Gate Maintenance Issues and Tips

Gate Maintenance Issues and Tips

If you have a gate at your home, it’s bound to develop issues over time simply due to the wear-and-tear of everyday use as well as 24-7 exposure to the elements. While a squealing gate or a bit of rust may not seem like a huge problem initially, it can presage additional problems, given enough time, Fortunately, proper maintenance and attention to your gate can correct problems before they develop into worse issues that may necessitate a complete replacement of your gate.

Rust: Rust is an ever-constant enemy in the battle to keep your gate in good condition, whether you have an all-metal gate or a wooden gate with metal hinges only.

  • Surface rust can be removed with a wire brush or sandpaper, but severe rust damage in particular may require complete replacement of the hinges or other metal components
  • Rust bleed stains on wood from the hinges can be treated with a solution of oxalic acid (available at your local home improvement store).
  • To protect against rusting in the future, it is recommended that you coat any exposed metal components with a rust primer such as Rust-Oleum prior to repainting.

Creaking: Over time, your gate may develop a creak due to wear on the hinges, especially if they haven’t been lubricated for some time.

  • Lubricating the hinges is the most common approach to resolve the problem, but bear in mind that it may wear away quickly especially if it rains, necessitating that you re-apply it. WD-40, white lithium grease or even a small amount of motor oil can be used as a lubricant
  • For the best results, the hinges should be disassembled, allowing you to lubricate the inside of the hinges as well
  • If the hinges are particularly rusty or bent, they may need to be replaced altogether to resolve the problem properly

Sagging: A fairly common issue with swinging gates is sagging which can cause the gate to drag on the ground when opened or closed. Sagging can occur if the posts shift out of alignment due to soil expansion/contraction, the hinges work loose or even if the gate is too heavy to support its own weight.

  • Check the gateposts with a level to ensure they are plumb and not at an angle
  • Inspect the posts to verify they are not rotten – try leaning on them or wiggling them to ensure that they are firmly in the ground.
  • For the best results, the posts should be firmly set in concrete or gravel. If pouring new concrete for the gateposts, ensure that the concrete slopes away from the base of the posts and will not allow water to collect around the posts.
  • If you have wooden gate posts, inspect the hinge fasteners to verify that the bolts haven’t pulled out of the wood or widened the holes. If this is the case, you may need to either move the hinges or repair the damaged holes.
  • Wooden gates may also need to be reinforced with a diagonal brace running from the top latch side to the bottom hinge side in order to help support their weight and reduce sagging.

Closing: An issue with the gate latch can be attributed to a number of different factors. If it won’t stay latched, this is a potential security and safety issue, especially if you have pets or small children.

  • Check the hinges to ensure they are tightly fastened and not loose, causing the gate to pull away from the latch
  • If you have a closing spring on the gate, check the spring tension to ensure it is strong enough to pull the gate shut as needed
  • Check that there are no bushes or plants near the gate that may be catching in it and preventing from closing properly

Justin Krutz blogs about a variety of home improvement topics including gate repair for GSM Garage Doors, a San Diego garage door service company.

No Comments

No comments yet.

Comments Feed

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.