You can invest in your driveway and add curb appeal to your house with custom-paving and a gate and electric opener to keep your property secure. With all these working parts in play, you want to stay vigilant with maintenance to ensure your gated entry is not only functional, but also easy to use at any time.
Evaluate the Entrance
Maintenance should always start with an overall evaluation of the area. If you haven't had the gate and opener installed yet, you need to inspect your driveway entrance beforehand. Look for any areas in your fencing and driveway entrance that need maintenance - it's better to attend to them before you have the gate installed.
While you're perusing the area anyway, consider what kind of gate you want and what would work for your area. Your two main options are swing-out and sliding gates. Swing-out gates require clearance within your driveway to open. They're also not ideal if you have a sloped driveway. Sliding gates require having a track installed along the fence-line, so you need adequate length for such an installation.
Clean the Apron
The apron to your driveway is the part that widens out to the street. It typically provides the path for cars to turn into the driveway itself. Therefore, the apron needs to be kept clean of any debris. This includes making sure nearby plants aren't overgrowing by the apron because they can disrupt the pavement over time.
During the winter time, you'll also want to keep the apron free of snow, ice, and other moisture. Commercial snow plows may turn the snow right onto your apron, so you'll need to remain vigilant. An icy pavement is a slipping hazard for both your car and passersby. Likewise, the freeze-thaw cycle can break the pavement if you let moisture settle.
Clear the Electric Opener of Snow, Moisture, and Debris
If you choose an electric gate opener, some models come with panels to swipe a card or input a code. Other styles open similar to your garage door, with a remote. Some models even come with solar panels to operate the gate. You should make sure debris never accumulates on any of the gate parts because it can hurt the gate's functionality.
Electric gate openers are open to the elements more so than a garage door opener. They're made to withstand the rigors of the weather, but you still want to clear any snow or other moisture off of them - there's no sense in risking the moisture penetrating to the interior. If you want to clean the panels themselves, use a soft, non-abrasive cloth to wipe away moisture and debris.
Check the Rollers and Tracks
Sliding gates function similar to sliding glass doors. The gate is mounted onto rollers that slide along inside the tracks. Dirt and debris can accumulate in the tracks and along the rollers, especially since you drive over the track every day.
You'll want to inspect the rollers and tracks periodically to prevent any issues. Use a soft broom to sweep out any leaves or debris. Likewise, keep the track clear of snow and ice. That said, never use an ice pick on the track to remove ice because that can damage the structure.
Oil and Maintain any Moving Parts
Swing gates attach to the gate posts in a manner similar to doors. As with doors, you want to maintain the hinges. Inspect them periodically to ensure they're in good working order. Once a year, or any time you hear squeaking, oil the hinge parts. Consult with your local fence experts about the best lubricant for your particular gate.
Some swing gates also come with latches, especially if you have a double gate. You'll want to give the latch a periodic once-over, too. Make sure there are no broken areas. The latch may need periodic lubrication, too, to keep it from sticking.
Keep your driveway in good maintenance by attending to the gate, apron, and opener. If you're in need of a gate or opener, or any fencing advice, contact Quality Fence Company.