The wooden gate of my backyard fence has been installed to not touch the ground level. I know that's usually good, because it will prevent/delay the wood rotting.

But I'm highly annoyed by it, as the gap is big enough for all sorts of debris to get blown underneath it, into my backyard.

This picture shows the current problem, which is leaves. But I've also had styrofoam and litter go underneath it into my yard as well.

This picture

I've been thinking about closing the gap so the debris stays on the outside of the fence, but I know (because of the rotting thing) that I can't just hammer a spare strip of wood to the underside of the gate.

How can I best go about closing the gap, while still making sure the fence doesn't start to rot (faster)? What material would be good for this?

  • use pvc trim instead of wood trim.
    – dandavis
    Nov 1, 2022 at 15:49
  • It's hard to tell whether it's the gate or the yard which isn't square. Either way, you need to test how square it opens, or filling the gap may just cramp it right into the pavers as you open it. BTW, leaves do not respect boundaries - whatever don't blow under will blow over. Styrofoam is usually thrown over by 'delightful' locals ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 1, 2022 at 18:04
  • 1
    @Tetsujin Good point about checking for clearance all the way, hadn't thought about that. In this case, well... You can see the leaves coming underneath it, it really is most of it. Closing the gap will at least mean not having to clear them every single day, but hopefully just once or twice a week. I have seen maybe one or two leaves come over the fence yet and actually land and I'm still "outside" (in something like this) a lot. Nov 1, 2022 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


I would use a Door Brush Bottom Sweep. It should prevent debris from passing through, not rot nor promote rot, and not impede opening nor closing.

Example from Amazon:

enter image description here

  • According to the link, it has a 1.6" (4 cm) height which may be insufficient. One could purchase an ordinary warehouse-type push broom and attach it if a greater height is required.
    – fred_dot_u
    Nov 1, 2022 at 14:22
  • 2
    This is an excellent answer (+1). A brush type, or a rubber flap type or anything similar would work. The OP should be prepared, however, for it to slowly scribe an arc on the tiles as it sweeps back and forth across them, especially if a rock, nail or other sharp object happens to get caught in it.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 1, 2022 at 14:51
  • “Mop strip” aka vinyl baseboard is readily available at by big box places. It’s 3-ish inches high, so would span the gap. Nov 1, 2022 at 14:54
  • 2
    @freeman - usiind the hinged flap style that is raised by a spring and lowered by a peg when the gate is closed would prevent from it rubbing on the tiles.
    – Jasen
    Nov 2, 2022 at 0:25
  • Perfect - remember it doesn't have to eliminate or seal the gap, just reduce it.
    – Criggie
    Nov 15, 2022 at 0:00

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