Frequently Asked Questions
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Installing an automatic driveway gate is NOT a job we would recommend for anyone who is not either an expert, or being supervised by an experienced gate contractor. The installation process is far more complicated than most people would expect- and involves some very in-depth understanding of the complicated opening systems that can be the difference between a working, safe gate and a non working gate, or worse, a hazard to the well-being of you and your loved ones.
Automatic driveway gates come in one of 3 different configurations. These are : Sliding, Swing, and Dual Openers. Which one you need depends on the terrain around the area where the gate willl be installed. This is something you and your contractor should discuess at lthe time of your consultation.
Different Opening Styles:
Many choose the sliding gate openers for their driveways because cars will be parked right inside the gates on the driveway. A swinging gate would not be suitable for a driveway gate because cars would have to be parked far enough out of the way to keep from getting hit by the swinging gate. The main issue sliding gates face is that they tend to have a higher instance of problems because they have many moving parts.
- Dual Opening:
The dual swing gates open like a set of french doors. Since the length of the open gate is cut in half, it is often times easier to have this type of gate for residential driveways.
This is a matter of personal preference and depends on the amount of traffic ,the amount of security you are seeking from your automatic driveway gate. For the most part other than manual operation, you have 3 options for entry systems:
- Gate Intercom: Telephone entry systems are likely the most common type of security system installed for driveway gates. With a telephone entry system, each user is assigned a code which they input on a number pad which is permanently installed near the gate entrance. A telephone entry system is an electronic communications system intended for limited or private dialogue, direction, collaboration or announcements. These systems can incorporate connections to telephones, cell phones and computers with running a web browser.
- Card/Key Fob: Usually paired with a telephone entry system, these systems require either a pre-programmed remote or a card to be swiped in order to enter the premises.
- Vehicle In-ground Loop Sensor: This is the option with the least security, but the most convenience. This opening system is actually placed under groudn and uses a magnetic sensor to detect a car driving over it. Once a car is detected, the gate will open automatically
The best way to avoid frequent maintencance needs, is to make the investment in a high quality starting product. For example, although there are many telephone entry systems available on the market, it is wise to not simply choose the cheapest option. Why? Because often times it is lower quality materials which lead to problems with driveway gates. If you purchase mid-to high range equipment, then your maintenance will look a little somethng like this:
- Wash and Wax your gate once a year to prevent paint from wearing off, and keep your gates looking fresh and new.
- Deal with Pests: Snails and slugs can destroy a circuit board in short order. The slime trails they leave behind become highly conductive with even the most minuscule amount of moisture .Spider webs with even the slightest bit of moisture on them can also conduct electricity and damage the gate’s circuit board.
- Lubricate all moving parts quarterly: NEVER use WD-40 to lubricate the chains inside of your gate mechanism (gear) Instead, use white lithium grease.
This is another question that depends on both the intended use of the space, and your own personal budget and style requirements.
Your main choices would have be between wood, steel, vinyl or wrought iron.
Through new, recent litigation, simply having a "reverse" function (which causes the gate to reverse direction when it comes into contact with an immovable object, after applying a small amount of pressure) is not enough. The industry standard is to have at least two safety features installed with every automatic gate. We talked about the 1st safety feature- which is that reverse function. Now, in order to comply with state or regional laws,- automatic driveway gates must have an additional feature- most often times a "photo beam" which is basically an infrared beam low to the ground, and if that beam is interrupted, the gate should stop and reverse.
There are a few other safety options available- but the reverse function and photobeams are the norm.
Well- If you get your driveway gate installed by us, you're in luck. Repair service: Our experienced technicians will repair your slide, swing or overhead gate, garage door or telephone entry system. Call today 650-560-4646. Our Service Charge for repairs, during regular business hours is $75.00. After Hours Service Charge is $125.00 and Late Night Service Charge (after 9pm) is $195.00.
During regular business hours only, Service Charge would be applied towards the cost of repair. Contact us for a free over the phone estimate.
If you didnt have your gates installed by us, then you should contact the installation company. Never try to manually push open a stuck, or malfunctioning gate.
In all likely hood- you will face problems with the opener long before the doors are damaged. Typical lifespan of automatic driveway gate openers is about 10years- with 1-2 small repairs needed in the interem.
Generally speaking, if the process runs smoothly, it takes between 3-5 hrs to install a driveway gate. This, of course, does not include off site fabrication time, or transportation. The larger the project, the longer it takes- however- most automatic driveway installations take an afternoon from start to finnish.