Are you thinking of installing a new gate but aren’t sure which materials will be the best for the job? Wooden gates are a popular aesthetic choice but require constant maintenance. Stainless steel gates are easier to clean and maintain but they are expensive and difficult to clean. That leaves a popular alternative: aluminium gates.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using aluminium gates, how long your aluminium gates will last, and how to care for your gate after installation.
Are aluminium gates a good long-term investment?
Aluminium gates can last for a long time if they are properly installed and maintained. Because these gates are low-weight, weather resistant, and durable, you can expect an aluminium gate to look as good as new for at least 20 years, depending on the quality of the materials and how well they are cared for.
In comparison, wooden gates can start deteriorating or changing colour in a matter of weeks, while steel gates should maintain their appearance for 15-20 years. However, it’s important to note that the lifespan of any gate will depend on a number of factors, including the weather.
To maximise the lifespan of an aluminium gate, you should take the time to regularly remove dirt and debris, lubricate the hinges and other moving parts and inspect the gate for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Fortunately, these gates are easy to clean with a damp cloth. Don’t use a pressure washer, as you can remove the protective layer and damage the surface.
Impact damage from vehicles, poor maintenance and extreme weather can shorten their lifespan, just like iron and wooden gates, so make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to caring for your gate.
You can easily customise your gate for added security, including adding automatic openers and intercom systems.
How does aluminium gate automation work?
Gate automation adds new machinery to your driveway gates for improved access control. This typically consists of gate motors that open and close the gates. Gate openers are operated by remote control fob. Swing gates rotate around hinges attached to gate posts or pillars on either side of the entrance, while sliding gates run on tracks laid across the entrance.
Automated gates should be maintained properly to keep the system functioning as it should. Failing to maintain your system can lead to wear and tear, dirt buildup, and damage to the gate or the automation mechanism, which may require expensive repairs.
Hinges and other moving parts of the mechanism should be sprayed regularly with a silicone spray lubricant to prevent rust and keep the gate operating smoothly. If you find that your aluminium gates start jamming, become slow to open, or that the sensors start malfunctioning, you should call out an electric gate engineer. But you can also check for any obstructions or debris that may be blocking the gate or the automation mechanism.
While you can clean your aluminium gates, a professional gate installer can identify potential issues before they become serious. They can also provide specialised gate maintenance services that can extend the lifespan of the system and prevent costly repairs.
Modern aluminium gates start at a similar price point to hardwood gates. What really makes them affordable, though, is that they are easy to keep looking like new so you save money on maintenance. Aluminium gates come in a variety of finishes, including wood effect finishes, so you can still have an aesthetic look you want without the hassle of regular maintenance and repair.
If aluminium gates aren’t the right option for you, there are a few alternatives to consider. Wooden gates offer a natural and warm aesthetic that is suitable for various home styles, but will require regular maintenance to prevent warping, rotting, and cracking. They may also need to be refinished or repainted periodically, adding to their overall cost. Wrought iron gates and steel gates are durable and provide a classic and elegant look. While they are a low-maintenance option, they can be expensive, and their weight may require a stronger motor for automation. Wrought iron gates can also rust over time, requiring regular maintenance to prevent decay.
PVC gates are an affordable and low-maintenance option. They do not require painting or staining, and they are resistant to weather and insects. On the downside, they may not be as durable as other materials and can crack or fade over time. They can also be difficult to repair if damaged. PVC gates also tend to have a flimsy and cheap appearance that doesn’t appeal to many homeowners.
Cleaning Your Aluminium Gates
Maintaining your gate is essential to ensure its longevity and prevent any damage from occurring. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean your aluminium gate safely:
- Start by using a garden hose to wash down your gate, removing any debris, dirt and dust buildup. It’s essential to use a garden hose rather than a pressure washer to avoid damaging the gate’s coating.
- Using a soft, wet sponge, and a mild, non-alkaline cleaner, gently clean the surface of the gate. Before applying the cleaning agent, spot-test one area of the gate to ensure it’s not abrasive and won’t affect the gate’s colour.
- If you notice any stubborn dirt or grime, you can use a soft-bristled brush to spot-treat these areas until clean. Avoid using too much pressure when brushing to prevent damage to the gate’s surface.
- Rinse off any remaining cleaning agent residue using your garden hose.
- Instead of letting your gate dry naturally, use a microfiber cloth to dry it thoroughly.
All our gates come with an outer Qualicoat coating that can be damaged by abrasive cleaning agents. Always spot-test before applying for any cleaning agent, and consult a professional if you’re unsure about how to proceed. With proper maintenance, your aluminium gate will continue to look great and function correctly for years to come.
Aluminium gates are an excellent choice for homeowners due to their durability, low maintenance and long lifespan. If properly maintained, your new garden gates or driveway gates can easily last for more than 10-20 years, and they can be fully automated for your convenience. You can easily keep these gates looking like new on your own or use a professional gate installer that provides specialised cleaning and maintenance services to ensure the entire system performs as it should for years to come.
Will aluminium gates stand the test of time? They will if you purchase your gate from StarGate. Contact StarGate today to find qualified installers and gate automation engineers who will make your home the envy of the neighbourhood!