Gates add a certain level of security and aesthetic value to your home. In terms of your security, it can deter potential burglars by serving as an additional obstacle that they need to get over to access your house. For aesthetic value and curb appeal, on the other hand, gates can complement every type of fence from aluminum fence panels to traditional wooden fences.
However, you cannot maximize these two benefits when your gate is in disrepair or is generally unkempt. Even if it may not look damaged, your gate may have problems that render it ineffective or perhaps even dangerous.
That said, here are the warning signs that your gate needs repair as soon as possible:
1. Strange noises
If you have a manual gate, the typical noise you would hear from it is a squeaking sound when the hinges need lubrication. Luckily, you can fix this problem by simply adding oil to the moving parts of your gate.
An automatic gate, on the other hand, may create grinding or beeping noises. Grinding noises could indicate a problem with the motor, often excessive dirt or faulty mechanical components. Beeping noises may mean that the battery is faulty or in need of replacement.
2. Gate not opening or closing completely
A gate that is not opening or closing completely, whether manual or automatic, may mean that there is something blocking the way, the alignment is off, or there is an electrical issue within the components (for automatic gates). Whatever the case may be, it is best to address this problem immediately as it can cause more issues down the road.
Moreover, a gate that is not closing completely can entice potential intruders to enter due to the ease of getting in and out. Apart from that, the gate may obstruct the passage of cars, trash cans, or any other large object that you have to pass through it.
3. Sagging gates
A sagging gate is easy to spot, especially because it’s also difficult to open and close. The common cause for this problem is broken or worn hinges. However, it can also result from shifting or damaged posts, improper installation, or the lack of bracing. If a person hangs onto the gate, their weight can also cause the gate to sag.
To fix a sagging gate, one must first address the underlying structural issue and then re-anchor the gate to its proper position. If you want to prevent this problem from reoccurring later on, consider installing adjustable hinges that will make readjustment easier if your gate goes out of position.
4. Delays in response
If your automatic gate responds late or does not respond at all, that could point to a problem with the opener, the motherboard, or perhaps a mechanical obstruction.
See if anything is keeping your gate from opening, such as debris or another object. If this is not the problem, check if your opener has power. If not, replace the battery and try to open the gate again. If this still doesn’t work, the issue may be something more serious, such as worn internal parts or a faulty motherboard. In this case, call a professional to address the problem as soon as possible.
5. Worn appearance
While this is mostly an aesthetic issue, having a worn gate can decrease your curb appeal and affect the visual of the entire surrounding area. Wooden gates tend to become discolored and faded over time. Metal gates, on the other hand, may develop corroded spots upon years of exposure to the elements. If these gates are painted, the paint may also chip or stain after quite some time.
Fortunately, the solutions to this issue can be pretty simple, be it applying another layer of paint, varnish, or sealant. However, when the gate is visibly too worn and damaged, replacing it entirely may make much more sense.
6. Faulty sensors
If the gate opens and closes on its own, check if the sensors are obstructed by debris like dirt, leaves, or branches. However, if the gate does not have sensors for automatic opening and closing, the issue may be due to motherboard failure. In this case, call for a specialist to come and take a look. If you’re lucky, the issue would only need repair instead of a full replacement, the latter being quite expensive, especially with newer models of automatic gates.
A gate is an integral part of any home’s exterior, be it a basic or a fancy one. Thus, if you see these warning signs, it is high time to repair your gate and restore it to its former glory.