Chain link fencing comes in one of two main varieties, aluminum or vinyl coated. The coating is designed to prevent rust and corrosion so the fence doesn't require major maintenance or repairs. Your fence may also benefit from some regular cleaning if it has vinyl privacy slats installed, so you can make sure they stay in good repair.
Clean Out the Debris
Leaves, trash and other debris is the main type of dirt you have to worry about on a chain link fence. You should walk along the fence line regularly, especially after a windy day, and collect and bag any debris that has gotten caught in the chain. Then, simply spray the entire fence down with a hose to remove any remaining debris and dust.
You can also wash the fence with a soapy sponge. This is usually only necessary if you have a light-colored vinyl-coated fence, since the lighter color is more prone to showing dust and dirt.
Wash the Slats
Fences with vinyl privacy slats may look dingy if dust and dirt is allowed to build up. Generally, spraying them off with water is sufficient, or you can use soapy water if they are particularly dirty. Stains sometimes occur, which you can scrub off the fence using a solution of one part bleach and five parts water, along with a soft-bristled scrub brush. Just take care, since bleach can kill nearby plants if it gets on them.
Check for Damage
Chain link fencing is fairly damage resistant, but a monthly inspection to catch anything that has happened early makes it easier to fix the fence. The main type of damage are bent top rails or holes in the links, which are both repairable. If your fence has slats, make sure the bottom of the slats aren't being damaged by your weed trimmer or a chewing, clawing pet. Another type of damage to watch for on the slats is heat damage, which can be caused if you place a barbecue grill too close to the fence.
You can make your repairs if you do find damage. Simply pull out the old slats and then slide in new ones if the damage has occurred to a few of the privacy slats.
If you have a bent post or top rail, attach a come-along tool to the fence chains on either side of the damaged post or rail to hold the fence tension, and then remove the damaged post or rail and replace it with a new one. Finally, reattach the fencing to the post or rail, using the fencing brackets you initially removed.
Holes in fences are equally simple to repair. You may need to cut out the damaged links so you have smooth edges. Attach the come-along to the fencing on either side of the hole, and then tighten the tension so the fence is taut. Finally, cut a patch to fit from some spare fencing, and attach it to the edges of the hole using repair links made for chain link fencing. Once you take off the come-along, the fence will snap back into place, and the repair will be almost invisible.
For more information, contact Elrod Fence Co. or a similar organiztion.