Types of Gate Closers and How to Choose the Right One
If you have a gate that needs to stay closed, it’s probably not enough to have a sign on it. Most people will make sure it’s closed, but there are always some who won’t, for whatever reason.
Fortunately, in the gate world, there are equipment options to do things like this. Here’s what you need to know about gate closers.
What Are Gate Closers?
Gate closers are optional pieces of gate hardware that can be installed to ensure that gates that need to stay closed do.
Usually, to ensure that your gate can and does latch when it closes, you will need to upgrade the latch on the gate, too, to something that closes on contact.
There are many different options and combinations of gate closer and slam lock latches for gates, so there’s usually an option for every type of gate.
Can You Retrofit a Gate with an Auto Closer?
The next question many people ask when they’re thinking about installing a gate closer is whether they need to install a new gate too, or if they can retrofit their existing gate with an auto closer.
The good news is that there are options that might work for most types of existing gates. However, it’s always best to have a gate and fence professional visit your site and take a look before you decide what you plan to do.
Types of Gate Closers
Now that you know what gate closers are and what your installation and retrofitting options are, the next thing you might be wondering is what your options for gate closers are. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular options.
Auto Closing Gate Hinges
The first, and often the cheapest, option for gate closers on chain link gates is to choose a spring-loaded gate closing hinge. Be aware, however, that if you have a fork latch or one of the other common chain link latches, you will probably need to switch them out too so that your gate not only closes but latches too.
Standalone Gate Closer
The next option for adding an auto closer to your gate is to choose a separate, stand-alone, bolt-on gate closer that works with your existing hinges to ensure that your gate closes when it must.
Like auto-closing gate hinges, you do need to ensure that you also have the right kind of latch for your gate, and you will probably have to change those when you add this piece of gate hardware to your gate setup.
Overhead Door Closer
Another option for some gates is to use the same type of overhead door closer you see on some interior doors. These come in different closing strengths and are available for interior and exterior use, so be sure to choose your options carefully.
Depending on the configuration of this kind of gate closer, you will probably need to have a gate header or transom panel above the gate to allow for mounting of the gate closer.
Heavy Duty Add On Closers
If you have a gate that you need to ensure will close – like a pool fence gate or similar – then you probably want to beef up your gate closer.
Choose one of the heavier-duty, spring-loaded gate closers on the market. Combined with the right kind of latch, you should have a solid gate-closing system.
A word of caution, though – these kinds of gate closers can close with a lot of force, so be careful using them in areas where the public (or pets and children) might be injured in the process!
One of the simplest, cheapest, and, unfortunately, weakest gate closer options is the simple gate spring.
Yes, it will close your gate, but it can also be stretched out quite easily, and it’s not the most reliable option on this list. If keeping your gate closed is a priority, you might want to consider something else.
Electronic Gate Closers
The last option on our big list of gate closer options is an automatic gate opener and closer. These gate motors can either be closed with a remote or, more commonly, be set to close automatically after a certain period of time.
They are one of the costlier gate-closing options, but they do offer convenience and security.
Get Your Gate Professionally Assessed
As you might have noticed from this site, there’s very little in the fence and gate world that is standard or one size fits all! Every gate and every closing requirement will be a little different, and the best option to find the right equipment and products for your gate is to contact a gate and fence specialist in your area.
Of course, if you just want your gate to close for peace of mind and there’s not too much at stake, you could choose one of these options and DIY the project. It’s up to you, and even if you do choose a more complex, high-tech solution, you could always use one of these products as a temporary gate-closing option.