How to maintain your new garden gates
Maintain Your New Garden Gates
We have written an article on how you are well advised to carry out regular maintenance on any newly installed gates in order to get the most from them, both aesthetically and from a lifespan perspective. However if you have not had new gates before, or have never had any gates to maintain up until now, then there is a little to learn, but not too much, fortunately.
If you have automatic gates fitted, then our best advice with regard to the automated section is to have an annual maintenance contract. While we are happy to guarantee our work on any newly installed gates, that guarantee won’t last a lifetime, and therefore it will help the mechanism last appreciably longer if it is regularly maintained. We can happily agree on any maintenance contract for the mechanism for electric wooden gates and electric metal gates. However that still leaves plenty of gate left over to be looked after.
Now if you have a wooden gate, then the best bit of advice we can give you is don’t varnish it. The reason why we say this is because while it will look absolutely stunning when first done, varnish is one of the hardest finishes to keep looking good and re-varnishing a gate can take many hours of preparation before you even get round to adding a new coat of varnish.
Instead we recommend using a specialist oil, such as Danish oil or linseed oil. The beauty of these oils is that they are very easy to apply and require little preparation of the gate before each coat is applied. Simply brush down all surfaces to remove any unwanted dirt, dust and grit, then give all surfaces a light sanding to remove any hard to remove dirt, and to ensure the surface is nice and smooth. Prior to applying a coat of oil, just wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth to get rid of any fine dust. Depending on how dry the wood is, you may need to apply a second coat, or if the timber is new, you may want to add a little white spirit to the first coat of oil to maximise the penetration into the wood.
Metal gates are obviously different, and the purpose of painting these is not only to make them look pretty, but also to protect the metal surface from rusting. The most popular form of metal paint is Hammerite and coating your gate every two to three years with a coat of new paint will not hurt. Prior to paining, remove any loose or flaking paint with a wire brush.
Where hinges and catches are concerned, regular oiling is essential. These areas always have elements of bare metal, and as a consequence are more prone to rusting. However regular applications of oil will protect the metal from the elements, particularly water, and will allow the gate to open and close smoothly.
Of course one thing you have to be aware of before you even consider having new garden gates installed, is whether you need any planning permission. While here at TPS Gates & Doors we will always go through the correct channels before installing any wooden gate or metal gate, you may wish to check out the planning authority’s guidelines for yourself. To find out more, just give us a call and we’ll gladly come out and see you to discuss all possibilities available to you for the installation of new garden gates.