Friday, 13 January 2012

Maintaining Your Wooden Gates

How You Can Properly Maintain Your Wood Gates – Common Wooden Gate Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

Maintaining the look and life of your wood gates doesn't have to be a complicated task, as long as you follow a few routine steps. Consistency is the key, and if you follow these maintenance tips on a regular basis you will greatly extend the life of your wooden gates.
Once a new wooden gate's surface has been finished, hardware added, and installation completed, a regular maintenance program should begin. This is not a difficult process nor does it take much time.
How Often Should You Do The Wood Gate Tune-ups?
A wooden gate is typically exposed to weathering and heavy usage making regular maintenance necessary. Sooner or later any finish will wear away and normally this will be of an uneven nature. It is recommended the maintenance take place each spring.
What Should I Look For On My Wood Gates?
The wooden gate should be inspected for several things: splits, cracked finish, loose nails or screws, fading of finish, etc. Most years all that is required is tightening of the fastenings and a little spot correcting of the finish.
When To Do The Big Wood Gate Maintenance
To recoat the spots which have worn down or begun to crack a light sanding of the area and a coat or two of the paint or stain should suffice. However, approximately every five to seven years, a complete washing and sanding of the wood before repainting or re-staining will further prolong the gate's life.
The Most Common Maintenance Mistake
Painting or staining over an area without cleaning and sanding is not recommended as this could cause even worse damage to the gate. Bare wood or a cracking painted surface permits water to penetrate into the wood itself which is a huge invitation for micro-organisms or termites detrimental to the wood. Sanding down the area needing repair and allowing it to dry before refinishing keeps the wood from rotting. Additionally, as when painting or staining a new wooden gate, place a sheet of cardboard, plastic or canvas under the gate to prevent drips below.
As long as preventative measures are taken the wooden gate will remain in prime condition for many years. Maintaining your wooden gate will retain its durability and save you money in the long run.
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