Troubleshooting Gate Problems


“My gate won’t latch properly. What do I do?”

Gates can go out of alignment for a number of reasons. It is our desire to help you troubleshoot gate problems so you can apply the proper solution and have a working gate again!



General age and deterioration

It is completely natural for wood gates to slowly deteriorate over time. There is no product on the market that can stop all deterioration. Over time, it WILL start to sag or go out of alignment for one reason or another. The only reasonable question is “when?”.

In any wood fence, the gates will be the first thing to need replacing simply because they undergo much more use and wear. If your fence is 10-15 years old, it may be time to consider replacing the gates entirely. However, you may be able to buy some more time with your current gate with the use of a gate kit. This is a support system that can be added to any gate to help keep its shape. It can be easily loosened or tightened as needed, and can help lengthen the overall life of your gate.


Rusty hardware

If the wood that makes up the gate seems to be in good shape, check to see if the hardware is in good condition. Excessive rust may be causing the gate to have trouble closing. Consider simply replacing the hinges and latch to achieve a better, smoother function.


Swelling from weather changes

If it has rained recently and now your gate won’t latch properly, give it time. Wait and see if it goes back into alignment once the weather dries out. If you adjust the gate while it is wet, it may not be aligned once it dries again, simply shifting the issue. If this is not the case, the gate may still need an adjustment. Tightening the appropriate hinges and latch should improved the function.


Settling over time

The disturbed area around any new gate will slowly settle in the months following installation. If it has been 18 months or less since your Frederick Fence gate was installed, give us a call! We will come out and adjust your new gate for free as a courtesy service to you, covered under your craftmanship warranty.


Improper installation

Sometimes the support structure, posts, or hardware used on a gate are not enough to support its weight. If your gate looks to be sagging and continues to go out of alignment again and again, consider that it might not have the support it needs to be able to function properly for any length of time.