Driveway Gate Maintenance and Automatic Gate Opener Service
Motorized Driveway Gates are popular and wonderful additions to a property. They provide added security and curb appeal and as long as they are maintained, they should last for a very long time. We’ll go over the main parts, what to look for and what to do to maintain today.
For industrial park and gated communities, they are a practical security requirement to restrict access to only authorized vehicles. Their component parts can be graded for heavier equipment and have more options for access control, but a lot of the mechanic parts are similar. We offer routine maintenance programs for interested property owners as well.
Driveway Gate Maintenance
The first step in keeping automatic gate openers working well is by having them installed professionally. There are critical components that need to be accurately aligned for the gates to function correctly. The next most important factor is using the correct kind of grease and lubricants on the moving parts of your gate. This seemingly basic maintenance step can give years of life to your gate system.
For starters, W-D 40 is not a suitable lubricant for any component of your automatic driveway gate. WD-40 is fine for small projects such as loosening tight screws or making a squeaky door less squeaky. It is not suitable for your driveway gate. Don’t do it!
Maintenance: Every 2-3 Months
Every 8-12 weeks, you should do a visual inspection of your automatic driveway gate and access controls. You should be looking for any obstruction to the moving parts or pests that have made nests or become stuck anyway along the track and access control boxes. Sound is a great way to get a feel if something is off. Pay attention to the opening mechanism and keep an eye on the path the track takes as the gates open and close to identify anything that would block it.
Lubricate All the Working Parts
Ask us for a walkthrough to show you all the parts that need lubricating, and your owners manual is likely to spell it out as well.
For a general rule of thumb, make sure these components are able to be located and lubricated:
We mentioned that WD-40 is not up for these jobs, so be mindful that special grease is the only way to go. For Hinges, look for a sprayable Liquid Wrench, aka White Lithium Grease. Thicker lithium grease can also work well.
In most hinge assemblies there is a small opening specially designed for allowing lubrication of the hinge.
The chain and pulley will always have a thin coating of lubrication. However, this lubrication has a natural habit of gathering debris like leaves, dirt, and bugs. If you see any kind of build up, take a nylon brush or rag and clean it off and re-apply lubricant to any dry spots you find. One of the top reasons for gate service calls is when too much debris has built up for smooth operation. You should also be looking for rusted or broken parts while doing this visual inspection.
- Gears in the Control Box
TURN OFF THE GEARBOX FIRST!
The gearbox usually has a plastic or metal covering that comes off relatively easily. Remove the cover and inspect the gears for any debris or problem areas. Using something like a paintbrush can help clean the old grease off and also be used to apply a fresh coat.
- Solar Panels and Control Boxes
Keep the solar panels clean, and free from bird droppings and grime. If they are coated by anything, the ability for them to gain power from sunlight is as bad as an overcast day and can lead to the power running down.
For the control box, make sure nothing has made a nest in it or decided to try to the flavor combinations of the colored wires. Connected wires should not be frayed. If the wiring looks intact, then every few months, hit it with a host to wash away dirt and keep it in clean working order.
- Control Arms/ Hydraulics
There is an exposed section of the hydraulic arm for most chain systems. It should be wiped clean and coating with a light coating of grease. After this is done, operate the open and closing stages of the gate to make sure that the hydraulic arm is able to spread the grease to all areas of the arm. You should have a professional technician come and check the pressures of the hydraulic system every 6 months (or as is designated in your user manual provided by the manufacturer). Hydraulic pressures and alignment equipment are more technical and can benefit from the specialized equipment that professionals use.
These are all basic steps in routine maintenance, but if you have had someone knock the gate off the tracks or needs parts repaired or replaced, please give us a call to properly get it up and running quickly for you.