Wrought Iron Automatic Driveway Gates | All You Need to Know
All You Need to Know About Wrought Iron Automatic Driveway Gates
So you have taken the step to add security and beauty to your home by having an automatic driveway gate installed. The next step is to decide which material will suit your needs, space restrictions, and budget. This article is all about wrought iron automatic driveway gates; and in it, we will cover all that you need to know, including maintenance, estimated cost, lifespan, style options, installation, and more.
A Brief History:
Wrought Iron gates have been used basically since humans first discovered how to manipulate and create tools out of iron. We see many examples of this historic blend of metal all throughout history, further back than even the middle ages. Generally speaking, any time a writing in history refers to ‘iron’; it’s probable that it is referring to wrought iron.
What makes wrought iron different from “iron”?
Wrought Iron is an alloy with extremely low carbon content that has fibrous inclusions (also referred to as slag). These inclusions can make up around 2% of the iron’s weight. Wrought Iron is distinct in both its makeup and physical properties. Wrought iron is easy to weld, is resistant to corrosion is incredibly durable, and malleable. This is in contrast to its counter-part, cast iron, which has a much higher carbon content and is markedly more brittle.
Function of Wrought Iron Driveway Gates:
For the most part, wrought iron gates are reserved for ornamental purposes, however; they do still provide security and a lifespan that lasts decades. Wrought Iron fencing can deter would-be burglars, allow home owners complete control over who enters and exists a property, keeps cars and other outdoor belongings to be stored away from public streets, and they look fantastic.
Before anything is done on your property, you should be proactive and contact your local utility company and ask for them to come and mark the gas and electric lines before anyone breaks the ground. Once the important areas are clearly marked, and you have checked with your local building and neighborhood codes, you can begin the installation process. Wrought Iron fences are best suited for flat land, however, since most wrought iron fences are custom made, it is possible to have one installed on a slant.
You will also need to determine how you would like your gate to open, and which automatic gate opener will work best for you.
The three main types of automatic closure you can get are swing, double panel swing and slide
You also have to choose how the gate opens, will you want to have a remote? Do you want the gate to open any time a car gets near it? Do you want to enter a number into a pin pad? Each situation is different – speak with your contractor to help you decide which the best option for you is!
Regular cleaning and lubrication:
Use a mild solution of dish soap and warm water, with a soft cotton rag to first clear away dirt and debris, then wash away any soap residue in order to prevent a chalky film forming on the wrought iron. You should try to wash your gate using this method once a month, but as long as you do this every few months, you can help to avoid paint problems, and prolong the lifespan of your gate
Once a year, you will also want to make sure that the gate is well lubricated. We highly suggest using white lithium grease to lubricate the fence components. With a rag, wipe away excess grease, and grease that is contaminated with dirt and debris. Often times, dead bugs, bits of leaves, and other debris will stick to the grease and over time can gunk up the chain or opening mechanism. Once the old grease is mostly gone, apply the new grease making sure to include all the wheels and the chain. Don’t forget the hinges and wheels!
Depending on your environment, and how often you clean your gate, you will need to repaint the fence about every 2-5 years, with an occasional spot paint here and there. The more often you do a full wash of the gates, the longer your fence should last. It is the particles, and grit of dirt that eventually scratch the paint and dull it. So, sticking to a regular schedule for cleaning is definitely the way to go.
Rust is like cancer to wrought iron. Part of the reason we suggest a good wash down every month is that each time you clean the gate, you will have better access to inspect it for areas of rust. If you do see rust, don’t let it sit! It will continue to grow and can eventually ruin your driveway gate. At the time of your installation, use a rust resistant finish, or rust inhibiting primer.
If you do happen to find rust, scrub it off with sandpaper as soon as possible. Try to avoid scratching unaffected areas around the rust spot... Make sure to use an anti-rust finish on the area once the rust has been removed.
We won’t lie to you, wrought iron is not cheap. However, of all of the materials which can be utilized to create driveway gates, wrought iron definitely has the most design possibilities and is generally the “go-to” material for custom gates. The cost will heavily depend on the size of the gate, the type of opener you want to install, the level of customization, and the difficulty of installation. Due to this, we can’t really give you a close estimate. Prices range anywhere from $2500 to upwards of $35,000 on the extreme end. The best advice we can give is to meet with 2-3 contractors and get estimates.
When it comes to design, wrought iron fences are by far the most versatile type of fencing you can get. The possibilities are endless; if you can imagine it, it can probably be done with wrought iron. Some people get really extreme with their gates:
Here are a few custom wrought iron gates we have fabricated for our clients:
(for more, you can see our Steel Driveway Gates gallery)
If you're looking for something more basic, here are some of the more traditional shapes for these gates:
Wrought iron gates have withstood the centuries because they are so durable, easy to manipulate into custom designs, provide security, and look fantastic. Although not the least expensive option, wrought iron automatic driveway gates are certainly the most ornamental and visually impactful. They need relatively little maintenance and can last decades if cared for properly. When deciding on a material for your driveway gate, wrought iron is a tried and true material that won’t disappoint.
Call us at 1-866-750-7777 or contact us to set up a free in-home estimate