link fence disappear, but it does help secure the bottom of your chain link fence and can eliminate some of the bulging that can occur on fences that don’t have tension wires. And the tension will help prevent dogs from pushing the bottom of the fence away from the ground.
I thought a tension wire would be woven through the links, but this article points out that is not the case.
It says a tension wire is secured between two terminal posts. (These are the strong posts at the corners, gates or end posts (usually secured with concrete footings).
They say the tension wire is stretched between these two strong posts and it is not woven through the chain link like I thought it was.
I thought I’d check this out in my own yard. Here is the fence between my house and my other, non-dog owning neighbor. And sure enough the tension wire is not woven through the links. Instead, it is attached to the chain link fence with metal wires.
(I didn’t know what hog rings were so I’ve included a picture below.)
I initially thought I could just string a tension wire between any two chain link fence posts where there was a problem section. But the article I found said it needs to be connected between two strong, terminal posts. (If I was to really tighten it up between two intermediate posts it would probably pull the posts toward each other.)
So I don’t think this option will help in my case, but will it work for you?
The American Kennel Club says to help keep your dog in your yard and fill the gap under your chain link fence you can dig down and install some mesh fencing in a “L” shape.
The top part of the “L” shape is attached to your existing chain link fence (you could use zip ties or hog rings), then put dirt back over the bottom part of the “L” or use rocks to hold this part down.
Sorry that may be a little hard to visualize. I don’t have a good picture of this, but I found a YouTube video where a lady does something similar at the bottom of her wood fence.
If you install a bottom rail on your fence it will help stabilize the bottom of your chain link fence and it prevents dogs from pushing the bottom of fence out.
You may want to hire someone to do this for you, but if you follow these directions, (under Option Three) perhaps it could be a DIY project.
The bottom rail in the photo above is actually welded to the posts, but you can buy chain link fence rail ends (see photo below) to attach a new bottom rail to your existing posts. But before you order the rail ends, make sure you know the diameter of your posts and the new rail.
If you currently have a bottom rail on your chain link fence, but it is up too high, you can try to lower the bottom rail to minimize the gap between the rail and the ground. Having it lower to the ground will help secure the bottom portion of your fence and there’ll be less room for dogs to crawl under.
10) Put a planter box in front of your fence
Putting a nice rectangular planter box in front of your chain link fence can be a good decorative way to fill the gap under the fence, and it’ll provide a barrier to help keep your dog from pushing out the bottom of the fence.
I don’t have a great photo illustrating this example, but when I do I’ll add it. (For now, you’ll have to imagine the above planter box is in front of a chain link fence. 🙂 )
You can attach wood boards horizontally to the bottom of your chain link fence by using some hardware like the Simpson Strong Tie Pipe Grip. These metal ties are intended to attach wood boards to metal posts. Just make sure you get the right size pipe grip tie to fit your metal fence posts.
Thanks for learning along with me as I learn how to fix the gap under a chain link fence.
Will one of these 11 ideas work for you?
I’m still undecided which idea I’ll use to fill the gap between the fence and ground and keep my neighbors dog out. (Perhaps I’ll use a combination…)