Aluminium gates are incredibly durable and, with basic maintenance, they can easily last for decades.
This longevity and ease of care makes them an increasingly popular choice in both residential and commercial settings.
With a little regular attention, they can look good and keep working effectively for years to come.
Easier to maintain than wooden gates
Wooden gates are popular because of their aesthetic appeal, but they have disadvantages compared to aluminium alternatives.
One is the amount of maintenance involved; wood contracts and expands depending on the weather, cracks fill with water, and rot will develop.
These physical changes will ultimately affect how well the gates perform, placing a strain on the motorised parts.
Taken together, each of the above mean maintenance required on wooden automated gates can be extensive.
Even with regular care, they will still likely succumb to the passage of time more quickly than aluminium.
In contrast, aluminium gates have fewer of these issues.
The upkeep is easier, and as a result they ultimately save time and money while continuing to look great years after they were installed.
If you’re concerned about the time taken to keep wooden gates in a good state of repair, then aluminium gates are a good option.
If you love the look of wooden gates, but are put off by the maintenance involved, then why not opt for aluminium alternatives with a professional wood-effect finish?
We find it is often the perfect combination that our customers are looking for.
A good finish makes all the difference
Aluminium is a perfect material for making strong, long-lasting gates that function well and can withstand everything the weather throws at them.
It’s a versatile and low-cost material with a high strength-to-weight ratio.
It’s also environmentally friendly.
High-performance coatings give it another advantage as a gate material; they help extend the life of aluminium gates while at the same time enhancing their overall appearance.
Although aluminium corrodes at a much slower rate than wood rots, a hardwearing finish will improve corrosive resistance.
Bare aluminium develops a naturally-occurring oxide film that gives it some resistance against corrosion.
Adding a coating during manufacture, prevents even this low level of oxidation and seals the bare aluminium from exposure to water and the air.
You can also choose the type of finish you’d like.
Stargates manufactures gates in a comprehensive range of colours, including standard flat shades, wood-effect, textured finishes and non-standard options.
Each has a 10-year guarantee to provide extra peace of mind.
Cleaning your aluminium gates
Professionally-coated aluminium gates don’t need much in the way of maintenance.
However, if you want to keep yours in optimum condition for as long as possible, a little care and attention can go a long way.
The Qualicoat coating used by Stargates is incredibly durable, but it’s not completely invincible, and certain climate and environmental factors can affect it over time.
For example, dirt builds up in crevices and joints.
Gates can also become a home for insects and bacteria, which speed up the breakdown of the coating.
The good news is that the risk of this happening is reduced through cleaning.
This is incredibly easy; the only thing to bear in mind is not to do anything that might inadvertently damage the protective coating of the gate.
Don’t use any type of pressure washer on your aluminium gate; if the coating is compromised in any way, the force of a pressure washer will exacerbate the problem.
It’s advisable to use water and a sponge, or perhaps a hose, to clean your gates.
Gently go over the whole gate a couple of times, paying particular attention to places where dirt and grime can accumulate.
If you find any areas that are tough to clean, it’s fine to use a detergent, but be sure to check that it doesn’t contain any chemicals that may harm the effectiveness of the protective layer.
If a product comes with a warning that it is corrosive to your skin, could also damage your gate’s coating.
With that in mind, any product that you use should always be non-alkaline.
Rinse the detergent with lukewarm water, allowing the gate to dry naturally, or use a cloth to dry and then polish for a cleaner finish.
Repair chips and scratches
Depending on the level of use, a coated aluminium gate is vulnerable to chips and scratches.
Minor marks and scruffs can easily be worked away using a non-abrasive cream cleaner.
With scratches, it’s possible to repair them with a protective aluminium paint.
First, clean the area of a scratch with a mild detergent and water before ensuring it is dry.
It can then be covered with a matching aluminium paint.
If you’re finding it difficult to find a paint that matches your gate, talk to your supplier who should be able to advise where a matching product can be obtained.
They may be able to provide an appropriate match to keep at home when you have the gates installed.
The paints are usually available in a spray can.
If you discover a deeper dent, then it might be appropriate to sand down the surrounding area before looking to repaint it.
This should help to smooth the surface, allowing a better, longer-lasting application.
With well installed coated aluminium gates. however, the possibility of significant dents is remote.
The most damage that owners of automated gates have to deal with is chips and scratches, both of which can be repaired.
With regular cleaning and mechanical maintenance, automated aluminium gates present very few repair problems during their lifetime.
Repainting and recoating your gates
Coated aluminium gates retain their vibrancy and colour for many years with minimal amounts of cleaning and maintenance.
A professional coating can last for between 15 and 20 years, depending on the pre-treatment and the type of product used.
Its resistance to weather, corrosion and chemicals makes a gate coating a more durable finish than paint or other liquid coatings.
Over time, however, and particularly in areas where the weather is more extreme like in upland areas or by the coast, natural weathering will have an impact on the gates’ overall appearance.
All of Stargates’ aluminium gate coatings come with a 10-year guarantee.
However, by the end of that decade, it may be appropriate to paint your gates.
This will not only ensure that they look their best; it will also help protect the aluminium beneath.
Painting your gates is a relatively straightforward process.
The gate should be cleaned thoroughly, and any corroded areas of metal will need to be prepared with a wire brush to remove the rust.
Any holes can be treated with epoxy metal putty, which can be sanded and smoothed once dry.
The fences must be free of dust, dirt, grease and any kind of oil.
Before a coat of paint is applied, it’s important to cover the whole gate with an appropriate primer.
This will help the paint adhere to the gate, improving the colour and the overall appearance.
It also helps to increase its durability.
You can then apply a new coat of paint, making sure it’s one that’s suitable for aluminium gates.
Aluminium gates are easy to maintain
Compared to many of the alternatives, aluminium gates are incredibly easy to look after.
Hardwearing, light, and weather-proof, they are by far one of the toughest and most practical choices for either a residential or commercial setting because they can withstand a lot of punishment without their appearance being compromised.