While manual gates are adequate in many situations, automated gates provide additional security and ease of access that makes them superior and even necessary in many situations. Automated gates were, at one time, relatively rare, but today, the cost of installing and operating an automatic gate system has become affordable enough that they are a fairly common choice.
Check out these most outstanding benefits:
1. High Levels of Security
Automated gates, particularly the wrought iron variety, are extremely strong and held firmly in place so as to be a major deterrent and obstacle to would-be intruders. They also serve to keep children and pets inside the yard and to keep stray animals and solicitors out. In conjunction with electric locks, security cameras, keycard or keypad access controls, and on-duty security guards, automated gates significantly enhance and contribute to a full-fledged security system. They are commonly used at gated communities, as parking barriers, in high-risk business zones, and at homes where privacy is valued.
2. Quick, Easy Entry
Most gate motors are powerful enough to open the gate in a matter of seconds, and not needing to exit and re-enter your car after manually locking/unlocking and opening/closing the gate is a huge convenience. Larger, heavier gates will use hydraulic motors while moderately sized gates tend to use electro-mechanical equipment. The former is more powerful, while the latter is more affordable, but both are efficient and cost-effective in their own specific applications.
3. Safety Features
Laser sensors prevent most modern automated gates from closing when they encounter an obstruction like a car or a human hand. Back-up batteries ensure the gates will still be functional during a power outage, and a manual override allows you to unlock the gate should it malfunction. Speed bumps and area lighting are often added as well to increase safety, and an annual safety and maintenance inspection will ensure all devices are working properly as well as give you a chance to upgrade if safety equipment becomes outdated.
4. Several Opening Options
There are several types of automated gates as far as method of opening is concerned. Swing gates swing either in or out and are a common choice with wood paneled gates. They can be run by underground gate motors that move gate doors by turning the pivot point as far as 180 degrees. If more mechanical advantage and less danger from flooding is needed, an above-ground ram or link-armed gate may be used. Articulated gate openers, often made of aluminum, do well at opening up in tight spaces when attached to wide posts. Sliding automatic gates are ideal when there is little room for a gate to swing or when a driveway is built on a steep incline.
5. Long Durability
Unlike many traditional gates, automated gates are built to last for decades. They will typically be constructed from wrought iron, steel, solid and weatherized hardwoods, and other tough materials. They are also low-maintenance, though like any “machine,” some minimal amount of care will be necessary. You can expect your newly installed automated gate to fit perfectly, remain free of sags, and open/close smoothly for many years to come.
Iron and steel grids are frequently galvanized and powder-coated to increase the metal’s life span and give you a long-lasting finish. Powder coatings are generally more durable than simple paint, and seal-welded wrought iron is not going to break or deteriorate anytime soon. Wooden paneled gates can also be durable since the wood utilized is hardy, and a wood face with a metal “skeleton” does well in areas with corrosion-causing salty sea air.
6. Increased Property Value
On large, private estates or at upscale city homes, an automated gate may be a major selling point and a boost to your real estate’s market value. Ranches and farms are also often expected to have a good gate system, and an automated gate will be a “bonus” to interested buyers.
7. Attractiveness and Customization
Ornamental metal and beautiful wood paneling make many automated gates as much a work of art as a functional piece of equipment. Styles can be custom-designed to fit the needs of each person, and gates can integrate with or complement the surrounding buildings and landscaping.
Wood gates come in three main styles, the most traditional option being open-slatted. Open-slatted gates bring with them a “country feel,” though they are not uncommonly found in town, and they work well in areas with frequent high winds. Close-boarded wooden gates tend to look rather imposing and bring the greatest amount of privacy, but they can fail to hold up sometimes in windy areas. Metal-framed wooden gates allow softwoods to be used instead of only hardwoods, and they offer a unique stylish contrast. Whichever type is used, wood gate panels are often ornately carved and stained to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.
Iron gates are often jet black, which is a very attractive color when set up against brick, stone, or cobblestone fences/walls. White, blue, red, and every other color, however, can be found. Ironballasts will often be spiked on top and arranged in symmetrical fashion for a “prim and proper” effect. Rise-fall curves or dips in the mid-section of metal gates are another common feature. Finally, family crests, corporate logos, and ornamental images are used for identity purposes as well as for curb appeal.
In the Greater Houston area, one of the premier providers of automated gates for the last decade has been Lone Star Fence & Construction. They cater to both residential and commercial customers and offer a wide variety of styles, materials, and opening mechanisms. Lone Star is committed to providing its clients with high-quality, customized gates, and their installation crew has acquired impressive expertise across their many years of experience.