Highly durable and great to look at, aluminium gates are a great addition to any residential or commercial property. Plus, with the right care and maintenance, your gates can stay looking as good as new for many years.
That being said, it’s impossible to avoid the buildup of dirt on your garden gates entirely, no matter whether they’re made with aluminium or wood. However, as aluminium gates have a protective outer coating, it’s important to use the right cleaning methods to avoid damaging this coating and reducing the gate’s durability.
In this simple guide, we’re going to go over all dos and don’ts of cleaning aluminium gates and show you how to maintain your gates so that they last for years. Let’s take a look!
Why choose aluminium gates?
If you’re looking to secure a residential or commercial property, you can’t go wrong with aluminium gates. They are highly durable and low maintenance when compared to other gate materials, such as wood.
Aluminium gates are highly durable thanks to their resilient Qualicoat coating, which makes aluminium more resistant to corrosion than metals such as iron or steel. However, it is important to avoid damaging this coating when cleaning your gates. If the coating becomes damaged or worn away, water can get to the metal and cause corrosion.
Another great thing about aluminium gates is the way they look. You have plenty of options when it comes to their design and style. You can create a bespoke gate design for the exterior of your home or business.
Easy to install
As aluminium gates are lighter than metal gates and wooden gates, they’re much easier to manoeuvre when it comes to DIY installation. Note: while aluminium gates are lighter than wood and steel, you need to be careful not to knock the gates and dent panels during installation.
Unlike wood gates, which are vulnerable to rot when they get wet, aluminium gates are incredibly low maintenance and can last for decades without needing to be repainted or repaired. And unlike wooden gates, aluminium gates aren’t vulnerable to problems such as rot and water damage, so long as the high-performance coating remains undamaged.
How long do aluminium gates last?
In general, aluminium gates and their tough outer coating can last anywhere between 10 and 20 years. Aluminium gates are also modular, so you can easily remove and replace any corroded panels rather than having to replace the gate entirely.
Cleaning tips for aluminium gates
So, what’s the best way to clean aluminium gates? As mentioned above, our aluminium gates are protected with an outer Qualicoat coating, so you need to be careful when choosing cleaning products. You don’t want to compromise this protective layer and render your gate vulnerable to oxidation.
In general, we’d recommend avoiding any abrasive cleaning agents that could harm the coating and affect the gate’s colour.
Here’s how you can clean your gate without damaging it:
- Use a garden hose (NOT a pressure washer) to wash down the gate and get rid of any lingering debris, dirt and dust build-up.
- Using a soft, wet sponge and mild, non- alkaline cleaner gently clean the surface of the gate. It’s always a good idea to spot-test one area of the gate first, to make sure the cleaning agent isn’t abrasive and isn’t going to affect the gate’s colour. When in doubt, always consult a professional.
- If you notice any lingering dirt, grime, or stubborn residue, you can use a soft-bristled brush to spot-treat these areas until clean. Again, don’t be too vigorous when brushing.
- Once you’ve finished cleaning any areas with your brush, you should use your garden hose again to rinse off any lingering cleaner residue.
- Rather than let it dry naturally, it’s a good idea to dry your gate using a microfibre cloth.
Can I use a pressure washer on an aluminium gate?
No! It’s essential that you avoid pressure washers at all costs when cleaning an aluminium gate. What makes our gates so resistant is their Qualicoat coating, and this can wear away if you use a pressurised spray on it. Stick to using soft cleaning methods, as detailed above.
Rust build-up on non-aluminium
Aluminium is entirely resistant to rust, and corrosion will only occur if the protective coating on the gate becomes damaged or weakened. However, hinges, bolts and locks made from ferrous metals (containing iron) will still be prone to rusting.
How often should I clean aluminium gates?
You should clean your gates as often as you see fit. You don’t need to clean your gates with a hose every week, but you should inspect your gates on a regular basis to monitor any build-up of dirt. A monthly rinse without the need for cleaner will keep the gates looking good.
After all, the key to preserving the aluminium gate’s coating is preventative care. If you notice that dirt regularly builds up on its surface, you might want to create a weekly or bi-monthly cleaning routine to keep your gate in pristine condition.
The importance of aluminium gate maintenance
The great thing about aluminium gates is just how low maintenance they are. But that doesn’t mean that a good maintenance routine isn’t helpful in keeping your gates clean.
Well-maintained aluminium gates can even add to your property’s market value.
Plus, regular maintenance is going to help maintain the longevity of your gates. If you protect the outer coating from damage, your gate can easily last at least a minimum of 10 years, and up to 20 years with the right care.
In short, if you want the best return on your investment, regular maintenance is key.
Maintaining your aluminium gates: tips and tricks
Aside from preventing dirt build-up, there are a number of other ways you can keep your aluminium gates in like-new condition. While coated aluminium is protected from most corrosive damage, aluminium gates can still incur damage from improper installation. Here are some of our tips and tricks for maintaining your aluminium gates all year round:
Carry out mechanical maintenance
If your gate comes with any electromechanical features, you’ll want to hire a professional to carry out regular maintenance checks to ensure that everything is functioning correctly.
Fix chips and scratches
Like any metal gate, an aluminium gate is still vulnerable to chips and scratches, especially a gate that is in use every day. If you do notice any scratches, it’s a good idea to fix these right away to preserve the gate’s appearance, and prevent the chip or scratch from worsening. You can use protective aluminium paint to fill in these chips and scratches, but you’ll want to ensure that you’re using the exact colour or wood finish that matches your gate.
Prevent rust on metal locks and hinges
Sometimes, rust can appear on other metal gate hardware, such as bolts and hinges, and this can lead to affect their operation.. If your aluminium gate comes with hinges, locks, and other features made with different metals, it’s a good idea to use a rust prevention spray on them regularly.
- Overall, keeping your aluminium gates in top condition is relatively easy, and with the right care and attention, your gates can remain durable and weather-resistant for many years.
- When choosing the right cleaning materials, make sure to opt for a gentle and non-abrasive cleaning agent. A professional will be able to advise you on the best cleaner for aluminium gates.
- To keep your gates in tip-top condition, regularly check for scratches and chips. Gate automation should always be checked and maintained by experienced installers.
- Finally, make sure to avoid pressure washers when cleaning an aluminium gate. These will damage the protective Qualicoat coating, making your gate vulnerable to corrosion.