Even the most durable security gate still needs a little TLC in order to make sure it can work its hardest for you. Sure, a gate left unattended will fulfill its purpose for quite a few years – but then the dreaded Day of Replacement comes, and with it comes both a hefty price tag and a lot of effort.
But hold the phone; whether you have a high-quality security gate or a lesser one, with six steps and just a few minutes of your time on a semi regular basis, you can ensure your gate doesn’t need a facelift or to be put out to pasture in just a few years.
1. Wash Out the Grime and Dirt
While this might seem like the most obvious advice, it turns out that owners putting off their security gate’s bath day is the most common way for a security barrier to find an early grave. For practical reasons, regularly taking soap and water to your gate, making sure to get into all those little nooks and crannies, will ensure mother nature doesn’t make dust grind up your gears or allow the elements to tick away at your finish until you have a slowly-rotting piece of metal. For stylistic reasons, you can keep your gate looking beautiful as a solid investment rather than an eyesore, just by taking a brush to it.
2. Wax it Regularly to Keep it Shining
Your security gate is your first introduction to your home, and even if its paint isn’t peeling or chipping away, nothing looks as beautiful as a well-waxed gate. Aesthetics aside, however, waxing your security gate regularly will help it resist weather and sun damage, keeping it in better condition for longer. As an added bonus, this saves you money, since a little wax is considerably cheaper than having professionals remove the gate, sandblast it, repaint it, and put it back up.
3. Don’t Let the Creepy Crawlies Do it in
Security gates are a lot like your car; they’re full of complex electrical panels as well as all of the intricate mechanisms, and the better you take care of your car, the longer and better it will live. With this in mind, you most certainly wouldn’t let a hive of bees or a nest of spiders take up residence in your car’s engine – and not just because the journey from outside of your car to the driver’s seat would suddenly become a fight for your life. Slug trails, spider webs which collect moister, and other such pest can short out your security gate’s electrical system and leave you either with a fire or with a gate that functions as a top-notch wall but not as much else. Try using WD-40, which is toxic to most pests, or standard bug spray to get rid of the mini invaders – your gate will reward you for the rescue with many more years of service.
4. A Stoppable Force and an Unmovable Object
Clearly if there’s a boulder in front of your gate, you’re going to move it right away. However, a collection of gravel built up a little too high against your gate’s hinges or the odd children’s toy jammed in the corner in just such a way that your gate has to push against it can be overlooked in your inspections. Do your gate and yourself a favor, and periodically inspect every inch of your gate to make sure nothing at all is blocking its path. If your gate’s motor has to strain even a little more than necessary to swing out full tilt, it’ll eventually strain itself too hard and burn out at an early age. It may be something as small as a rock making it stop just an inch or two before its limit, but this is a little difference your security gate will notice.
5. Lubricate, Lubricate, Lubricate
For humans, our joints don’t start getting stiff until we get older – for a security gate, old age can come young if you don’t pay attention to it. Sure, your gate might function just fine the way it is, even though you haven’t lubricated it in a while, but if you’re looking for a gate that will last as long as your house will, and save you the cost of repairing or replacing it, preemptively oiling it up will have it moving better for longer. If the gears end up grinding too much, the motor will end up overworking itself and burn out earlier than necessary – and that’s only if the gears don’t hold their own version of a revolt, leaving you with bent, ground-down, and barely functioning results. Preventing this is as simple as grabbing a bottle of WD-40 and spending a few moments of your time – or, better yet, let Junior lose with the ‘oil gun’ and enjoy the free labor.
6. Make Sure All the Connectors Are Still Connecting
As time goes on, your security gate endures quite a bit of opening and closing, bad weather, and heavy vibrations. If all this happened to you, you might have a screw loose too – and that’s why it’s important to make sure all your connectors are still fulfilling their purpose and haven’t slowly loosened themselves. Structural connectors and even the plugs keeping your electrical system in working order should be checked now and then. Simply screwing or pushing them back into place is an easy fix if you do it regularly, rather than allowing the elements to cement them in a bad position, or in the case of electricals, short circuit and leave your security gate with an identity crisis.
Increasing the lifespan of your security gate doesn’t require a big price tag or black magic (that’s not recommended anyways). By simply taking a few moments out of your month, you can have a gate that keeps on trucking while your neighbors shell out cash to get theirs repaired or replaced.