Friday, March 25, 2016

Maintaining Your Home's Automatic Security Gate System

Your home’s security gate provides protection, but it’s also the main entrance to your property and residence. Routine maintenance will ensure the gate works reliably while also looking it’s very best. Also, there’s a good chance your gate’s warranty benefits are based on the premise that the gate will be maintained on a regular basis. Failure to observe recommended maintenance could compromise the warranty.

SAFTEY NOTE: It’s always best to err on the side of caution so please cut the power to your gate before performing any maintenance to avoid injury or gate malfunctions.

Tips For Maintaining Your Home Security Gate

1. Take a Lesson From the Installer. When the security gate installation is complete, meet up with your installer and have them give you a short tutorial on basic gate maintenance. They can show you the gate maintenance basics and will also train you in some simple trouble shooting matters so you don’t have to rely on professional repairs for more minor problems.

2. Read the Manual. Once the gate was installed, the installer should have left a copy of the gate’s operation manual with you. It will have a section on basic maintenance that is specific to your gate. While we can provide a list of generalities here, you are best off reviewing the maintenance steps recommended for your particular gate. Failure to do so could affect your gate’s warranty.

3. Pay Extra For a Solid Warranty. Speaking of warranties, it’s worthwhile to research the warranty options available to you when purchasing a new gate or looking into a replacement. It can be worth it to pay a little more for a gate with a more solid maintenance warranty. While you’re still responsible for routine maintenance tasks, larger repairs or malfunctions will be covered and that can pay for itself in the long-run.

4. Keep Them Clean. To look their best, clean the automatic gate every month or so to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris that will dull the gate’s appearance. Most gates are coated with heavy-duty, corrosion-preventative finishes, but the more dirt and grime that accumulates, the more moisture can settle onto the finish. This will slowly break down the coating, which leads to rust and corrosion. Have the gate re-coated if you notice any signs of peeled, flaking or missing paint.

5. Lubricate the Hinges. Hinges bear the brunt of the workout in terms of daily wear-and-tear so they need a little attention from time to time. Well-oiled metal parts work more smoothly and efficiently, but that lubrication also acts like a water repellent, which minimizes the hinges/joints vulnerability to rusting. Different hinges may require different types of lubrication so – again – referring to your manufacturer’s recommendations is always the best bet. In most cases, you’ll need a standard grease gun and a tube of heavy grease. Look for “zirk fittings,” or the grease fittings – and insert the end of the grease gun there. Pump grease into the fitting until it begins to ooze out. You can do the same thing at any hinge-pin locations. 

6. Grease the chains. If your driveway gate is a slide model, relying on a chain, use axle grease to lubricate the chain at least once a year, perhaps twice if it looks like it needs it. If the chain is sagging more than an inch or two, it probably needs to have its tension adjusted.

7. Beware of pests. Homeowner’s mistakenly believe their automatic security gates are pest-proof since they’re made of metal. However, snail and slug tracks can wreak havoc on a gate’s circuit boards because their dense slime trails harbor moisture and then act like electrical conductors. Similarly, dense spider webs and cobwebs soak up moisture. This moisture will wick up the web fibers and make contact with gate materials and components, leading to unnecessary rust and corrosion. 

Not interested in doing all of the security gate maintenance yourself? No problem. Give us a call here at R&S Door and we’ll be happy to do it for you. We can set you up with a gate maintenance service contract, which ensures your gate receives the TLC required for an optimal lifespan. (925) 671-7606.


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