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Why Do Gates Warp and How to protect your gate?

Gates, whether they are made of wood, metal, or composite materials, can sometimes warp, leading to functional and aesthetic issues. Warping is a common problem that affects the longevity and performance of gates, and understanding the causes and preventive measures can help homeowners and builders maintain their gates in optimal condition.

Here we will explore why gates warp and how you can prevent it.


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Why Do Gates Warp?

Moisture and Humidity

One of the primary reasons gates, especially wooden ones, warp is due to changes in moisture and humidity. Wood absorbs and loses moisture from the environment, causing it to expand and contract.

If one side of the gate is exposed to more moisture than the other, uneven swelling or shrinking occurs, leading to warping.

Temperature Fluctuations

Extreme temperature changes can cause materials to expand and contract. Metal gates, for example, can warp when exposed to direct sunlight followed by cooler temperatures at night. The differential expansion and contraction create stress within the material, resulting in warping.

Improper Installation

Gates that are not properly installed are more prone to warping. If a gate is not hung level or if the frame is not square, it can place undue stress on certain parts of the gate. Over time, this stress can cause the gate to twist or bend out of shape.

Inadequate Support

Without proper support, gates are susceptible to sagging and warping. Large or heavy gates need additional structural support to maintain their shape. Unsupported sections can warp due to their own weight or external forces like wind.

So how do I prevent my gate warping?

1. Use High-Quality, Treated Materials:

Here at Ruby, all of our gates are handmade from high-quality, pressure-treated material - which is is the first step in preventing warping. This means that the timber is less likely to absorb moisture unevenly and will prevent against water ingress issues such as warping.

For our metal gates, they are made with the appropriate coatings to resist rust and weathering.

2. Proper Installation:

Ensuring that your gate is installed correctly can prevent many issues. The gate should be hung level, and the frame should be square. Using high-quality hinges and right sized hardware can also distribute weight and stress more evenly, reducing the risk of warping. For more installation advice, click here.

3. Seal and Protect:

Wooden gates should be sealed at least once every year with a high-quality wood sealant to protect against moisture ingress. Regular maintenance, including reapplying sealant as needed, will help maintain the gate's integrity.

Metal gates should be painted or coated to protect against rust and temperature-induced warping.

4. Provide Adequate Support:

Large or heavy gates should be reinforced with additional bracing or support structures. Diagonal bracing can help maintain the shape of wooden gates, while metal gates can benefit from additional frame support to prevent bending.

5. Regular Maintenance

Regularly inspecting and maintaining your gate can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. Check for signs of warping, rust, or moisture damage and address these issues promptly. Tightening loose hardware, ensuring that the gate remains level and treating with UV sealant every 6 months can also help.

6. Climate Considerations

Take your local climate into account when choosing materials and designing your gate. In areas with high humidity or significant temperature fluctuations, it may be worth investing in materials and designs specifically engineered to withstand these conditions - such as Iroko Hardwood gates


Warping is a common issue that can affect the functionality and appearance of gates, but it is preventable with the right materials, installation practices, and maintenance. By understanding the causes of warping and taking proactive steps to address them, you can ensure that your gate remains in excellent condition for years to come. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to maintain your property or a builder aiming to deliver quality work, these tips will help you keep warping at bay.