Hinges for gates can be somewhat fragile and are often the first part of a gate to deteriorate and wear out, due to the constant use they are subjected to. It is important to keep up with properly maintaining any gates and fences you have, and most especially the moving parts like gate hinges and locks. If you do not properly maintain hinges for gates, or other movable gate parts, you will find that they will begin to not work properly and can detract from the look of your fence or gates. They can even become a security issue, making it easier for would-be thieves to break into your home or property. Read on to find out what types of problems can arise with hinges for gates and how you can prevent them from happening.
The very first thing to be careful of with gate hinges is rusting. The build up of rust is mainly brought about by water and oxygen combining, unabated, on a piece of metal. During the rainy season, when almost everything outdoors is wet, rust build up is an almost inescapable reality. The problem with rust is that it weakens the gate hinge, and therefore the gate, making it sag. Sagging is the unfortunate situation when one of the two sides of the gate is higher than the other. A sagging gate not only looks like an eyesore, but will not work properly because the hinge on the gate is not aligned properly. Therefore, if nothing is done about rust, you might see yourself forking out money to get a new gate installed.
In order to avoid rusting, you must oil your gate hinges with used motor oil or grease. By simply pouring it over a joint, you will be increasing the lifespan of the gate by at least 5-10 years. However, the application of grease and oil must be done regularly if you want to reap the best results. In addition to reducing the likelihood of rusting, greasing also kills termites that bring about rotting of the wood of the surrounding gate or fence, as well as preventing the squeaky sound gates normally make when they are worn out at the hinges. Just be careful that when you pour the oil or grease on the hinges, the rest of the gate does not become covered in the oil or grease, ruining the wood.
Another way to prevent sagging of your gate is by simply replacing the old bolts of the hinges with new ones. But before actually doing this, you must make sure that you have all the right tools for the job and that you have the proper sized bolts for the type of gate hinges you have. If you have decided to replace the bolts in your gate hinges, make sure that you do it right or you might end up ruining your gate completely, or may make it sag even more. This is especially important with butt hinges.
One of the first parts of a gate to usually wear out are the hinges, due to the constant wear and tear they are subjected to when opening and closing the gate. But, with a bit of proper gate hinge maintenance, your gate should provide many years of use with no need for repairs or replacement.