Repairing a Split Rail Fence Gate

Your split rail fence gate is probably the hardest-working part of your fenced enclosure. Before repairing a split rail fence gate, take time to determine if it is worth the trouble to repair or needs replacing altogether. Learn below how to assess what needs to be done before and while repairing a split rail fence gate.


Broken Gate Latch

If the side support fence post holding the split rail fence is in excellent condition, go ahead and repair or replace the broken gate latch. If the latch, in the act of breaking, dislodged or splintered its support post, you can rotate the post and reinforce its weakened side by nailing or screwing on another thin plank. Repair damage if possible with wood epoxy, and attach the repaired or new gate latch to the strong, undamaged side. If the support fence post is cracked through, replace it with a new one.


Broken Gate Hinge(s)

Make the same assessment of the support post holding the gate hinges as you did for the broken gate latch post. If the support post will still hold the hinges on the existing side, reattach the hinge(s) if possible. If the hinges tore chunks out of the support post, rotate it to an undamaged side and reinforce the damaged side with wood plugs screwed into the holes. Better alternatives are to replace the support post and gate hinges completely. If the gate frame was damaged when the hinges broke, put in new gate rails and attach new hinges.


Broken Fence Gate Frame

You can repair a top, bottom or latch-side frame of a split rail fence gate without removing the entire gate. Release the L-shaped brackets from the 2 corners of the top, bottom or latch-side frame, slip the gate frame piece out, and insert a new frame piece. Check for damage to the latch itself and repair or replace it before attaching it to a new gate frame plank. If the hinged side of the gate frame is damaged, you will need to remove the gate and its hinges before installing a new frame piece. Inspect the hinges and the support post to see if they are still in serviceable condition.


Bent or Cracked Gate Rails

High winds catching the gate when it is open can slam it into the fence rails and bend, crack or split your split rail fence gate. Remove the gate completely for repairs. Install a temporary gate made of a long fence rail, with a chain and slip lock at each end. Screw steel loops into the gate support posts and fasten the chain slip locks into the loops.


Lost or Damaged Screws and Fasteners on the Split Rail Fence Gate

Galvanized metal fasteners can loosen and fall out over time, due to ice and snow or long-term wear. Check the posts and beams to see if the wood holes have now become too loose to hold new screws or nails. Fill the wood holes with weather-resistant wood epoxy. Relocate the hinges or latch 1 inch above or below the original position to avoid reusing the filled holes.