How do you keep a wooden gate from sagging?

Rotting and worn wooden gate

Keep your wood gates at their best

A wooden fence and wooden gate can be a beautiful accent to a home. It provides a level of privacy and security; it keeps animals in or out, and they are an attractive addition to a home. Until the wooden gate starts to sag.

Not only is this aggravating, but it looks bad too. When a wooden fence and its wooden gate are broke or sagging, it reflects on the entire house. Whether you choose a wooden gate vs metal gate, a sagging gate is not a good look.

Why do Gates sag?

You’ve probably seen a wooden gate is sagging, maybe even had it happen to your own gate before. What causes this? A sagging wooden gate can be a minor aesthetic flaw, or it could be something more serious. Regardless of which reason it is, you don’t want to ignore it. Just alike dripping water pipe, the sooner you address the problem and fix it, the better. So, what causes a metal gate, a plastic gate, or a wooden gate sag?

  • The Hinges and Screws: There are two hinges that hold a gate in place. One or more screws could be loose or missing from those hinges. Or if they’ve gotten old and weatherworn, they have lost their integrity.  
  • The Posts Shift: If the post that the gate is attached to shifts, this can cause a wooden gate to sag. The post could shift simply because the ground has been cold/dry/wet, or if you’ve added more fencing, it can cause the posts to shift. Another issue could be the posts were not installed properly and are coming up out of the ground, causing a wooden gate to sag. 
  • Damaged or Rotten Posts: The wood posts that a wooden gate is connected sometimes begin to rot or split. When that happens, the positions of the hinges change, then the wooden gate sags. The only way to remedy this is to replace the bad posts.
  • Lack of Bracing on Gate: Just like the wooden posts, a wooden gate can shift and begin to sag, if it has not been properly braced from corner to corner. To fix this, usually installing a brace on the wooden gate will correct the problem.
  • Gate riding: “Gate riding” is something that every kid that sees a big gate wants to do, and while it looks like fun, it can cause a wooden gate to sag.        

How do you repair a gate post?

A wooden gate is only as good as the wooden posts that support it, so, when the gate posts are solidly in place, the gate will be good. If the wooden posts have any holes or rot, then the gate hinges will become loose and the gate will sag. Or perhaps the wooden gate expanded in rain then shrunk after it dried out, loosening the bolts.

A wobbly wooden post that is still solid can be strengthened by placing crushed stone around the base and packing it in with a sledgehammer. However, if the gate posts have cracks or rotten areas, then it needs to be totally replaced. Follow these steps to repair a gate post.

  • Take the gate off the pole and then dig around the post until it shakes and wiggles loosely.
  • Stick something under the fence to support it and drop the post into the hole. Pack the dirt around it and check it with a level to make sure it straight as you’re packing the dirt around it.
  • Screw two 2×4 studs in the upper end of the post on opposite sides of the wooden gate for reinforcement.  
  • Reattach the gate with a new hinge and screws.
reinforced wooden gate

How do you reinforce a wooden gate?

The gate is the most used part of a fence. The only other part that gets as much wear and tear is the post the gate is mounted on. A wooden gate can become weak when the hinges or screws become loose, and when left unaddressed, it can break or rot.

Fortunately, this is a relatively fast and easy fix. Start by replacing the hinges and screws by drilling through the old holes, then mount the new hinges with carriage bolts that run through the wooden gate and gate post.

To reinforce an old worn wooden gate, install an anti-sag gate kit. This will pull the low corner up and toward the upper hinge. This should square the gate, making it hang straight.

How deep does a gate post need to be?

With wooden gate construction, the post hole should be no less than two feet deep, however, three feet is the recommended depth. At three feet deep, you’ll get the post below frost level and it will be less likely to move or shift when the ground freezes.

How do you stop a fence from digging?

To install a traditional fence, it required using an auger and pouring cement around the fence posts.  Today, a no-dig fence is secured by driving steel spikes in the ground, then attaching the fence panels to the spike posts with panel eyelets.

Which is better – a metal gate or a wooden gate? 

We have already mentioned that a properly installed and maintained fence and gate make a house look good, especially if the gate is sturdy. If you’re in the market for installing a fence, maybe you aren’t sure whether a metal gate or wooden gate is the best way to go through.  Here are the pros and cons of each to help you make that decision:

A Wooden Gate

  • Pro Number One: A wooden gate is versatile with colors, decorating, and go be a traditional wooden gate or dressed up to be a polished look.
  • Pro Number Two A wooden gate is made of thick wood, making it sturdy against whatever Mother Nature sends its way.
  • Con Number One: A wooden gate will require maintenance, so it doesn’t deteriorate and rot.  
  • Con Number Two: A wooden gate will be repainted or re-stained, and while some consider this maintenance, it is really more of an aesthetics issue that needs to be done annually, not more than every two years.

A Metal Gate

  • Pro Number One: A metal gate is extremely durable, especially a wrought iron metal gate. A metal gate won’t attract insects either.
  • Pro Number Two: A metal gate is available in several designs that can blend with any architecture.  
  • Con Number One: A metal gate is sensitive to temperature, especially if the extreme temperature. Cold weather makes them brittle, and hot weather weakens the metal.
  • Con Number Two: A metal gate is more expensive because of the cost of material and labor to make it.

With the information we have provided and the questions we’ve answered, go forth and choose a gate for your home with confidence! Call Pro Seal Restoration today at (817) 506-7722 for service for your wooden gates in Fort Worth and Arlington, TX.