How to fix a sagging gate | Living the Country Life

How to fix a sagging gate

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Check the hinges

Listen to this radio story (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Mark Mellow, co-owner, Tahoe Fence Company, Inc.

Time and gravity have undesirable effects on form, whether you're a human being or a suspended slab of wood. No matter how well you and your fence gate are built, you're both going to sag eventually! We have some old wooden gates that are off-kilter, and we prop them up with concrete and wood blocks.

Sometimes a gate fix is as simple as checking the hinges. If the hinges are bent, replace them with heavier ones. If the screws look weak, use longer screws or stronger bolts. You could even add another hinge for extra strength.

Mark Mellow is co-owner of a fencing company and says if it's a wooden gate, try tightening up the screws or driving the nails in further. You could also install a truss.

"Going from the bottom on the hinge side up to the top on the latch side on the framing members will help keep the latch side of the gate up, and that's usually the side that sags," Mellow says. "Metal gates usually have either a wire truss or a truss rod welded in them, and those go the opposite direction -- they go from the top on the hinge side down to the bottom on the latch side."

That's because they're adjusted through torque by tightening up a nut, which pulls the front end up. You can put a cable truss on a wood gate to do the same thing. However, the more you tighten it up, the greater tendency there is for the gales to warp. It'll start pulling the bottom to one side so it won't line up evenly.

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