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Troubleshooting Common Security Gate Problems

Security gates do more than just stop unauthorized traffic; they represent the safety and security of your business or residence for you and your businesses’ customers and employees, not to mention a visual deterrent to intruders and thieves. When that security barrier breaks down it can be devastating both safety wise and financially when your home or livelihood is even temporarily exposed to the outside inherent dangers of the big city – Especially a mammoth city such as New York City. Security gates are a peace of mind for property owners and the best way to assure that peace of mind is to one, practice preventive maintenance and two, know the warning signs beforehand rather than be faced with a future breakdown. Here are some easy to follow security gate troubleshooting tips that will help keep your gate running strong for many years to come.

Cold Weather Problems

In states with extreme weather, like New York, it’s common to experience some problems with your parking or building entryway security gates. Issues due to cold will not only cause delayed openings, in a worse case scenario, extreme cold weather and especially snow can cause a gate to not open at all. In both residential and commercial situations, this can be inconvenient at best and extremely costly at worst in lost business revenue and unforeseen repairs.

With building entryway security gates, as the temperature drops to freezing the metal components of the gate contract in size due to the cold, and the lubricants that normally keep parts protected and running smoothly start to get thick and dense. This is also when key locks get frozen stuck on pedestrian entry gates, potentially locking people in or out. During exceptionally cold weather spells keeping up the basic preventive maintenance of security gates is paramount to ensuring that your gates continue to function properly.

For parking lot security gates, when component lubricants which help smoothly open and close the gate thicken in cold weather it makes the motor work harder and uses more power, not to mention adds extra wear and tear. Security gate units that use batteries also have trouble in cold weather as battery power drops when power providing chemical reactions slow-down in the extreme cold and finally cannot work well enough in which to charge properly.

A common warning sign that this is happening is when you try to open a gate and it takes a few tries before it will work. A clicking noise similar to a car when it refuses to start will happen when the battery power on a security gate is too low to function properly in the cold.

Cold Weather Tips:

  1. Use lock solvent like WD-40 on pedestrian entryway gate key locks in snowy weather or extreme temperature drops in order to keep locks from freezing up.
  2. Make sure battery boxes are well insulated while keeping in mind to also maintain proper ventilation if necessary.
  3. Make sure during bouts of extreme cold weather that you buy special grease that is specifically made for cold weather situations. Then you can clean your gate tracks and bearing surfaces in order to apply the cold weather lubricant to help prevent security gate “Freeze ups.”

Troubleshooting Automatically Opening Security Gates

  • Gate just doesn’t work – no reaction, movement or even a clicking sound.
  1. Check breakers and outlet plug-ins.
  2. Check remote control power and clean its signal transmitting lens.
  • The gate does not close properly – stops short.
  1. This is normally a sign that the limit switch nut or cam is failing to hit the limit switch properly. With slide gates, a lever holds the limit nut in place – pull the lever back off the nut to reset proper gate closing.

Common Mechanical Problems:

  • Slide gates – Check tracks for rocks or other physical blocks. Check wheels and wheel bearings for damage. Check gate chain for visible damage.
  • A swing gate – Check gate arm and hinges to see if they’re damaged, corroded or stuck.
  • If a gate refuses to move, turn the power supply off, detach the chain if a sliding gate, detach the gate arm if a swing gate. If the gate is then able to move open and close properly then your problem is most likely not mechanical. If you can’t move it – then it’s time to call a local professional for some help!

Looking to install a security gate or garage door for your New York City business or residence? Get in touch with New York Gates at 718-614-0616. Or, E-mail them at with your project specifics and NYG will reply right back to you with detailed answers to your questions. They’re New York City’s top security gate and garage door professionals in the five boroughs.

Security Gate Recommendations:

  1. It’s always best to install automated security gates on the most level ground possible. Even slight inclines can cause extreme strain on a gate’s motors and components.
  2. Always use gate parts for repairs that are specified by the manufacturer of the original gate. Using non-authorized parts may void your warrantees.
  3. Provide proper drainage around gate areas in order to keep tracks, motors, and hardware free from excess water, dirt and rocks.

We strongly recommend hiring a specialist in security gate installation, repair, and preventive maintenance even if you have not had any major breakdowns or warning signs. The trouble with waiting until something wrong starts to happen is that it’s often too late to do anything about it because the damage is already done. Setting up a routine maintenance plan with the right company is the safest way to go. It’s also always best to choose a local company with good reliable references. Don’t be afraid to visit the business’s brick and mortar location and check out their proper proof of licensing and insurance/bonding. Safe is always better than sorry when it comes to picking the right contractor, especially when so much depends on the functionality of your security gate.

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