Field gates are best known for keeping livestock within restricted areas and allowing access when required. There versatility and strong structure means that they can be used for a number of different projects and designs. If buying with us, were sure you’ll have a field gate you can be proud of and one that will last for many years to come. The three styles of field gate that we have which includes the Exbourne, planed 5 bar and our diamond brace available in both a 5 bar and 6 bar. Within this blog, we want to give you some installation and maintenance tips to help with the process of setting up and preserving your gate for many years to come. Make sure to check out all the related products as we go; we’re sure you’ll need them soon enough.
Installing your Driveway Gate
To begin the process of installing your gate, you need to consider how you would like to hang them. Depending on preference or logistics, you can have either a single gate entrance or a pair of gates. If opting for a pair of gates, they can be the same size, or you may wish to have one larger one and then a smaller one to create a pedestrian entrance to the side. The next job is to decide whether you are going to hang your gates in between the gate posts or on the back of the gate posts. Having your gates hung in between the post will mean that they can swing both inwards and outwards and therefore may be more practical.
A) One gate hung in between the gate posts
If hanging your gates like this, and to get the right measurement, you will want to measure the distance between the two posts and then minus 125mm to leave enough room for an adjustable hinge set and latch.
B) One gate hung on the back of the gate post
Hanging the gate on the back of the posts will mean that it will only swing outwards. To get the correct measurement and size of gate, you will want to measure the width between the gate posts and then add 75mm onto that.
C) Two gates hung in between the gate posts
Using this method and design will allow both gates to swing either way depending on your preference. To get the right correct measurement and width for the two gates, measure the distance between the two posts and then minus 225mm which will be needed for the hinge sets and latch. Now you want to divide that measurement by two to get the size that each gate needs to be.
D) Pair of gates hung on the back of the gate posts
To hang your two gates on the back of the gate post, you will want to measure the distance between the two gate posts and then add 50mm to that. This will ensure that your gates sufficiently overlap the gate posts enough whilst also creating enough room for the latch. Dividing this measurement will give you the correct size for each gate.
Before installing your gate, do make sure you have effective and good quality gate posts in place. If you are replacing a field gate, make sure to double check the current posts you have ensuring that they are not damaged or rotting in any way as this will reduce the strength and durability impacting the overall structure. If new gate posts are required, you will want to dig a hole that is three times the width of the post and also has a depth that is a 1/3 of the overall height of the post. Using props and spacers, secure the post in place and fill the hole up with postcrete before leaving it to set for 48 hours.
To help hang the gate, we have available a 24” adjustable field hinge set which provides all the necessary parts and fixings needed. It includes a top band, adjustable bottom gate fixing, hook to bolt and a hook to drive. The top band needs to be screwed onto the top horizontal rail which is considerably bigger than the lower ones. Adding to this, we also have a field gate self-locking latch that is used to hold a secure the gate in place. There are two main parts to this latch which include the automatic catch and then the small bar itself which goes into the automatic catch.
Maintaining your Field Gate
To begin with, it’s important to keep your field gate clean and clear of any bushes and plants. Having plants and bushes tangled up in the gate can affect its moving capabilities and restrict access if not careful. If required, give it a wash with warm soapy water making sure you don’t soak it completely and affect the moisture levels within the wood. Adding to that, although our materials used for our field gates are pressure treated, we would highly recommend Osmo UV protection oils to add protection against the sun and water. The oil-based preservative has pigments within it which optimally match the woods colours ensuring your gates keep their grain and colours for years to come. Giving your gates two coats of Osmo stain every 12 weeks is advised.
Check all parts of your gate such as the bracing to make sure it hasn’t been damaged or affected in any way. If your gate has been damaged, please try to rectify it immediately otherwise it can weaken the structure and damages can then occur in other places. Because of the constant climate and weather changes, the gates can develop cracks also known as ‘shakes’.These 'shakes' are very common and will. not affect the overall performance of the wood. Adding to this, sap and resin can surface to the top of the boards making it difficult to apply preservative oils and stains. To remove the sap and resin content, a stain blocking primer and knotting agent can be used and will help to minimise it occurring again.
If your field gate has been installed for many years, it’s important to check the hangings and fixings to ensure they have not corroded or weakened overtime and are still in good working order. Make sure to check all the small fixings such as screws which are keeping the hinges and gate in place. If any of the fixings have corroded slightly or damaged, we would definitely recommend replacing these as soon as possible to help with the strength of the structure and also to increase the overall design of the gate. Hangings and fixings are a great way of turning an old field gate into a freshly new one without even having to replace any gates. Adding to this, whilst checking around the gate and structure of it, it’s important to brush away build-up of leaf’s, stones and other bits of debris that may have accumulated at the bottom overtime. If left sitting there, the contents would add to the gates moisture levels dramatically causing large amounts of rot and algae growth.
These tips should be carried out annually, ensuring your gates are in best possible condition to survive the harsh winter months ahead. Taking care of them and spending a short amount of time on them will really help to keep them in great condition and survive any weathers. We hope you have found this useful and that you take some tips on board to help preserve your driveway gates. Don’t forget to check out all the products relating to installing your gate too. If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to contact our sales team on 01409231763 and they will be happy to help.