Electric gates are popular amongst both residential and commercial properties, and with good reason. They provide a reliable way to make your property feel safe, secure and more private. Controlling the access to your property enables you to choose who is entering and exiting your home or business, enhancing any other security solutions you have in place. However, they need to be kept in good condition, as damaged electric gates can not only compromise the security of your property, but potentially even prove dangerous to anyone attempting to pass through them.
Here at Gate Auto, we’re passionate about helping you to keep your electric gates in good working condition, so here’s our guide to spotting the signs that suggest your gates need a professional opinion or repair.
1. Your gates are making strange noises
Strange sounds are amongst some of the most tell-tale signs that your gates may need a repair. If your gates are making sounds they definitely weren’t making before, like rattling or clicking, for instance, you should have a technician or engineer take a look as soon as possible. If left unaddressed for a long period of time, it could cause parts to become loose or cause the initial damage to worsen and affect how fast the gate closes — which can be extremely dangerous.
2. Your gates are stiff or moving slower than usual
This problem is likely to happen gradually over time, so it might be slightly harder to notice. But if you’re convinced that your gates are now moving slower or they are stiffer than they used to be, then that could be an early sign that there is an underlying problem.
If you hear any squeaking or scraping sounds as your gate opens or closes, it’s pretty safe to say that there’s something causing unwanted friction. This stiffness and resistance is going to put unnecessary strain on the mechanisms that open and close your gates, and if left untreated, will significantly diminish their operational lifespan.
3. Your gates don’t stay closed or won’t fully close
In this case, the first thing we’d suggest is to make sure there is nothing physically preventing the gates from closing. (It may help you avoid an unnecessary callout!) Twigs, small stones or other debris can sometimes get trapped in the rails and clog up the mechanisms, preventing your gates from closing properly (or at all).
The next thing we’d suggest checking are the batteries. Your automated gates may not run on batteries, but important components may. You will usually receive a warning if these batteries are about to die.
It’s also important to check that nothing is blocking your sensors. Many automatic gates rely on sensors to know when it is safe to open and close. If something (like leaves or other debris) is blocking the sensor on your gate, then they can fail to operate correctly. Check for your sensors regularly for debris, dirty lenses and misalignment, as these problems are easy to fix at home.
Lastly, it could be a mechanical or electrical fault, which will generally need professional attention to resolve.
4. Your gates have any visible damage
Visible damage is another very obvious sign that your gates are a little worse for wear. This can be anything from rust, dents or anything that suggests your gate has been struck by something. If you have metal gates, rust is one of the main things to look out for as far as visible damage. On first glance, rust can seem harmless, but if it’s given the chance to spread to a major component, it could cause your gates to stop working, or increase the likelihood of an accident.
If you have wooden gates, it’s important to keep up with the maintenance. Varnishing and sealing your wood gates will help keep them in great shape, especially in less than favourable UK weather.
If your gate has suffered a heavy blow from a car, or in rare occasions, debris after a partially nasty spot of weather, then it’s best to get a professional come and assess the extent of the damage — even if your gate seems to still be in working order.
5. Your gates are unresponsive
If your gates are unresponsive, this could simply be due to a faulty or dead remote. Check that the batteries in your system’s remote haven’t run dead. If they have, it’s a quick fix. If the little red light at the top of your remote is going off when you press buttons, but your gates aren’t responding it could be a few things.
Like we mentioned earlier, if the sensors on your gate are blocked, then the gate will not respond. Check for any moss, mould or debris that could be an obstruction. If your sensors are clear and your gate still won’t respond, this could be a sign that a part is faulty or damaged and needs replacing.
6. Your gates open and close on their own
This problem can be incredibly dangerous. If your gates are opening and closing of their own accord, then it’s absolutely vital that you give us a call so we can fix the problem. This problem isn’t uncommon when it comes to electric gates, and it’s usually the result of a motherboard failure or a short-circuit of the wires. If your gates cannot detect the presence or absence of a person or vehicle this could pose the risk of serious damage to property – or worse, people.
If your gate is showing any of these symptoms, it’s a good indicator that it’s time to call in the professionals. Our qualified technicians will be able identify and safely carry out the repairs, so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your home or business.
And to cut down on the risk of these issues occurring in future, it’s also a good idea to set up a preventative maintenance schedule so that your gates can be inspected once or twice a year. It will reduce the likelihood of any technical problems, but it will increase the lifespan of your electric gates. Plus, repair costs are generally a lot cheaper if you’re able to identify and resolve an issue early on, before it’s had a chance to develop into a more serious (and potentially costly) problem.
For over 30 years here at Gate Auto we have been supplying and fitting high-quality gate automation. We provide a wide range of electric gate kits, garage door openers and many more accessories, so you can get the most out of your gates. Feel free to browse our ranges right here on our site or give us a call on 01282 677300!