A chain link fence provides security and defines property borders, but it provides neither privacy nor aesthetic beauty to a garden or yard. You must remove the fence, posts and chain link gate before installing a privacy hedge or wood slat fence. These directions will guide you in the safe and effective removal of a chain link fence.
Precaution: Wear safety gloves, eye protection and safety footwear while cutting fasteners and links in chain link fencing.
Step 1: Determine if the Fence is in Reusable Condition
Check the entire length of the fence, inspecting chain link fence posts, the chain link fence gate, all rails, tension bars and braces. If in good condition, advertise "Free fence, you remove it." Specify the length and height in your ad. If the fence is in poor enough condition that it cannot be reused, prepare to take it down.
Step 2: Detach the Chain Link Grid from the Fence Posts
Cut the narrow wire loops holding the fence grid to the fence posts, and remove all clips from top to bottom as you go along the full length of the fence. Allow the chain link grid to fall to the ground, then detach the chain link fence gate separately from the grid. Store the fence gate in your yard for the present.
Step 3: Collect the Chain Link Grid
Starting at the last fence post, roll up the chain link grid into a neat cylinder, walking back to the first fence post. If the fence is over 100 feet long, cut the chain link grid into 50-foot bundles with wire cutters for ease of carrying.
Step 4: Loosen the Fence Post Holes
The fence posts were probably embedded in concrete when the fence was built, so they will not come out of the ground easily. Soak the earth around each fence post hole with water to loose the concrete bases. Loosen only 2 or 3 at a time.
Step 5: Tug out the Chain Link Fence Posts
If the posts are short and slender, use a pointed spade to dig into the dirt to excavate the concrete base, then lift the posts out, prying at them with your shovel head braced against the wall of the hole.
If the posts are thick and over 4 feet tall, get a friend with a truck to help you attach chains to the fence posts and pull then from the damp ground. Another option is to rent a post puller from a heavy equipment supplier. These strong metal pivot and pull devices can help you lift out posts easily without injury. Attach the chain pull accessory to the post, secure the chain to the post puller and press down firmly on the 90-degree angled lever. The post will come straight up out of the ground.
Step 6: Remove the Concrete Bases
Before disposing of the fence posts, remove the concrete bases. To do this, rent a jackhammer and carefully use it to break up the concrete around the post. Use a hammer and chisel to tap off the concrete closest to the post.