Choosing a security gate for your home or business can be daunting, The right security gate will serve your security needs while adding aesthetic appeal.
Usually, a security gate is the first thing seen upon arrival at your property. Your gate can make a statement about your home or business - even if that statement is “KEEP OUT!”
All security gates operate either manually or automatically (with a remote or keypad, for example). Security gates are most commonly constructed from wrought iron, aluminum, or wood.
Strong and durable, there’s no doubt about wrought iron’s ability to protect your property. Would-be crooks see it and instantly decide to move on instead of break in.
Wrought iron gates also have a classic, ornamental look that you’ll enjoy.
The powder coating on wrought iron gives it the fancier look but also serves practical functions.
It’s much tougher than paint, which means it provides nearly impenetrable resistance to scratches and scuffs for decades. And that toughness also means your wrought iron fence doesn’t get exposed to rain, which makes your gate highly resistant to rust.
On the downside, wrought iron fences require maintenance. They will attract dirt and require cleaning with warm, soapy water from time-to-time.
Powder coating can last up to 20 years and though resistant to rust, wrought iron gates can still eventually begin to rust since they are outside in the elements. The weather causes wear and tear as they are used over time. So the second you see rust spots, you’ll need to clean those away so they don’t penetrate and chip the powder coating.
While your wrought iron gates can be automatic, you may need to manually control them during a power outage. Wrought iron gates are heavy, which could pose a problem.
And finally, the most common wrought iron designs have vertical bars that don’t offer much privacy.
If you don’t like ongoing maintenance or the idea of paying someone else to do it, an aluminum security gate will make you happy as a clam.
Aluminum doesn’t rust, so you never have to concern yourself with that.
The only maintenance you might have to do would be a basic rinse with a garden hose, and possibly stain removal.
Grass clippings can stick to aluminum. And so can dirt. Fertilizer chemicals can also cling to the metal.
But those can be easily removed with the blast of a garden hose.
Stains can also happen, but those can be easily removed too. Hard water stains should be removed with CLR. A simple degreaser will take care of soft water and basic stains.
Aluminum, just like the cans you drink out of, is light and easy to move. So if you need to manually move your gate in an emergency situation, that won’t be a problem.
And the way aluminum is constructed results in decent strength. It’s not as strong as wrought iron, but it is strong enough to keep bad guys out.
You can also make aluminum quite visually attractive. You can powder coat it just like wrought iron, or even paint it your favorite colors. You usually envision aluminum as plain gray, but you can spruce it up to be as beautifully as you want.
Finally, aluminum is a bit on the pricier side, and like wrought iron, doesn’t offer much in the way of privacy.
If you value your privacy most, wooden gates will make you happiest.
Wooden gates have solid panels (think kind of like a deck except vertical). So your neighbors, friends, and would-be intruders will have almost no ability to see through (although you may allow that a little by customizing your design).
You also get that natural, Southern feel with wooden gates.
They’re sturdy and offer solid protection. And you can repair wood with much greater ease than aluminum or wrought iron.
Plus, wood is also eco-friendly. When its useful life is over, it simply rots and returns to the earth.
But on the downside, wooden gates require frequent maintenance.
As we just said, wood rots. Moisture absorption causes it to warp. Wood breaks. Fire and insects can quickly destroy it.
If high-wind storms hit your area, the solid wood paneling catches the wind more, making wooden gates noisy and vulnerable to breaking.
You now understand the choices for materials. So, let’s begin with the first major type of function: swing gates.
Just like their name sounds, these gates swing open and closed in a wide half circle.
Their classic look and design make them attractive for many prospective gate owners.
They also are much quieter than sliding gates. And you can detach the arm which operates swing gates so you can open them manually if needed.
While you can use swing gates at your home or business, they’re typically best suited for residential use. This is because most driveways are no more than 15 feet wide. For businesses, which frequently have driveways larger than 15 feet wide, that makes the swing gates’ swing radius so wide that it puts a lot of stress on the gate operator.
That heavyweight can cause the need for replacing or repairing the swing gate operator earlier than one which operates sliding gates.
Swing gates also tend to be heavier than sliding gates, which could pose issues if you need to open yours manually.
They also require more space when opening, which may mean they won’t work for your property.
And the larger area it takes for them to swing open means that sometimes visitors hit them.
Sliding gates have a gorgeous, elegant look. Because they slide and don’t swing, they have much less vulnerability to issues opening and closing if it becomes extremely windy outside.
Unlike swing gates, sliding gates don’t have an operating arm that you can simply detach so you can operate them manually.
That gives you more security because a crook can’t simply hop over and operate your sliding gate.
They also work better in tight spaces because they don’t require an entire semicircle to open and close.
But great as they are, sliding gates aren’t perfect. They need room to the side of the gate to slide the gate into.
They have more moving parts than swing gates. Those moving parts require regular lubrication to operate correctly.
More moving parts also means these gates cost more than swing gates to make.
Ultimately, the right security gate will protect your home or business, look great, and function with ease.
Though somewhat costly, a security gate is a long-term investment. Properly installed and maintained, the right security gate can last for decades.
If misused, repairs can run high. Before you drop a huge chunk of change on a lasting fixture, you should do your research and consult an experienced and trusted security gate fabricator, like the folks at J&J Gates.