Why Choose Aluminium Driveway Gates?
Guest Blog Post
If you’re looking for new or replacement driveway gates, you have a number of choices. There’s the natural beauty of wood, ornate iron or steel or gates made from aluminium. There are pros and cons to each material so what makes aluminium the perfect choice?
Gates made from aluminium are both long-lived and practically maintenance-free as they don’t suffer from rot or rust. Aluminium is light, strong, easy to cut and shape and can be welded, bonded, riveted or bolted together. This allows gates made from this amazing material to reproduce the most popular styles of traditional and modern wooden and steel gates.
How can aluminium gates be made to look like wood or iron gates?
Flexibility of manufacturing allows aluminium to be extruded into sections that mimic wooden panels and steel uprights, or cast into ornate elements that look just like those found on iron and steel gates. The gates are assembled from shaped and carefully cut components and can be built to look like traditional wooden gates, ornate wrought iron gates and modern design gates.
A tough coating is bonded to all exposed surfaces at the factory to protect the gate from corrosion. This protective layer also provides an aluminium gate with one of many wood-effect finishes, textured finishes or any single colour or combination of colours.
Why do aluminium gates last so well?
Wooden gates have a natural look that is highly desirable. When first installed, wooden gates look great but a lot of work is required to maintain this appearance. Wooden gates change shape as they absorb water and dry out, so the protective paint can flake off exposing the wood to the elements. Without re-application of protective coatings, wooden gates will eventually crack allowing water to penetrate even deeper into the wood. This is how the rotting process starts.
Iron gates rust when exposed to air and water. To keep them looking their best, any rust has to be removed and the gates treated with rust inhibitors and re-painted.
The coating that gives aluminium gates their colour or wood-effect finish is an incredibly strong layer that protects aluminium gates from the elements. But even when exposed directly to air and water, aluminium naturally doesn’t rust like iron or rot like wood. When they are covered with the high quality protective surface layer, aluminium gates are capable of lasting for many years without suffering any ill effects. As a result, it’s possible to find aluminium gate ranges with a ten year guarantee on all surface finishes and five year guarantees on the gate structure.
What do aluminium gates cost?
There’s an impression that because aluminium gates are high quality they are expensive. However, the initial costs of mid-range aluminium gates are comparable to hardwood gates. So, while there might be a slight difference in the cost of new gates. the lifetime cost of aluminium gates is less. While other gates will need regular treatments that cost money and time to apply them, aluminium gates benefit from an occasional wipe down with a damp cloth to look as good as new.
Are automated aluminium gates safer than wood or steel?
Hardwood gates are heavy and become even heavier when they soak up rainwater and during damp winter months. Steel and iron gates are strong but can also be very heavy.
Gates made from aluminium are much lighter than wooden and steel gates of the same size, but are also very strong. As they are so much lighter, these gates don’t need overly powerful gate automation motors to open and close them. Consequently, automated aluminium gate systems are safer and more energy-efficient than heavier alternatives.
Compared to other materials chosen for gates, aluminium offers the following benefits:
Aluminium vs wood
Unlike aluminium, wood needs frequent attention to maintain its natural good looks. On a regular basis, wooden gates must have the old, flaking finishes removed and new varnishes, preservatives or paint applied. Wood can also twist, split, rot and warp and this can make it difficult to open or close gates. Generally, iron and steel fixings are also used on wooden gates and these need to be oiled or greased to ensure they move freely and any rust treated with suitable rust inhibitors. New paint is often applied at the same time. Aluminium gates require none of this maintenance.
Aluminium vs Iron and Steel
The often intricate designs of steel and iron gates makes them very difficult to keep clean and looking their best. Compared with aluminium, steel and iron gates are considerably heavier and need stronger fittings such as hinges, locks and motor brackets. When automating heavier gates, more powerful motors are required which use more electricity. The light weight of automated aluminium gates also makes them safer as lower forces are required to open and close them.
Why Choose Aluminium Driveway Gates?
Aluminium gates mimic other materials so well and with none of the downsides. They are comparable in cost and save money throughout their long lifetime as maintenance requirements are minimal. Consequently, aluminium gates are gaining in popularity and are becoming the first choice for many looking to buy new or replacement driveway gates.
Author: Stargates, the aluminium gate specialists.