Overtime, it is natural for gates to sag due to exposure to different elements as well as from the constant wear and tear from the opening and closing of the gate. One of the first things you may notice on an old gate is it's sag. There are a few common reasons why a gate would sag.
In general, the most common cause for a gate to begin sagging is either the gate material is warped, the hinges have moved, the posts are no longer parallel with one another, or the gate is lacking structural components.
Why do These Issues Occur?
Wood gates are known to sag far more often than aluminum or metal gates, although both can sag for different reasons.
Gate hinges are twisted.
Posts that are not dug and set low enough in the ground may eventually succumb to the weight of the gate.
A wooden gate that is not built with a diagonal structural bracing, i.e., a 2x4 diagonally placed to prevent the frame from sagging.
Gates made of pressure treated wood will sag more readily once exposed to moisture. The effect of the moisture will push the wood out of shape, increasing sag.
How to Care for a Gate?
With repeated opening and closing of your gates, it is normal for sagging to occur overtime. However, being diligent in the care of your gate can help miraculously in the life of your gate long term. Whether you have wood, vinyl, aluminum, or a metal gate, below are a few maintenance tips to keep in mind when caring for your gate.
Ensure the gate is closed at all times and do not slam your gate. If your gate is constantly being left open and slammed shut, this pressure is extremely hard on the hinges and overall structure of the gate.
If you have a wood fence, stain/seal your fence regularly. This will help the life span of the wood.
Wash your fence. Whether you have vinyl, wood, or aluminum, it is important to keep your fence clean to prevent any mold, rotting, or algae from growing.
Don’t place any large piles of dirt, gravel, leaves, etc. directly against your fence or gate. This will overtime get stuck to the fence and can put unnecessary pressure on the fence.
If you notice any damage, fix it right away. Ignoring the damage can allow it to get worse.
Overall, it is important to do regular inspections on your fence. This can be done by simply going around your yard and ensuring the panels, posts and gates are still properly working and there is no apparent damage. Along with inspections, being diligent on closing your gate after each use and not slamming it shut, washing and/or staining/sealing your fence regularly, and making sure any issues or damage is addressed right away. If these maintenance steps are actions you are not able to do on your own or you simply do not want to, we recommend calling a professional fence contractor to assist you. In summary, taking these extra maintenance items will help the life of your gate long term, and will ultimately help prevent sagging in the future.