How To Maintain Oak Gates | Caring For Wooden Gates

How To Maintain Oak Gates

Looking after your oak gates or hardwood gates is important to maintain the look and lifespan. After all, you have invested in your new wooden gates, so you’ll want to keep them looking excellent. The UK weather is unpredictable at the best of times, so here at Juke’s Timber Solutions, we have compiled the following ideas and tips to help you look after your wooden gates and keep them in outstanding condition against the Great British weather for as long as possible.

How To Know Whether Your Wooden Gates Need Maintenance

Your gates should be cleaned at least twice a year, however, it does help to know the signs that your hardwood or softwood gate needs some care. These signs include:

  • Physical damage such as cracks, splits or warping,
  • Stiff moving when you open or close the gates,
  • Loose or rusted hinges, bolts, latches and screws,
  • Decaying or rotting wood,
  • Damage caused by woodworm or wood-boring insects,
  • Fading or peeling wood.

A good rule of thumb is to clean your gates when the clocks change. This will allow you to prepare them for the season ahead.

How To Look After Your Timber Gates

Gate maintenance is much simpler than you think; you can keep your wooden gates looking great with a few steps and precautions.

Cleaning A Wooden Gate

Cleaning your wooden gate will remove a build-up of dirt and leave it looking great.

This won’t require scrubbing. Just wipe down the surface using a soft brush or cloth. A mild soap and water will remove tough stains. Similarly, you can use a pressure washer for more stubborn moss or lichen.

Removing Rust From Gate Hinges

Gate hinges can rust when they come into contact with water and oxygen. Not only will they be an eyesore, but the rust can also weaken the gate hinges, so preventing it is recommended to protect the structural integrity of your gate.

Preventing rust is easy. All that is needed is to apply a coat of wax or sealant to the metal, then it should be reapplied regularly. Paint is also a good way to protect against rust whilst adding to the appearance of the gates.

If your hinges are completely rusted and can’t be fixed, it is recommended that you replace them. This will be an inexpensive process, conserving the strength and integrity of your gates.

Lubricating Moving Parts

Unlubricated moving parts can cause trouble. They generate too much friction, weakening the structure and reducing the lifespan of your gates.

If your wooden gates are squeaking, that’s the indicator that your gates need lubricating.

Use a suitable lubricant such as a silicone-based spray or light oil to coat the hinges, latches and other moving parts. This will guarantee smooth operation.

Replace Damaged Parts

Cracked boards, rusted hinges and broken latches can all diminish the structure of your hardwood gates and compromise the overall security. Repair or replace the damage caused to keep your wooden gate in a full working condition.

Refinishing Gates

The protective finish on your hardwood gates can diminish, and lessen over time due to the UV rays in sunlight and the weather, not providing the protection needed. If this coating is cracking, fading or peeling, it is time to re-coat your driveway gates.

Suitable stains or oil-based treatments should work towards maintaining the colour and appearance of your gates. However, avoid linseed oil. Linseed oil will not protect a wooden gate from mould. Avoid any micro-porous finishes as they will cause warping and twisting of timber. It also takes two or three days per coat to dry.

Teak oil is fast drying and often comes with UV filters, making it a popular choice. Tung oil is also a popular choice. Tung oil is an all-rounder that is waterproof and helps protect against mould whilst fighting the effects of age and temperature changes.

Ensure that the surface of your gate has been sanded properly before applying a finish. Whether you’re using oil, stain or paint, apply a suitable base coat before the first coat and then at least two coats of the final finish.

Keep in mind, should you be using gloss paint, this is generally fine, but the bottom of a new wooden gate should be sealed before applying.

When To Treat Hardwood Gates and Softwood Gates

Prevention is always better than a cure. Protecting your wooden gate from weathering, UV rays and other environmental factors is important.

Applying a protective treatment will extend the lifespan of your wooden gate and spare you from extensive maintenance in the future.

Lifting Your Kerb Appeal With A Wooden Gate

Gate upkeep is by no means a do it once and then leave it job. Keep the process up. Carry out checks regularly and catch any damage before it gets worse. Whether you have hardwood gates or softwood gates, we hope we’ve given you a few handy tips to help keep your gates looking great. All your hard work will be worth it when you lift the overall look of the entrance to your home and kerb appeal.

To speak to the Juke’s Timber Solutions team about your gates, get in touch today.