Wooden gates are strong and sturdy structures that many homeowners favor because it adds to the curbside appeal and provides an additional layer of security and privacy to a home. Additionally, wooden gates can last a long time with proper maintenance.
Because they are made from a natural material, however, it is susceptible to wear and tear, as well as regular damage. As an attentive homeowner, you’ll have to keep an eye out for signs that your gate is in need of professional attention.
Whether your wooden gate is in need of minor or major maintenance and repair, our team at 4 Sure Gates can take care of it. Here’s how we’ll handle these three common concerns:
Superficial Damage: Rotting and Rusting
Rotting occurs on treated and untreated wood, but untreated wood tends to rot faster, especially when it is constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions. Rot can affect the strength of the material and cause sagging on the affected portion and eventually, on the surrounding parts as well.
If the problem is neglected for too long, the entire structure will begin to lean and affect the hinges or the tracks, resulting in other structural problems that may require additional professional repair. Before you see any signs of significant damage on any of these parts, it’s best to schedule a routine checkup to prolong the gate’s life.
Some wooden gates are designed with steel or metal parts. If this is the case, the gate must be checked for signs of rust. Rust and corrosion are simple problems that are usually ignored and simply chalked up to material aging and time. However, when neglected, rusty hinges can get stuck and corroded hinges can detach. Moreover, eroded tracks can cause buckling and affect proper closing or opening. Scheduling a maintenance checkup every six months can extend the life of the hardware and the tracks.
In between checkups, cleaning the gate with warm water and dish detergent can help remove hardware stains. Applying metal-grade wax will help protect the surface of the hardware from stains, discoloration, and rust. However, the protective coating from the wax wears off over time and the lubrication on the hinges and the track wheels diminish due to constant use and exposure to weather elements.
Structural Weakness: Misalignments and Cracks
Snow, soil, and other natural debris can accumulate on the tracks or the bottom of the gate, preventing it from opening and closing properly. This can add friction on the parts that come in contact and forcing them to close or open may result in surface damage such as cracking or chipping off. Meanwhile, latches can get misaligned which makes opening and locking difficult. Latches are also prone to hardware damage due to constant use and movement.
Professional repair is necessary for gates that show evidence of damage on stress points like hinges, tracks, latches, and holes or cracks on panels, as well as gaps. If you need to force open it or need to use force to slide the latch on or off, it means it’s up for a checkup and maintenance.
To clean the tracks, especially the corners, you may use a small brush to do the job. You may also want to check for any plant growth along the track and on the corners of the gate. To ensure you get your money’s worth on your wooden gate, schedule a regular inspection and maintenance to prevent premature material degradation.
Constant sun exposure can cause the wood to become brittle and break easily. Harsh weather conditions like storms, snow, and heavy rainfall can cause wood to swell due to moisture, and can lead to rotting. Storm winds and wind shear also put a toll on the structure, causing some panels to go missing or become wobbly.
To mitigate the damage, have your gates checked every six months by a professional. Performing preventive maintenance is better than spending a fortune on repair costs. As soon as you see any signs of wear or damage, have a professional inspect it right away.
Cleaning the area every two to three months is ideal to keep the tracks in mint condition, while lubrication of moving parts every year is necessary to ensure the longevity of the hardware and other moving parts that contribute to the functionality of the gate. The professionals may also suggest applying sealers to protect the wood surface and prevent it from expanding due to humidity.
Get in Touch with the Pros
At 4 Sure Gates, we provide repair and maintenance services to ensure the longevity of your wooden gates and all of their components. If your gate is exhibiting any of the issues we mentioned, give us a call at 817-965-7873 or fill out a secure form on our site about your concern – we’re ready to help!