Silence a loud outdoor gate
April 15, 2014 10:06 AM   Subscribe

My landlord just installed an alley gate between my building and another. It was in response to some attempted break-ins from the back of the walkup. The problem is that when the door slams shut, it’s really loud and startling. On a Saturday, it slams shut very loudly around 20 or so times a day (not really an exaggeration). To me being the noise sensitive type, who gets a jolt of adrenalin each time it happens, this is a very bad addition to my already urban environs.

My landlord won’t do anything about it. He is often the promise but never get around to it kind of guy with even direct problems. I need to figure out something myself.

1) I’m going to put a laminated label on it with a polite note about closing it quietly.
2) Need more suggestions (padding, bumpers, etc) that maybe a trip to home depot would offer…

•Dealing with a heavy gate, where the vibrations of the whole thing are part of the problem.
•Locks on the front, pushbar on back (like in a school). This clicking shut is also a noise maker.
•Don’t want to in any way disable the security features of the gate.

Thanks & PS, live in NYC, don’t want to move right now.
posted by shimmer to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can get round rubber circles with sticky backing at practically any hardware store. If the door is slamming against a frame, stick the pads to the place where the two parts make contact, placing maybe 6 pads top to bottom. Get more than you need as you will have to replace them.

I don't believe there is anything you can do about a noisy pushbar. You can try WD40 but if it's brand new it's probably lubricated already and that's... just how noisy it is.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:14 AM on April 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm guessing there's a spring on the gate that causes it to slam shut? It may be possible to adjust or switch out the spring for a slower spring.
posted by mskyle at 10:20 AM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

A line of weather stripping along the surface of gate that connects to the fence/frame would probably significantly reduce the clanging. Depending on how finicky the latch is, it my or may not fit, but it should be easy to tell.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:23 AM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not WD40 because that is a solvent people mistakenly use as lube - just makes the problem worse in the long run.

Use proper oil/lubricant on the push bar. Wipe off the excess with a clean cloth.

Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 10:30 AM on April 15, 2014

A pushbar is pretty inconsiderate, but does the gate have any kind of closer? The thing that pull the gate closed might be adjustable so that it doesn't slam shut. I doubt padding will do much good.
posted by rhizome at 10:42 AM on April 15, 2014

Thanks all. To add on... no mechanism to close the door, only manpower. Any weather stripping that would do well outdoors?
posted by shimmer at 10:47 AM on April 15, 2014

Ugh. Well, he should put one on there so it can be adjusted. There are tenant angles you can play here, but it sounds like you don't want to go down that path.
posted by rhizome at 10:58 AM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

The gate really should have a closer, otherwise it's not very secure. But since there's not, you could maybe hook a cheap screen door spring onto it to slow it down when people push it closed. I would actually advise not putting the friendly note up until you try mechanical solutions, because if people get annoyed by the note they might be on the alert for any changes you make to the gate.
posted by mskyle at 11:14 AM on April 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

Zip ties around the bars? They're plastic so they should deaden the sound, hard to get off, and you can get a ton of them cheap and keep putting them on if someone takes them off. And you can color-match them to the gate to make them unobtrusive. You can get heavy-duty ones.
posted by the big lizard at 11:34 PM on April 15, 2014

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