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Aluminium driveway gates installed at someone’s home are likely to be the first thing a visitor sees. This first impression is enhanced by the way they prevent access to the property and often obscure sight of the house and gardens. This is even more impressive if the gates are clean, perfectly maintained and automated. Then the visitor talks to the homeowner via the gate intercom and drives through the automatically opening gates without ever getting out of their car. That visitor is impressed or jealous or both!
But what if the gates aren’t made of aluminium and what if they’re not automated gates?
Wooden gates do not brush off the effects of the UK’s changeable weather the way aluminium gates do. You can always tell the difference between aluminium gates that look like wood, and genuine wooden gates because aluminium gates don’t change. Wooden gates, however, will fade and their paint or varnish will crack and flake off. Their joints will open up and the wood will crack. Algae will turn them green along their bottom edges and some will sag on their hinges and drag along the floor.
And manual gates are rarely shut once the novelty of having them installed has worn off. It’s just too much effort to keep opening and closing them by hand in all weathers when they can be left open instead.
So, choosing aluminium gates makes a lot more sense than opting for the traditional, but flawed, alternatives. But the traditional materials are often the first choice because we are all familiar with them. So, here are the reasons why aluminium gates are better than wooden gates.
Aluminium is a light metal that is stronger than iron, steel or wooden gates that have the same weight.
It is easy to work with and can be cut to shape, and individual aluminium section can be welded, bonded, riveted or bolted together.
Designed to look like shaped planks of wood, extruded aluminium sections are assembled to perfectly mimic wooden gates.
Sometimes, careless drivers will knock a gate as they park in your driveway. But a dented section in an otherwise perfect aluminium gate is simple to replaced thanks to the modular design. Undo a few bolts, remove the unaffected sections to get to the dented piece, replace it with a new section with matched surface coating and reassemble the gate. No-one would ever know there had been damage.
Aluminium doesn’t rot like wood or rust like iron.
Our aluminium driveway gates have a tough weather-proof coating that gives them their colour or wood-look finish. This protective layer keeps the weather away from the metal and helps prevent any corrosion. Aluminium is naturally a lot more resistant to oxidisation than iron anyway. All you have to do to keep your aluminium driveway gates looking pristine is to give them a weekly wipe down with a damp cloth to remove surface dirt.
And because there’s no organic material to decay, aluminium gates simply don’t rot like wooden gates.
You can choose whatever colour you want for your aluminium gates but you don’t have to paint them to get your favourite shade and you don’t have to reapply paint, varnish or rot or rust treatments every year either. We have a range of standard colours which are brown, anthracite grey, Bordeaux red, green, white and ivory. We also can make your gates with a textured finish in grey, black and brown.
But the most popular finishes are the ones with a wood grain pattern that look like unpainted wooden gates. Specify one from our standard range and you can have dark oak, dark nut, walnut, light nut or golden oak. Go for a special wood-effect coating and your aluminium gates will look like they’re made from beach wood.
Heavy gates need strong motors to move and stop them. They need strong hinges to hold them up and they need strong locks to keep them closed. Make the gates lighter and the motors don’t need to work so hard and the hardware doesn’t need to heavy duty.
Because aluminium is so light, they’re much lighter than the same sized hardwood gates.
So, you save money because you don’t need super strong gate motors and gate hardware and your gates are safer because there’s less force needed to move them.
Wooden gates are undoubtedly beautiful when first installed, but a lot of work is required to keep them looking that good.
Wooden gates are typically made up of lots of sections cut and bolted or screwed together. Water can get into the smallest gaps in varnish, paint or other wood treatment and start to wreak havoc.
When it rains or the air is damp, water gets in through these tiny gaps and, as the wood soaks it up, the gate expands.
When the weather gets drier, the water escapes from the wood which shrinks back to its original size. But the stretched paint on the surface can’t always do the same so it cracks and flakes away from the wood. This allows more water to get in next time it rains.
Joints held together with bolts pull the bolts through their holes as the wood expands and pushes against neighbouring section. When the wood shrinks back, bolts are gripped by the wood again and each section of gate shrinks away from the next opening a gap between the two.
Without regular preventative maintenance and repairs, wooden gates only need a couple of wet winters to start deteriorating. Your once beautiful wooden gates now look dirty, damaged and old.
The Qualicoat quality standard for aluminium coatings is a marine-grade certification. The strict requirements this standard requires means that our aluminium gate coatings can be guaranteed for ten years. As the underlying metal structure is so well protected, we can also guarantee our gates for five years.
Even if aluminium gates cost slightly more than equivalent hardwood gates, they more than pay for themselves with the savings on regular maintenance and repairs plus the lower costs of less powerful gate automation systems and lower running costs. Aluminium gates are also so resistant to corrosion and so easy to repair damaged sections that they can still look like new after a wooden gate has rotted and been replaced.
If you’re looking for an experienced aluminium gate installer, call Gate Automation Supplies on 03300 883 890, or fill out our online contact form and we’ll call or email you back.
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