1) Keep gate closed and latched. Try and never allow it to swing open or slam shut in the wind.
2) Sweetgates.com now uses solid color stain which protects the gates and lasts for many years with no maintenance:
- If your gate needs finish, Use BEHR Premium Solid Color Wood Satin - 25 year, available at Home Depot.
- If your gate has another type of finish, use that same finish.
3) Check for loose nuts. Use low torque - the Redwood material is relatively soft. Do not over tighten the nuts.
4) Be sure sprinklers do not spray water on the gate.
5) The gate will last much longer if protected from direct sunlight. Check out an arbor designed especially for the gates.
Protecting the wood is the single most important issue with a wood gate. Redwood naturally resists insects and rot, but sunlight (UV) can dry out and damage the wood. That is why I highly recommend solid color stain for gates which are exposed to the sun. Protect your investment!