Known for their high-maintenance, a wooden gate requires attention to detail and routine maintenance from homeowners in order to ensure that they remain in tip top condition all-year round. After all, every single weather phenomenon can affect unprotected timber and lead to irreparable damage! In fact, moisture is one of the most troublesome occurrences that homeowners must be cautious about, particularly when it comes to warping.

How does moisture affect wood?

Warping is caused when the moisture levels inside a piece of wood becomes unequal. This is because the material shrinks as it dries and less moisture in one part will cause it to shrink at a much faster rate than the other parts, leading to a very distinguishable warp along the length of the structure. In most circumstances, warped wood is beyond repair, however it is possible to fix a minor warp by using heat and pressure.

Can a poor gate installation cause warping?

Although changes in moisture levels are considered the number one cause of warped wood, it is also possible for a low-quality installation to set the wheels in motion. A wooden gate should always be fitted with a diagonal chord in order to prevent the wood from ‘bowing’ as a result of weather changes. This means that the removal of just one single element can contribute to the likelihood of warping by leaving the gate exposed to other weather-related damage like bowing.

How can warping wood be prevented?

Since it is very difficult to fix a warped gate, it is important that homeowners take the necessary steps in order to prevent it from even happening. Luckily, the theory behind warp prevention is incredibly simple and revolves around the moisture levels of the wood. This means that providing a gate with a high-quality sealant on a regular basis in order to prevent uneven moisture loss can be more effective than homeowners think.

Here at Cheshire Metalcraft, we want to encourage our readers to pay attention to their gates and provide them with the care and attention they deserve. Warping wood is a problem that develops over time but can be prevented with routine maintenance, however it is often irreparable when discovered in an advance state. To find out more information about taking care of timber gates, get in contact with the best gates Manchester has to offer and speak to a member of the Cheshire Metalcraft team today!