If you work in an office or in a large building sharing the space with other companies, it’s not uncommon to see your building being guarded with an automatic gate. Automatic gates are modern conveniences that have fast become mainstays for most people. But a commercial sliding gate opener can be a massive expense if it’s not maintained properly.
As with any other device, it will last a long time if you take the necessary steps to take care of it properly. Here are some tips to maintain commercial gates and how to inspect your gate and perform some basic gate repairs to keep your sliding gates in peak condition for a long time.
1. Check for visual degradation
This is the most straightforward of all the steps. You should be checking all parts of the swing gates, including the gate opener, the belt drive, the bearings, rollers, any electrical connections, and the doors themselves. All cables should be in place without any exposed contacts or rusted contacts.
If you see those, then it’s time to replace those wires. All of your bolts should also be held in place and tightly screwed. If they aren’t, then you should call in a qualified technician or a repair company who have gate services on offer. They are trained and have the tools and parts necessary to fix these issues quickly and safely.
You can also check the bearings for wear and tear. New bearings will be a common repair for most commercial gates, so it’s best to ensure that you do regular visual inspections to prevent them from wearing out. If you are using wooden parts, then they will need to be oiled frequently to prevent any surface wear. Painting and staining will also help to ensure that your wooden gates look great.
2. Prevent doors from rusting
Rust can quickly impair and destroy even the most expensive automatic gates, which is why preventing rust is so crucial to gate maintenance. You should check for rust in all parts of your swing gates when you are performing automatic gate maintenance. Rust usually occurs when you have varying weather conditions in addition to gradual dust accumulation.
Gate installers usually have rust-prone parts lubricated well, but if you see any early warning signs, you can take pre-emptive action using detergents and sandpaper to rub down and wash the affected parts before they affect other parts.
3. Lubricate your gate regularly
Lubricating your gate is as important as any of the other tips mentioned here. Not only does it count as pre-emptive maintenance and reduce the number of repairs you have to do, but good lubrication of your sliding gates will also ensure smooth and hassle-free operation throughout its life.
Ideally, you should use a manufacturer-recommended lubricant once every six months on all gate parts that are subject to motion and friction. This includes parts like rollers, hinges, pulleys, safety edges, and chains. Without proper lubrication, your parts will struggle to work in the way they’re intended, reducing their lifespan and increasing the frequency at which you will have to perform gate maintenance and parts replacement.
4. Don’t forget to clean your automated gate
Cleaning your gate not only makes it look nice for you and visitors, but it’s also a crucial part of preventive maintenance. Wash your gate thoroughly at least twice a year. Once you’re done washing, you can add a coat of wax to enhance the luster of the gate. If you are using a wooden swing gate, then you can apply a new coat of paint every year as well.
While this might sound expensive, it’s a lot more economical than replacing parts on the gate if they become rusted or tarnished due to neglect and lack of maintenance. You can avoid expensive repairs such as rehanging gates, sandblasting surfaces to remove rust, and powder coating to repaint the gate from scratch. When you are cleaning, ensure the door opener is properly covered and protected during your cleaning process.
5. Take measures to control pest
Even if you have a metal automatic gate, you’re not safe from pests. Rats and insects can easily damage the electronics of your sliding gate and impair operations. When you’re cleaning your gate, it’s paramount that you check for pests like rats, spiders, snails, and see if they have either taken up lodging inside the gate or have caused any damage.
Snails and spiders can damage electronic circuit boards. If you’re faced with a serious problem, then you can call a professional pest control service to perform a thorough and deep cleaning. Rats can quite often bite through wires, which can destroy the sliding gate altogether and leave you with a big hunk of metal.
When checking for rats, be sure to check the wires in the nooks and crannies as well. They may have damaged wiring that might need to be replaced at the earliest. While you are at it, also test your garage door’s operating safety with force testing techniques.
6. Check for auto-reverse
Find a wooden stick or plank and place it in the middle after the gate has been opened. The wood needs to be in the way and should prevent the door from closing properly. Good operation will mean that the gate will touch the wood, but automatically reverse when it senses an obstacle in the way.
Most commercial slide gate operators believe this is paramount to proper operation. If the gates aren’t working as intended, then you should immediately shut off the power and let a professional technician or gate services company take a look. Do not use the automatic function of the door until a professional has had the chance to inspect and service it.
These are some basic steps to performing preventive maintenance on your automatic sliding gates. By doing preventive maintenance, you can reduce the amount of money you have to spend on fixing your automatic gates. With proper implementation and care, you should be able to take care of your gates for a very long time. If you have any questions or doubts regarding your particular model of automatic gate, then you should reach out to your gate servicing or installation company to get a better idea of how best to service and maintain your gate.