Does Chain Link Fence Need Tension Wire?

Adding a chain link fence to your home or business is a great way to add security to your property. The fence provides a proper barrier to your space to keep your loved ones and belongings safe. However, for your fence to be fully effective in keeping unwanted animals and people out, as well as keeping pets and family in, it must be properly installed. One element that is often forgotten but vital to the sturdiness of your fence is tension wire. This subtle feature of your chain link fence plays a key part in ensuring that nothing or no one is able to break through your fence by pushing on the bottom of the fabric.

One might think, the fabric of my fence is tightly attached to the posts; is that not good enough? Yes, securing your fence mesh to the posts does a great job of holding the fabric in place and keeping the material upright. However, it does not provide the right amount of tension to prevent anything from making its way underneath the fabric.

Having loose bottom fabric on your chain link fence can pose a serious safety risk. Without tension wire, it is easy for wildlife, intruders, pets, or even small children to push their way through the bottom of the fence. Not only are animals and people able to make their way out, but it is possible that things can become trapped underneath the fence. This can lead to serious injury or possibly death if not noticed in time.

Easily prevent these risks with the simple addition of tension wire. Below we have laid out the steps to correctly install tension wire to your chain link fence. Please note that this is only one way to install tension wire and that there is no one right way to do so. Though during any installation process, be sure to always use the proper tools and exercise caution.

park fence

Items Needed:

  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Spool of tension wire
  • Wire pliers
  • T-bar or other wire tightener

How to Install:

  • Create a loop at the bottom of your tension wire using your wire pliers.
  • Attach that loop to the bottom of your fence post using a brace band and a carriage bolt.
  • The wire should run between terminal posts. Examples of terminal posts would be corner, gate, or end posts.
  • Be sure to keep the tension wire on the outside of the chain link fabric. It should lay between the fabric and the fence post.
  • Stretch the wire to the other attaching post and cut it. Leave a foot of extra wire when cutting to allow for enough wire when applying tension.
  • Loop the other end of the wire as done at the beginning to the other end posts brace band.
  • Once looped, feed the extra wire through the hole in your t-bar.
  • To create the needed tension, spin the t-bar up and away from the wire until there is full tension on the wire.
  • Once you have fully tightened your wire, remove the t-bar and twist the extra wire out of the wire.
  • Repeat these steps on all sides of your chain link fence to provide needed tension to your fence fabric.

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