Timber treatment and gate care is important. Quality wooden gates are an investment and so it makes sense to look after them correctly to ensure they continue to look good and last for years.

Jubilee driveway gates

The timber in our wooden gates is a natural product reacting to the weather conditions and aspect that they are in, particularly heat and humidity. Timber has a natural tolerance in terms of how much it can expand and contract before succumbing to warping and shrinkage. It is for this reason that we recommend you treat all our planed timber gates with a modern UV oil for planed timber. The oil contains an active UV filter that preserves the colour of the wood. Any outdoor wood that is sealed with oil at least once every year will repel water. Oil also stop wood drying out unevenly, which can lead to warping. Gates will last longer and look better than wood that is simply left to the elements.

Timber Treatment, Gate Care and Maintenance Recommendations

Timber has a natural tolerance in terms of how much it can expand & contract before succumbing to warping/shrinkage. It is for this reason that Charltons recommend that you treat all of our planed timber gates with a modern UV oil such as Restol™ Natural UV Extra Wood Oil . Modern UV wood oils are scientifically formulated from natural oils, resins, solvents & chemicals to make them longer lasting & faster drying i.e. more durable than traditional oils. The oils essentially “fill” the miroscpoic holes as it is absorbed into the wood and stops deterioration.

It is also quite common for small splits (shakes and checks) to occur during drying; this is nature at work and should not be considered a fault. However, as you can see from the images below, the application of oil can considerably reduce the appearance of checks and shakes in the wood. It can also reduce warping. These pressure treated softwood samples had just one coat of oil and were left outside in a sunny aspect for 12 months. Oil helps to control the absorption/evaporation of the moisture content of the wood. An added benefit of using oil is that it is relatively easy to apply and maintain.

Warping in wood treated with and without oil

Wood with oil has less checks and is not warped

shakes in wood with & without oil

Shakes are reduced on wood treated with oil.

Water runs off wood treated with oil

Water runs off wood treated with oil

Water beaded oil wood treated with oil

Water beads on wood treated with oil and is not absorbed

gate without being treated with UV oil

This gate has not been treated and rot has set in

gate without being treated with UV oil

This gate has not been treated and the water is soaking into the gate

Charltons Hardwood driveway gates are made from Iroko. This wood is far more durable than softwood. However, it still needs treating to ensure that gates do not warp or become water stained. Using oil will also preserve the colour of the gates for longer.

Charltons recommend two coats Restol™ Natural UV Extra Wood Oil (suitable for planed timber). Oil should be applied before the gates are hung and put out in the natural elements and not after the gates have been hung and weathered for any period. The gates should be wiped down with white spirit prior to treating with oil to allow the oil to bond better with the wood.

Some wood oil manufacturers state that hard woods needs to weather off (for approx. 6 weeks) after installation. Thereby, the wood becomes absorbent and the wood finish adheres optimally. However, due to the British weather, gates are exposed to strong weathering so it will be very difficult to maintain a maximum moisture content of 20% and avoid staining. This is why Charltons recommend that treatment is applied before the gates are hung.

Having spent money on a hardwood gate for your property, it makes sense to ensure that your investment is given the best possible protection to keep it looking good; if it is well maintained there is no reason why a quality hardwood gate should not last a lifetime.

We do not recommend paint as a maintenance regime for your gates.

Stages of weathering of untreated Iroko over time

Stages of weathering of untreated Iroko over time

  • Apply a preservative to all drill holes and cut outs. Make sure they are well treated as well and allow to dry.
  • Apply modern UV Oil prior to fitting your gates to avoid moisture ingress (including the drill holes and cut outs).
  • Use a flat brush to apply the oil. For the best results brush the oil along the grain following the length of the wood.
  • Make sure you apply oil to the end grain and bottom of timbers well. These are most susceptible to absorbing water. Modern oil treatments allow the wood to breathe. You do not need to leave any part of the gate untreated. Apply two coats and allow to dry in between coats.  
  • Try your chosen oil/tinted oil before you start – try it on a scrap wood first.
  • Use a natural quality brush or you will be forever removing loose bristles.
  • Treat each side of the gate in the same time period. Oiling one side of a gate and leaving it to dry before treating the other side puts your gate at risk of twisting or warping. This is because it will create an unequal surface tension within the timber. The non-oiled side will try and absorb moisture, which could cause movement within the timber.
  • Brush out any runs or drips straight away.
  • Make sure you also treat your posts with oil (suitable for sawn timber). This will also reduce any naturally occurring splits & checks in the post and reduce any potential movement.
  • How often should I treat my gates? Wood oils penetrate in to the wood grain to replace the natural oils lost over time. Therefore it is a good idea to check gates and apply oil regularly. This should be part of your yearly garden maintenance. However, the best way to tell if you need to treat your gates is to check to see if water beads on the wood. If the water does not bead then it is time for the gate to be oiled.
  • If your gate is in an area surrounded by trees, hedges etc it is only natural that surface mould may start to form on your gate. This is not damaging your gate. Nor is it a manufacturing fault. It is simply a case of sponging it off with warm water and allowing to dry before re applying a coat of oil.

For further information or FAQ’s regarding Restol Oil please visit http://restolwoodoil.co.uk/faqs/

Gate Warranty

Gates are manufactured from quality joinery grade softwood or hardwood by our craftsmen in Somerset.

All timber gates manufactured by Charltons are covered by one years workmanship warranty from date of receipt of goods.

Before exposing untreated timber products to the elements, you must ensure our treatment recommendations are adhered to. (click HERE for details)

Gates must have been fitted with reasonable tolerances to allow for seasonal movements. We would always recommend the use of adjustable hinges.

In the rare case a gate fails to perform to its designed purpose due to insufficient workmanship, Charltons will rectify the fault. However, we will not accept consequential loss in such a case.

Please note; Problems such as water damage and rot are caused by not following treatment guidelines, the use of the wrong treatment or no treatment being applied. These will invalidate any warranty claims.

In the rare instance there is a manufacturing defect, this must be reported prior to hanging a gate.

What is Not Covered

This warranty is for the replacement of the original product purchased only. It does not cover the costs of removal and reinstatement of the product. It does not cover consequential costs or losses incurred due to the failure of the product. The warranty applies to timber gates only. It does not cover automation kits, locks, hinges, bearings, rollers and other additional parts/accessories subject to wear and tear.

Problems such as water damage/rot are caused by not following treatment guidelines, the use of the wrong treatment or no treatment being applied. We can not warranty for something that has not been maintained in accordance with our treatment guidelines.

Failure of the customer to apply regular treatment.

Timber movement (including twisting, warping and splitting).

Alterations or modifications to original gates.

Deliberate or accidental damage or abuse to the gate(s).

 ‘Poor Fitting’ of the gate(s), posts, ironwork, or nearby objects.

The absence of recommended gate fittings (e.g. drop bolt & socket sets).