After returning home from my California tour, my main door pissed me off completely. Looking at the gate, I noticed that it sagged! It started to make discrete sounds, causing terrible pain to my ears.
A burden rose; I had to fix it. If it was eight years ago, I would’ve lost myself in thinking about how to fix a sagging double gate. But not now.
I deal with such issues every day. It took me only 7-8 minutes to resolve the issue. How?
The main problem was the misplacement of the hinges. I had to position and place it correctly. Also, I hammered certain parts and made a possible gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. It resisted the friction.
Sometimes, this doesn’t work. I was lucky to get it done then. But, if you face the consequence, what’ll you do? In this article, you’ll get every possible detail on how to secure your sagging gates.
Some questions might’ve already arisen in your mind. Wait, I’ll answer all of them in the end.
How Do I know if My Gate is Sagging?
The first thing you notice about an old gate is its sag. Gate sag is one of the most unfortunate problems for many homeowners. When enough time is passed after installation, the sagging of a gate is kind of inevitable.
Most of the time, the sagging of a gate is visibly noticeable. You can fix a sagging gate with an anti-sag gate kit. You will see that the gate’s square or rectangular shape is altered, and the angles are not at 90 degrees.
To know if your gate is sagging, measure the diagonals in two directions. If the measurements do not match, the gate is out of shape. When the gate does not form a perfect square/rectangle and is not closing correctly anymore, you can say that your gate has sagged.
Why does a gate sag?
There can be a lot of reasons why a gate would start to sag. Excessive use and getting beaten up by extreme weather conditions can be the leading causes of it.
It can also happen if the gate material is warped, its hinges are not correctly placed, or the gate lacks structural components.
Here are some of the reasons for dangling of gates:
- The unstable structure of gates can cause sagging. Gates are a cantilever structure. Only one end of it is fixed to a post using hinges, while the other end is free.
So naturally, the weight of the free end will be pulling against its post and trying to uproot it.
- Wooden gates tend to sag more than metal gates. Low-quality wooden gates will start to sag once it is exposed to moisture. The effect of moisture distorts the shape of the wood, causing it to sag.
- If the posts are not driven low enough into the ground, they can succumb to the weight of the gate. This will eventually uproot the posts and increase sagging.
- If no diagonal bracing is built to provide support, gates may start to sag.
Things You Will Need to Fix
- Adjustable wrench
- Cordless drill
- Tape measure
- Bubble level
- Anti-sag gate kit
- New gate hinges
- New gate screws
How Do You Repair a Dragging Gate?
The following steps might help you fix a dragging gate without any difficulty:
Step 1: Replace Hinges
If the gate hinges are damaged, twisted, bent, or rusted, they will no longer be capable of holding the gate post in place. In that case, replacing the hinges is the best option.
First, unscrew the hinges from the post. Lift the gate and remove it from its place. Now unscrew old hinges and remove them. Replace them with new hinges.
Step 2: Tighten hinge screws
If you do not want to throw away your old screws, just tighten them with a cordless power drill and attach them to the gate post.
However, if the screws start rotating even when a little pressure is applied, they can no longer hold the gate in place. Which means you must replace the screws.
Step 3: Install Cable and Corner Brace
In this step, measure whether the gate is square. Most gates that are out of square will sag downwards. So, the brace should start at the top and continue diagonally to the bottom outer corner.
Next, position the corner braces, drill plot holes and then attach the braces with screws. It will ensure that the braces will hold the gate fixedly. Pull the cable that you previously installed by hand. Secure its two ends with two pairs of cable clamps.
Step 4: Adjust Turnbuckle
Now, screw the turnbuckle out till it is fully extended. Then attach it to the lower brace. Use a wench to further tighten the turnbuckle.
As you keep tightening, the sag will keep reducing. Once you tighten the turnbuckle to a sufficient amount, the sag will disappear, and the gate will be level again.
Ways to Fix a sagging Heavy Double Wooden Gate
Start by assessing the gate first. Check if only the swinging part of the gate is sagging or if the attached gate post is also wobbling.
Use power tools like an impact driver or screw gun to remove the fence gate from the gate post. For heavy wooden gates, support the gates on top of a block of wood or brick to prevent them from dropping accidentally.
Now, Remove the Rcrews and Free the Gates from their post.
You will need to start from there if the problem is in the post. Dig the soil around the post and search for any severe rot. Replace it with a new post if the root is rotten.
However, if the post is only slightly damaged, repairing it will be more economical than replacing the entire gate post.
Next, you must find out how out of square your gate is. Take the measurements of the gate precisely to find this out. In most cases, when a gate is out of square, it is necessary to lift the bottom of the latch side.
Stretch a pipe clamp between the inner top corner and the outer bottom corner and tighten it gradually. This will raise the bottom of the latch side and make the gate square again.
Now with the post dry and steady and the gate squared, the heavy double wooden gate should stop sagging any further. Remember, it may take some tries to adjust the post perfectly again.
How Much Gap Do You Need Between Double Gates?
Allowing a half to a one-inch gap between the double gates should be enough. It will prevent the gates from colliding with each other while closing.
However, a 4.5-5″ gap is required between the post and gate for installing hinges and pins.
In the case of bottom gap height, there is no fixed standard. But ideally, you would want to provide 2-3″ gaps to prevent the gates from contacting the ground while swinging. Keeping a sufficient opening will ensure the free swing of most gates.
How Do You Stop a Double Gate from Sagging?
A sagging double gate can give you double trouble, as both gates can get problematic simultaneously. These gates easily fall out of alignment and can give you difficulty closing the latch.
Anti-sag kit is an excellent easy-fix solution for a sagging gate. To stop a double gate from sagging, you can install an anti-sag cable as a bracing. It holds the gate appropriately and will not allow any sag.
First, install two eye screws diagonally in the gate’s upper inner corner and lower outer corner. Now, thread a steel cable through the eye screws, and attach the cable with a clamp or U-bolt clip.
Cut the extra cable left with wire cutters, and the job is done. This should protect the gate from sagging. However, if the gate starts to sag after a while, you can always come back and tighten the cable.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What Type of Hinge Do I Need for a Gate?
There are various types of gate hinges depending on which type of gate you have. They are:
Heavy Duty Gate Hinges: These are primarily used in commercial and industrial gates. They are tamper-proof, made from stainless steel, and can withstand 1000-4000 lbs load.
Security Gate Hinges: Security gates are widely used in industrial gates. These hinges can withstand a very high load and can be customized in length or width. They do not need any high maintenance.
Bell Bearings Gate Hinges: These hinge screws are frequently used in commercial, industrial, or residential gates. Their high weight-bearing capacity and greased bearings make them suitable for high traffic.
Heavy Duty Farm Gate Hinges: Farm gate hinge screws are used widely across farms and barns in the US. They are made of stainless steel or carbon steel and are corrosion-resistant. Up to a 1000 lbs load can be imposed on them without difficulty.
Q: How Much Weight Can Gate Hinges Hold?
Gate hinges can withstand a great deal of load depending on their type. Most gate hinges can hold around 1000-3000 lbs. load.
Standard heavy-duty gate hinges can take up to 4000 lbs. of weight, while heavy-duty farm gate hinges can take only 1000 lbs. of load. On the other hand, the weight-bearing capacity of Bell Bearing gate hinges goes up to 3000 lbs.
Heavy-duty stainless steel gate hinges are way ahead of the others in this matter. They are made of 304 and 326 stainless steel, which allows them to comfortably bear about 25000 lbs.
Q: Do anti-SAG gate Kits Work?
To fix a sagging gate, anti-sag kits are your best option. These kits truly work like a charm. Mainly, they make a perfect repair on small to medium-sized gates.
Anti-sag kits come in various price ranges, from 12 dollars to around 30 dollars. However, if your gate size is considerably more extensive, you might want to choose something more substantial. In that case, heavy-duty anti-sag kits (costing about 37 dollars) would be more suitable for you.
Before you think of how to fix a sagging gate, know the type and quality of the gate first. Not all doors will work or resist the same treatment. Most will do, but you still need to ensure your property first.
You might need many a time at first. Even I used to have nearly 1 hour at first. Then experience came, and I became the master. Whatever you do, ensure your safety first, then the gate’s.