Wobbly gate post

8 Jul 2013
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United Kingdom
I'm new to the forum and quite a novice when it comes to fence repairs ( being female!! ). I had my fence and gate replaced maybe nine years ago. They were installed by a reputable firm and I have maintained them properly however I have noticed the posts either side of the gate ( full height ) have moved and when I checked one of the wooden posts appears to have cracked right across the bottom so it's moving. Either side of the two posts supporting the gate are the concrete posts which also take the fence sections , they slot in. Is there any way I can repair the wobbly post by means of attaching it full length to the adjacent concrete post - maybe with cable ties or similar? Thanks in anticipation.
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If one of your timber posts has 'cracked' I would suspect that it has rotted through.....if this is the case, then it will have to be replaced.
If I understand your post correctly, you have two timber posts with a concrete post alongside?
Ideally if the timber posts are loose, it would be a reasonable idea to bolt them to the concrete ones (which could be steel reinforced) or fix them some other way with metal bracketry.
Cable ties aren't strong enough to support anything heavy.
Could you post a picture please?
John :)
Thank you for your reply. I haven't a clue how to post a photo but I'll give it my best shot. I've found one although it's not a close up. The offending post is the one with the hinges.
I believe I've created an album, perhaps you can let me know if I've been successful. Thanks
Yep - good photo and a cracking garden too :cool:
I would imagine the timber post was cemented in at the same time as the concrete post alongside......failing that, the timber post was bolted to the concrete one later. There may be signs of the original fixings.
Although it could involve removing the adjacent fence panel temporarily, bolting the two posts together would be best. 10mm dia bolts would be fine.
Another way is to drill the concrete post, add rawlplugs and screw the two together.
Another way is to fix steel plates to both sides of the timber, in a way that they would 'sandwich' the concrete post - at least the sideways movement would be stopped!
My main concern is that the concrete post will have steel reinforcing bars running through it lengthwise, which could make it difficult, but not impossible, to drill.
John :)
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Pleased you like my garden, ha ha! Thank you so much for the advice. It'll be invaluable to me. I'll now have to work on my muscles before I proceed. :D
Meant to say- the entire fence and gate was put in at the same time. I'm thinking the steel plates might be the easiest way for me to tackle it. I'm surprised that a relatively new gate post could fail so soon.
It all depends how well the post was treated before it was sunk into the ground, Mandy. If it was put in raw then it would fail quite soon; if it was dunked into a bucket of creosote a month before use then it would probably be ok now....!
Do find out if the post is actually cracked, or the base has rotted away though.
John :)
It has started to crack. It definitely hasn't rotted and I was told the posts were pressure treated, at least I think that's what they said. It's their business, they are a well respected local firm so I'm pretty sure they would have been.
Again, there are degrees of pressure treated quality, I'm afraid.....its unusual for timber to crack in this way - it shouldn't have been stressed particularly by the operation of garden gate, unless its been twisting excessively.
It would also be possible to clad the timber post with other timber, instead of steel plates, of course...you may find this easier and they could be fitted full height.
John :)
I guess we'll never know. All the same I'm very grateful for all your help. Thanks once again.
you are lucky that the posts have lasted nine years. pressure treated timber nowadays is only good for 5 years if that in my experience!
Terms like pressure treatment and all that don't amount to much. They're convincing at the time, but the contractors know they'll be long gone by the time the thing turns into crap, and if you run them down they'll have all kinds of ready-made excuses. I'd simply replace it, use some concrete to make sure it's firmly implanted, and treat it with as much weather-resistant treatment as you can -- but don't buy anything because you think it'll last forever without doing what you can to make that the case, or you'll be replacing it yet again sooner than you think. Never believe any promises about anything lasting forever unless you've got a maintanence or replacement guarantee in writing.
Many thanks for your advice. I have replaced the post and everything is now as it should be.

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