Automatic Driveway Gate Maintenance
Automatic Driveway Gate Maintenance Guide
Generally speaking, automatic driveway gates require very little maintenance if installed correctly. However, by using the right kind of grease and lubricant on the moving parts of your gate, you can prolong its life by years. This article will discuss driveway gate maintenance requirements, the right tools, products, and how to maintain other parts of your gate system such as solar panels or control boxes.
We would like to start this article with one very clear fact. 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 will want to make sure that the moving parts are free from debris and pests. You will also want to stand near the opening controls (in a safe place) and listen to the opening mechanism open. Look around the area where the gate opens and closes and make sure that it is free from dirt and debris.
1. Visual Inspection of Moving Parts:
If your driveway gate is well maintained, then the chain and pulley system will always have at least a thin coat of lubrication. Although this lubrication is critical for the gate to function correctly, it also tends to accumulate debris in the form of leaves, dirt, and insects. If these items are left to accumulate for too long, then a buildup can occur and you can seriously damage your driveway gate. If you notice an abundance or accumulation of debris, use a nylon scrub brush to clean away the debris and make sure to reapply lubricant to the system.
Additionally, look at the track (if applicable) to make sure that no components are rusted or bent that shouldn't be. If you notice severely broken parts, call your contractor for repairs.
2. Visual Inspection of Solar Panels and Control Boxes
If you have solar panels, then make sure they are clean and free from dust and bird droppings. Your panels will not work as efficiently if they are coated with a large amount of dust!
Look at your control box and make sure that nothing is loose or rattling, that all of the connected wires aren't frayed, clean away any spider webs or other debris that may have formed.
The whole system should be sprayed down with a hose every few months in order to wash away dirt and debris that may have accumulated on your gate system.
If you keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance, then the only maintenance you will have is to lubricate all of the moving parts. These include:
- And / or any moving part that your gate may have.
What to use: Spray-able Liquid Wrench: White Lithium Grease
A thicker lithium grease will work as well.
You can go to your local big box retailer and pick up a specific tool to accomplish this job. You can do his manually as well, as long as you don't mind getting your hands a bit dirty.
Using your fingers, or a kit to liberally apply the lubricant to the hinge, trying to get as much of the pin coated as you can. In most hinge assemblies there is a small opening specially designed for allowing lubrication of the hinge.
2. Chains and Wheels
It is very important to keep the chain on your automatic driveway gate well lubricated and free from rust, grit and other debris. Whenever you lubricate your chain, make sure to use a degreaser to completely remove the old, dirty grease first. Then, apply a liberal coating of white lithium crease to the chain, using a rag to help and disperse the grease evenly. Make sure to wipe away any excess!
3. Control Arms/ Hydraulic
You can wipe the exposed section of the hydraulic arm, and coat it with a light coat of new grease. Open and close the gate a few times to spread it around... Visually inspect the chains and belts to assure that there is not too much slack in the chain, and that the belts are not cracking or chipping... 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)
4. Gears Inside Opener
Make sure the opener is unplugged before starting any work!
Most automatic driveway gate openers come closed inside some kind of plastic housing. These housings can usually be pulled right off. If you feel comfortable, doing so, take off the cover on the opener and use a paint brush to clear away old grease and then use that same paint brush to apply a light coat to the outside of the gear.
Replace the cover.
**Tip: Use a can of spray air in between cleanings to keep the inside of the box free from dirt and debris”
You will need to take the front panel off the control box in order to access the gears inside. This is usually done by unscrewing 2-4 screws which hold it in place. Once you have removed the face plate, (and made sure that there is no power going to the gate opener) use canned air or a towel which doesn't leave lint to clean out whatever has accumulated inside the box. Visually inspect the inside and look for any damaged, frayed wires as this can be the first sign of serious problems! In the event of wring issues, we urge you to call your contractor.
Additionally, inspect the housing for holes or openings where debris has gotten into the control box. Keeping these holes plugged helps to ensure that your driveway gate control box remains water proof and will continue to function, even in in climate weather... If you do notice holes, you can attempt to patch them yourself, but we suggest that you get professional service,
Thankfully, solar panels require very little maintenance. For the most part, all you need to do is use a squeegee and solution to wipe down the sun exposed surface. Follow with a microfiber cloth. Done and Done.
Date posted: 8.11.16
Call us at 1-866-750-7777 or contact us to set up a free in-home estimate