Caps(?) for upside-down galvanized fence?

tl;dr: Neighbors' galvanized fence is upside-down and very sharp and pokey. How can I make it not be?

To start with, the neighbor is almost never home and therefore hard to contact. Also, they only bought their property last year and probably don't even realize they own the fence. Anyway.

As you may know, galvanized fences have a top and a bottom. The bottom has sharp bits which dig into the ground while the top is more rounded off.

When I bought my house, there was already a galvanized fence in place between my house and my neighbor's. I'm no fan of these fences in particular, but that's fine. Except that I later noticed that it had been installed upside-down, meaning that the top of the 3-ftish fence is covered in sharp spikes, while the safe end has been buried underground.

When I was younger, I had a dog who had her belly horrifically torn open while jumping over an upside-down galvanized fence, and I have two dogs, so this is a serious concern of mine. While my dogs have fortunately never tried so far, a dog could die trying to jump over a fence like that.

Question is, what can I do about it?

I would offer the neighbor for me to pay for it to replace the fence, except for the fact that we are on a serious and convoluted grade and it is no small matter to replace a fence. Because of the grade, there's no way for me to put up a second fence on my side (trust me, it would require some serious landscaping to do that, in the tens of thousands of dollars--we're on a hill).

So I feel at a loss except for to try to cap off the sharp tops of the galvanized fence, and my searching suggests that there is no pre-made product for this because this fence was just installed wrong.

Any advice?


Write or type a letter to your neighbor explaining that you’d like to help them make their fence safer, then leave it for them if they’re not home when you go to drop it off. Provide your name, a way to contact you, and be polite. Don’t make moves to alter their fence without them; changing your neighbors is expensive and good will is priceless.

If it’s a chain link style fence, with the exposed ends twisted together and jaggedly facing up, a top rail with fasteners is likely to be the easiest to set up. If there’s a fencing installer locally, try calling them up and telling them about it, then ask if they have the means to fabricate or modify a top rail to work for what’s going on. If you have the means to make a jig for an angle grinder you may be able to cut appropriate openings in the top rail yourself and secure them with ring clamps or appropriate hardware for connecting them to the upright posts. Wooden toppers might be less expensive to purchase or fabricate but will have their own upkeep needs - a router with a channel bit or a table saw with a dado blade could make short work of the recess needed to cover the sharp parts of the fence, and conduit clamps could be used to secure it in place.


Yeah, I will at least try to speak with the neighbor about it before I do anything. With the way the properties are set up, they barely even see the fence, whereas for me, it's kind of front and center in my backyard. I expect they may be surprised when I point out that it's technically their fence.

It is a chain link fence. A top rail sounds like a good idea which wouldn't be too unattractive or hard to install. I'd sure love to replace it with a proper wooden fence because the privacy in my backyard is severely lacking when they're on their front stoop or in their driveway, but with the grade and the need to remove the current fence, it would be very expensive.

rhythmisaprancer avatar

Is this what you are working with? If so, you may be able to purchase lengths of wood trim and sandwich the edge of the fence between them. You can also get extruded aluminum in channel form and perhaps attach it with wire. You may even be able to put heavy duty shrink wrap over each sharp point.

Or maybe you have a different type of fence and this won't help haha. Let us know 🙂


Assumed OP meant this type of thing, but yours seems more likely as it would be cheaper to buy & to install.


Yes, that's the type I meant.

Wahots, avatar

I wouldn’t personally do it, but you might be able to hire a contractor who can ground down the points and then add a weatherproof coating to the tips. I would definitely talk to the neighbor before you do this, though. They also make rebar caps to keep people from impaling themselves on construction sites. Ugly as sin, but would make the fence safer for humans and animals alike.

Sounds like the fence company should be on the hook to remedy an improper installation, though.


I wish the fencing company could be on the hook for it, but I'm pretty sure that fence has been there for a few decades. No idea who installed it.


Timber strips?


Maybe something like rubber u channel trim?

Rubber U Channel Edge Trim Small, Fits 1/16 inch Edge (1.6mm), Length 10 Feet (3.05 Meter) - Anti-Leakage, Anti Vibration.


That doesn't look too bad.

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