Your Home Is Your Castle But Look After The Drawbridge

Driveway gates have to be properly maintained to ensure security and privacy. Keeping them functioning to their full capacity is paramount to protect both residential or commercial properties. They are a significant investment and poorly maintained gates become unreliable and unsafe.

How do they all work?

Automated Sliding Gate: there are a few different types to choose from and they can be automated or indeed, manual. They are ideal in a large opening and are perfect when there is restricted depth for an extending swing type.

  • Track – this is the most popular slider but the area needs to be kept clear from any surface deposits. It is not suitable for driveways with gradient differences running across the opening
  • Cantilever – this will move rapidly over a driveway and is balanced on carriage wheels. It is suitable for driveway locations with differences in gradients across the opening

Swing Gate: these can be hand run or automated, opening inwards or outwards and either single or double.

  • Single swing – this opens like an internal door and is best suited to flat driveways. It only needs one motor so it is very cost effective for a smaller area.
  • Double swing – as above but for wider space openings and can be more decorative due to the two gates meeting in the middle on closure
Sliding Gate

Tapered Gate: these are the gates you need if you have a sloped driveway. An expert planner/installer can tailor electric or manual tapered gates to your requirements.

Barrier Gate: these are not geared towards homeowners, they are for managing traffic and popular in parking areas.

Gate and door safety relies on the way the individual components combine together. All repairs should be undertaken using manufacturer parts (SAME, BFT & FAAC) and a maintenance contract is recommended.

You can help to avoid gate issues with a bit of self-preservation by checking the mechanism routinely.

  • If the gate doesn’t close, it could be a mechanical failure but it could be a chain problem
  • If beeping is heard there is normally a battery or electrical problem or low power can also be the cause
  • Unknown squeaking noises can highlight deeper issues
  • Over a long period of time, damaged or worn hinges can hinder gate stability and the executing of the mechanism
  • Check your key fob, intercom key pad and internal release button

Always ask a technician to examine these types of problems; if in doubt, call an expert out.

What sort of things would a professional engineer inspect?

  • check that the torque is set to the manufacturer’s recommended safety levels;
  • check and fill the lubrication as necessary;
  • check and lubricate the arm fixing;
  • check underground foundation box and drainage;
  • check all the welds for potential fractures;
  • check the electronic control box seal for leaks.

A gate’s design should respond to more than normal wear and tear. Function can be impaired by weather, debris and inappropriate use. Better to adopt the ‘stitch in time saves nine’ approach rather than the ‘make do and mend’!