I live in an extremely windy area where it is not uncommon to get gusts up to 40, even 50-60mph. My property is completely fenced in. The fence itself has metal reinforcement posts that have kept it stable the couple years we've owned the house. Our gates, however...
Gate Anatomy/The Issue
I have three wooden gates: One single-wide, standard entrance gate and two sets of double gates. All three sets of gates are... unusable at this point. The single-wide is held on by bungee cords, and the double-wides have planks and garden stones keeping them closed. I've even malleted 2x4s and wedged them into the fence and the ground to give it some top support. The "eye" of the hinge is attached to a metal rod on the gate itself and the peg is attached to a metal rod on the fence. The two double gates have wheels (though I detached them from one). One set of the double gates has cane bolts. Every time the winds kick in, at least one of the gates goes down -- completely. It slips out of the top hinge, bends the bottom hinge, and hits the ground. We have dogs, so opening the gates during the wind is just not an option for us as the wind can last several hours - even days.
Things I've Tried
I've done minor repairs, like replacing the hinges, but I'm a new homeowner and I'm learning all of this as I go. I'm planning on picking up more hinges (all of the gates use chain link fence hinges, I call them "wishbone hinges." -- here they are on Amazon), but I've swapped them out before and I just want a more permanent solution. I've considered cutting holes in the tops of the gates, like a window, for the wind to get through so it takes the pressure off the top of the gates. But I can't help but notice, no one else seems to have issues with similar fences in the area. So I can't help but think this is a hardware issue. We discovered after buying our house that much of the remodeling was DIY so we're under the assumption best practice wasn't taken into account when these gates were built (an assumption backed up given the nature of the somewhat inconsistent hardware between the three gates).
The Ultimate Question/TLDR
I'm not in a position to pay for a professional to come out and completely re-do my gates, so I need to figure out how to reinforce these bad-boys until I am in such a position so the next person who owns this house doesn't have to deal with this.
Are there better hinges for standard wood gates in high-wind areas instead of the chain link/wishbone hinges they're currently using? I know part of the issue is the reinforcement rods only go halfway up the fence, which works fine for the rest of the fence but offers no top support for the gates when the winds kick in (which seems to be the issue, just based on my observation). That being said, I know if the top was TOO stiff, it wouldn't flex as well and potentially create an even bigger problem. I'm just spit-balling. There is some damage to the fences, but all of them are actually in decent shape, just a few splinters missing here or there.
Here is a video I recorded for my dad a couple years back when I was asking for his input when our standard entrance gate first blew down. The hinges are slightly different than the double gates, but it offers a visual for what I'm attempting to describe. At the very least, a handier person than I could recognize flaws in the execution that I don't and possibly advise me on a solution. And yes, all of the gate locks on all of the fences are just drilled into blocks of wood and yes, all of them have come off at some point after a fence hit the ground. Ideally, while fixing the gates, I'll come up with a way to lock them, also.
I'm pretty handy and a quick learner, so I'm more than willing to get dirty and do the work myself when I've come up with a game plan. My biggest obstacle is I'm on a budget. I love an excuse to buy new tools and hardware, but there's a huge difference between a $10 pair of wire strippers and, I dunno, a $100 impact wrench (thought about picking one up to make the bolts on the fence hinges extra tight). So I am keeping my fingers crossed some magic human out there will say, "Pick up XYZ for $5 a pop and you shouldn't have any issues." but I'm also realistic and realize I may have a pricy repair on my hands... I'm rambling at this point.
Any help/input/recommendations would be very much appreciated! If it was just me, I may take them off completely. But my biggest fear is one of these big gates landing on one of my dogs, and it's really time for me to do something about it.