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When it comes to classic driveway and garden gates, many people think of wrought iron.
There’s no denying that beautifully-crafted wrought iron gates have real aesthetic appeal - particularly when matched with a period property.
However, although it looks the part, wrought iron is not necessarily the most practical material for automated gates.
If you’re considering whether iron is best for gates at your property, what should you take into account?
And how does it compare to materials like aluminium?
Wrought iron gates often look great, and the skilled craftsmen who make them create truly beautiful, bespoke designs. It is one of the most expensive options though.
While it is a strong and robust metal, iron is vulnerable to rust because it oxidises in the presence of water and oxygen. That chemical reaction is accelerated when salt is added.
A protective barrier, in the form of paint, powder coating or even galvanising, can delay that process from happening.
However, even an exhaustive maintenance schedule might not be enough to stop corrosion.
Brown and flaky rust affects the appearance of your gates.
Not only that, it can mean joints or hinges don't work as they should and over time the structural integrity of your gates could be at risk.
Iron is also heavy, and for automation to work efficiently a powerful motor is required.
So, while wrought iron is undoubtedly an attractive material when new, there are drawbacks in terms of its resilience against weathering and also in terms of cost.
Aluminium is increasingly the material of choice for automated gates for a variety of reasons.
Modern methods of production mean that it can be made into a wide range of designs, even mimicking the classic appeal of wrought iron if that's what you prefer.
It’s light, but incredibly strong too, so you'll require a less powerful motor to operate them. Aluminium gates are also weather-resistant; they won’t rust or corrode in the same way as iron, and the gates require less maintenance.
Indeed, they will last for years with only minimal maintenance and an occasional wipe down to remove dirt.
There might be a slight difference in the initial cost of new gates, but that is paid back over their lifetime.
Adding aluminium gates to your home gives your home a degree of prestige and style. They make a great first impression for visitors, and there’s a solution to suit any property.
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