One thing that needs to be done by home owners each year is an exterior safety check of the home, including gate hardware and fencing. This is particularly important for those homes that include children or pets. Listed below are some common problems of fence gate hardware and some guidelines for replacement.
Rust is the most common reason for having to replace gate hardware, simply because most hardware is made of metal. You should be checking for rust at least once a year to avoid safety and even health issues. Rusting is most usually caused by weather conditions, but can be prevented with some solutions. If you notice rusting of your hardware, it will need to be replaced right away.
Misalignment of gate hardware, including the hinges and latches, can be caused by several things. Misalignment may occur if there is sagging from misuse or excessive wear. It also depends upon the material of the fence and gate. Wooden fences and gates are more likely to sag than iron or chain link fence.
Hardware Does Not Latch
If you are finding that your current hardware is not latching any more, it is most likely caused by wear and tear, or you are using the wrong type of latch for your needs.
Sagging, misalignment, and your hardware failing to latch, can all also be caused by having a gate that cannot support its weight (because of the material it is made of). This brings us to the selection of the appropriate material and hardware for your families’ needs.
Fence and Gate Material
A fence and gate should be selected for a home based upon the needs of the family. Most fences and gates are installed as a safety feature. Therefore, maintaining the safety is vital. There are basically four fence and gate options:
- aluminum/chain link
Regardless of the type of material you choose for your fencing and gate, metal is always the best option for gate hardware. The key is to treat the metal hardware with a rust resistant treatment to prolong the life of it. This way, it can last for years.
Type of Hardware
There are several options in hardware, and what you choose really depends upon the needs of you family.
If you are installing new hardware to protect your children and pets from escaping (or from entering a pool area), then the strongest type of latch is best. It is also best to consider self-closing hardware. Choosing a Magna Latch or Auto Latch are the best options.
If your fence and gate are more for aesthetics, and not for the safety feature, then any other type of hardware will work fine. Some examples are a
- hasp latch
- swivel hasp
- side bolt
- ‘hook and eye’
- thumb latch
Follow this guide to ensure a successful gate hardware replacement!