How to fix a sagging gate | Living the Country Life

How to fix a sagging gate

You can make it right again

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!

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.

Mark Mellow is co-owner of Tahoe Fence 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 that will help keep the latch side of the gate up and that's usually the side that sags," says Mellow. "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.

If you have a big, double-drive gate, it's perfectly okay to prop it up with concrete or wood blocks.

"That's a good idea, to brace up where the two halves meet because that'll help keep them from sagging over time. There's something to stop them from being pushed down," says Mellow. "And so if you don't use your gates a lot or you get a lot of snow in the wintertime, you get a little bit more longevity out of them."

Droopy gates can be blamed on the gate post, too. If it's in bad condition, replace it.  If it's just leaning, hold it upright with a turnbuckle and a steel wire or rod.  

Find more tips for fixing a sagging gate

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