We recently bought a house with a gate between the driveway and back yard. In the mornings and evenings, the gate opens and closes with minimal rubbing between the latch on the post and the latch plate on the gate. After the sun shines on the gate for several hours, the latch plate on the gate collides with the latch on the post, and will not close.
Here is a picture of the gate:
Total height of the posts is roughly 6 ft. The ground height is different on each side of the gate, so precise length of the posts is different. Width of the gate is 48 1/2".
I am guessing heat makes the gate expand.
The latch post is screwed to the detached garage. The gate post is mounted firmly in the ground. There is a cable with a turnbuckle going diagonally across the door. If I tighten the turnbuckle the door gets more clearance, but then the latch is too high to close. The hinges have an adjustment to bring the door closer to the gate post, but at the top the hinge is already colliding with the hinge screws.
The bottom hinge screws have 1/8" to 1/4" inch clearance.
The previous owner apparently tried to fix it by jamming a log between the gate post and the walkway:
The log is wedged in pretty tight, and no play. I can get the gate to close by pushing it away from the latch, but all the movement is flex in the post, rather than movement in the ground.
What is the best way to fix this?
Things that have occurred to me are:
- Swap out the hinge screws for flat head screws and hope that the extra 1/8" is enough.
- Try to brace the posts at the top. Not sure how to do that in an attractive way.
- Dig out the gate post and re-set it to get better clearance (a lot of work)
- Disassemble the gate and trim 1/4" to 1/8", then reassemble (Not sure how much work is involved. I have not worked with vinyl fencing before).
- Try hammering the log in farther (inelegant, might break the post, but simple if it works)