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Wrought iron is often the chosen material for gate construction as iron has a high tensile strength, making it very strong. And while the material is fairly cheap, how much work that needs to be done to make the gate will depend on how much the price rises. So, how easy is it maintain a wrought iron gate, and how can you do it?
It is important to clean wrought iron gates, not only to keep them looking their best but removing dust and dirt can help to maintain paintwork. Cleaning a wrought iron gate is an easy process. All you need is soapy water, a sponge, a bucket and some elbow grease. Simply scrub down the gate with the soapy water and rinse away until clean. However, maintaining a wrought iron gate requires a little more effort.
Once you have washed down your iron wrought gate, it’s maintenance proceeds as follows. First, it’s important to remove rust. Using hot water and a wire brush, scrub away at the rusted area. Spray with hot water while scrubbing so the rust can come loose, and simply wipe down the area. After thorough cleaning, and possibly using a drill with wire brush attachment to ensure all rust is removed, wash it down and finally clean with white spirit to remove any grease that might prevent good adhesion. Once surface rust has been removed, wire wool and emery cloth can be used to make the surface as smooth and rust free as possible. Continue this method until your wrought iron gate is free from rust.
To prevent rust from coming back on your wrought iron gate, the next thing to do is prime. Find a good metal primer and apply the first coat to your clean, rust-free gate. The primer acts as a protector and as a good foundation for paint.
Choose a paint that is suitable for metal surfaces, and once the primer has been allowed to cure for at least 24 hours, you can begin to apply the paint. It’s important to make sure the primer is completely dry before applying the first paint layer.
One of the advantages of wrought iron gates is its great durability. This increases their life expectancy in comparison to other materials used to make gates.
However, there are disadvantages to choosing this type of gate. Iron doesn’t cope well with long term exposure to air and water and will rust. Over time rust will also cause paint to flake, show brown rust patches, affect moving parts such as hinges. Eventually, it will weaken a gate if left untreated for long enough, and the gate will rust beyond economical repair.
Galvanising produces a coating over the whole gate and will be very effective in preventing rust for a long time correctly done. However, when it needs to be refinished, the gates will probably have to be removed from site, sandblasted re-galvanised and repainted. This is an expensive process.
Rust formation can also be limited by painting a gate with a specialised paint that covers the metals surface. However, paint needs to be maintained as even the smallest of cracks or chips can allow water and oxygen to come into contact with the material, starting the rusting again.
If rust starts to form, gates need to be treated to prevent the rust from spreading further. A common solution is to sandblast the gates to remove the layer of rust and then to paint the surface to ensure it is protected from the air. If the gate is in a poor state, it may have to be removed from the site to be treated and welded if required, which can be expensive.
There are other issues with iron gates. Iron is much heavier than aluminium, so much more powerful motors are required to move the gate. This means they are less energy efficient, and potentially less safe.
Also, because of the material’s weight, labour costs can be much higher than for other gate delivery and installations.
At Linkcare, all aluminium gates come with a high-quality finish available in a wide variety of colours. The finish allows us to provide a ten-year guarantee for your aluminium gate.
Read here to find out why electric gates are great for country houses! And contact us via our website or call 01895 232 626 for experienced gate installers and maintenance across the UK.