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Old 03-20-2014, 12:53 PM   #1
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Polyvinyl gate fail...


I'm hoping to get some guidance on how to handle this situaton (e.g. how hard I should fight for this repair to be "covered under warranty").

In July I moved into a new (to me) home and had a 5' polyvinyl picket fence with 3" pickets, 2.75" spaces, and a 4' gate installed.

About 3-4 months ago, I discovered that the gate latch was literally broken, as in in pieces. I loosely bungeed the gate closed and decided I would deal with it once the weather warmed up, since not many people go in and out when there's not grass to mow.

Last week, I came home to discover that the gate had totally come off (screws out, bottom hinge literally broken in pieces). I blocked the opening with my trash/recycling bins as a temporary measure (fortunately that is sufficient to keep my dog in), as I wasn't able to call until today.

When I called, expecting them to say, "Oh, wow, that's terrible and really shouldn't happen, we will come fix it!", they instead said, "Yeah, wind damage isn't covered under that lifetime warranty, only 'workmanship' is... and we've gotten lots of calls about entire fences blowing over!". I argued a little, but as it was the receptionist, could tell I wasn't really getting anywhere.

I did a little research and found some data points: 1) normal "wind load" in my area of the country is considered to be 80 mph. (2) Polyvinyl fences should withstand normal wind loads and (2) PEAK wind gusts last week were 47 mph.

Based on this information, I would expect a brand new fence/gate to hold up no problem with the wind we experienced. If anything, I would think the bungee closure would have allowed for a little more "give" during the wind gusts, helping absorb some of the force on the hinges. And yet... totally broken gate.

Is my assumption/thinking completely unreasonable? Should a gate really break this easily (I have only had wood fences in the past, so this is my first polyvinyl experience)? Should I fight for this to be covered under warranty or concede that this is "mother nature" and not shoddy workmanship??

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Old 03-20-2014, 01:43 PM   #2
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Polyvinyl gate fail...


Not what you want to hear, but it sounds like mother nature at work.

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Old 03-20-2014, 01:51 PM   #3
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Polyvinyl gate fail...


So anytime there is an especially strong gust of wind, I should expect my gate to go down? That is... unfortunate...
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:54 PM   #4
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Polyvinyl gate fail...


No, the gate wasn't properly latched. The bungee cord let loose over the winter and the wind got a hold of the gate.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:50 PM   #5
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Polyvinyl gate fail...


No one here can see your gate, know what type hinge was used, what brand gate was used, if there was a 4 X 4 inside the post, if there was a floating latched used so as the post or latch came out of alignment it still latched.
If I had of paid someone to installed this and they supplied the materials I would have called them as soon as the hinge failed.
Posting some pictures may come up with some suggestions on how to fix it.
A whole lot more cost and time effective then spending time in court.
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