How to maintain an aluminium gate?

Anthracite grey aluminium gate

Whether swinging, sliding or self-supporting, an aluminium gate is built to last. It is also one of the easiest materials to maintain. This is the main reason why it is often chosen for motorised gates. If it is intended to last over time, it is important to remember to maintain it. There is a risk that it will deteriorate rapidly. By following our cleaning and maintenance tips, find out how to maintain an aluminium gate in our guide.

How to clean an aluminium gate properly?

When we see the price of an aluminium gate, starting at around 1000€ for entry-level models and at over 6000€ for the top of the range, we might as well take care of it.

Since a gate is located outside, it is subject to daily climatic influences: heat, sunlight, rain, snow and hail. In addition to these elements, there is dust, pollution or sea air if you live on the coast. And that’s without mentioning the mud splashes during rainy weather.

The powder-coated finish of an aluminium gate must be able to withstand these attacks. It is designed to do so, but with time, the gate will always age gradually. This could lead to repair costs, particularly in terms of the mechanism or aesthetics.

Restoring the original appearance of an aluminium gate

So let’s try to restore the aluminium gate to its original appearance. As a first step, a thorough cleaning should be carried out with clean water. A water jet is perfect as it removes abrasive particles such as dust.

In a second step, use a soft sponge and washing-up liquid. The majority of deposits and dirt will be removed. Finally, rinse with clean water and wipe down your aluminium gate.

My aluminium gate is dirty

What should you do if, after cleaning, you notice deeper dirt or incrustations on the coating of your aluminium gate?

It is important not to scratch the gate, let alone use an abrasive sponge or hard brush. This will only make the condition of your gate worse. High pressure cleaners are also not recommended by the manufacturers. As the water is under pressure, there is a risk of discolouring or even peeling off the powder coating.

In this case, white vinegar diluted with water is ideal. Then rub with a soft sponge and rinse.

If you are not satisfied with this technique, it is time to use the aluminium joinery paint renovator. It will allow you to revive the paintwork of your aluminium gate.

Aluminium carpentry paint renovator
Renovator aluminium paint

How to remove scratches from an aluminium gate?

Just as with the painting of a car, there are a number of things to consider when repairing a scratch on an aluminium gate. In particular the depth as well as the size. If the scratch is not deepened, you can try again with an aluminium renovator. By rubbing the area of the scratch with the microfibre applicator, you will be able to reduce the scratch, or at best make it disappear.

If the scratches are too deep it is possible to replace some of the slats of your aluminium gate. It is therefore necessary to check with the manufacturer.

How to maintain an aluminium gate?

First of all, what is an electric gate made of? It consists of mechanical elements: hinges, locks and opening mechanisms. For the electrical part: the control unit, the detection cells and the motor that opens and closes the gate.

Mechanical maintenance of an electric gate

This step consists of :

  • Lubricate the lock and hinges.
  • Check fasteners, joints, hinges and pivots for strength and function. But make sure you also clean them with a small brush. This will remove the used grease. Then simply re-grease.
  • Check the alignment of the gate: if the gate is not aligned, it may warp. Indeed, the engines have an enormous force. In the long run, this could even damage the engines.

In the case of a sliding gate, the slide rail must be cleaned regularly. You can use a pressure washer to remove the debris. Finally, the wheels should also be checked to ensure that there are no millimetres of wear.

Maintenance of the automatic mechanism of a motorised gate

To maintain an aluminium gate, this time on the automatic side, it is advisable to refer to the maintenance instructions. You can find them on the instructions or directly on the manufacturer’s website.

This part should not be neglected. In addition, if you carry out the maintenance of your gate automation system yourself and it fails to function because it has not been maintained or because of an incorrect procedure, the guarantee may not work.

If you wish to carry out the maintenance yourself, the following checkpoints should be carried out:

  • Check the condition and operation of the control unit: check for leaks if it is located outdoors. If the case is not waterproof, dust, water or insects could enter. The risk is that there will be false contacts. To prevent this risk, don’t hesitate to spray insect repellent and add anti-moisture tablets.
  • Make sure that the contacts are correctly transmitted: check that there is no green of grey on the connectors. To prevent this from happening, you can spray a special connector product. However, care must be taken to ensure that the product does not leak and that it is completely dry before being used again.
  • Check the safety devices: make sure that the photocells, lighting, flashing warning light are fully functional.

How often should I clean and maintain my aluminium gate?

The frequency of cleaning and maintenance of an aluminium gate depends on several factors such as climate, exposure to wind, proximity to the sea, pollution, etc. But in view of the price of an aluminium gate, it is better to spend time checking that everything is working and maintaining the paintwork. Ideally, maintenance of an electric gate should be carried out twice a year. Once before winter and a second time in spring, to remove the winter traces from the gate.

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