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Roll Up Gates vs. Roll Down Gates: Which is Better for Your Business?

You have worked hard to create a successful, thriving business. You provide a service that people need or a product that they want (or both). The worst thing you can imagine is losing all of that money and inventory that you have worked so hard for, whether that be to burglars or to bad weather. So, you have made the decision to invest time and money into security features to protect your store. Ideally you have chosen to buy a security gate, specifically a rolling gate for your warehouse doors, the hallways in your headquarters, and / or your store front (whether an external one facing a street or an internal one such as inside a mall). You want to be able to control what employees, customers and pedestrians can access different sections of your business, and when they can do so. Now that you have decided on a rolling security gate you have probably asked yourself this typical question:

Is it better to have a security gate that rolls up or one that rolls down?

security gate

Pros and Cons of Security Gates that Roll Up


Like every decision businesses have to make, it is important to consider and compare the pros and cons. The differences between gates that roll up and gates that roll down influence both, the company’s budget and the effectiveness of the security.

First of all, roll up gates are the more frequent option of the two. They are usually found at places such as pharmacies, airports, sports stadiums, and banks. Like roll down gates, they provide both theft protection and ventilation, are made of either steel or aluminum, and they operate either manually or with a motorized device. Unlike gates that roll down they are cheaper to install.

Business owners also prefer this type of gate because it does less damage to the property. Mounting the gate requires slight damage to the walls and ceiling – with drill holes, for example – but they do not hurt the floor. Gates come with thick rubber stoppers that stay flush with the floor of the building or sidewalk without damaging it. Gates can be adjusted to fit curved ceilings and archways so that there are no gaps for potential thieves to exploit.

The major “con” of the roll up gates is that they are not as secure as the roll downs. Security gates that are operated manually by an employee simply unlocking and sliding a bolt are more vulnerable to smash and grab crooks with heavy duty tools to lift the gate themselves.

To summarize, business owners should invest in a roll up gate if the priority is staying within a smaller budget, protecting the property from the damage caused by installation and use of the gate, and if they want to have the option of either operating the gate manually or electronically.

Pros and Cons of Security Gates that Roll Down

Roll down gates are seen less frequently than the roll ups for the following reasons:

Security gates that roll down are more expensive. Roll downs tend to be constructed of stronger steel with more condensed frames. Curious crooks have a more difficult time scouting stores with so little gaps between the metal to look through. The extra, thicker hardware adds to the cost. Business owners have to determine if it is worth it to adjust the money budgeted for security.

Installation is more expensive because the roll downs are usually built into the floors instead of being mounted on the ceiling. This is a major “pro” as the more stable foundation increases the level and effectiveness of the security. Roll downs are also more desirable for aesthetic reasons. Roll up gates are visible to customers when they hang from the ceilings, but roll downs fold into the floor and out of sight. Customers walk right over them without noticing.

While roll up gates can either be operated manually or with a motorized device, floor- mounted roll down security gates are always motorized. Motorized gates are always more expensive regardless if they roll up or roll down.

In summary, a roll down security gate is the right choice for your business if you want to invest in stronger, sturdier materials guaranteed to provide better protection. They are the right option for businesses that can afford the increased cost.

Is There a Third Option to Up or Down?

There is a third option for business owners to consider when shopping for the best security gate: use both types.

Just as different sections of warehouses and stores have different functions (inventory, offices, tax records, janitor’s closets, employee lounges, bathrooms, etc.), different security gates can be used for them. Consider what a pharmacy located on a strip mall needs when it comes to security. A roll up gate might be sufficient for the store front that faces the sidewalk and parking lot, primarily because it is used to deter pedestrians and protect products at the front of the store such as vitamins, toiletries, general medical supplies, and other benign products. More important, and expensive inventory, is likely stored in the rear of the facility. Prescription medications, expensive over- the- counter- drugs, customer records, computers, and money would all be safer behind a more secure roll down security gate. Even if vandals manage to make it through the first gate, it is unlikely that they would breach the second.

Therefore it might be in the business owner’s best interest, and the company’s best budget, to buy one cheap and one expensive security gate instead of two costly ones.

How to Make Your Final Decision

Once you are educated on the pros and cons of different types of security gates you can return to your budget confident in your decision. Be sure to consider the business’ location, learn about the extent of vandalism in the area, and identify your priorities. Is staying within the budget more important than investing in a more expensive gate? Can you set up a cheaper gate in one section? Once you answer these questions and you are ready to purchase your gate.

If you’re located in New York City, check out New York Gates. We provide affordable security gates to business of all sizes. Call us today at 718-614-0616 for a free consultation of your security needs.

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