Pedestrian gates are incredibly useful additions to any property, as they provide a means of controlling access to the property, and therefore protecting the people and possessions that reside on the land. Whether they are located on a residence, business or public facility, these gates are an instrument to regulate foot traffic, limit access to certain areas, prevent unauthorised personnel from moving through the space, and hinder unfortunate break-ins from thieves and criminals. They add value to a property, and they can be both useful and visually appealing when fabricated and installed correctly. If you’d like to find out more about these gates, and how to care for them, then read this article.
Different Types of Pedestrian Gates
Manual Pedestrian Gates
Manual gates are security gates that allow pedestrians to enter and exit a property without having to use a larger driveway gate. These gates are generally hinged with adjustable rod eye bearings and industrial padlocks that allow a pedestrian to swing and open the gate from both sides, with 90-degree movements. However, control requirements and specifications can be adjusted according to the client’s request.
Manual gates can be installed with customised security systems upon request. Customers have the option of choosing between entry systems that require keys or electronic locks, and they can also pick between a large range of shapes, finishes, colours and styles. Manual gates are easy to maintain because they have fewer moving parts than semi-automatic and automatic gates. Another clear advantage of manual gates is that they can still function in the event of a power failure, which is a constant concern in South Africa.
Good places for manual pedestrian gates
- Residential homes
- Private gardens / parks
- Bed and breakfasts
- Semi-Automatic Pedestrian Gates
Semi-automatic gates are similar to manual gates in that they are generally hinged with adjustable rod eye bearings with lubrication points. However, semi-automatic gates are usually fitted with electric locks and automatic closing devices. An automatic door closer is a mechanical device that prevents a door from slamming after someone opens the gate.
Semi-automatic pedestrian gates can also be installed with other access control systems such as intercoms, keypads, push buttons or card entry systems. Other features of standard semi-automatic gates are electromagnetic gate locks, hydraulic gate closers and control panels. Semi-automatic gates are very convenient and efficient, however, they are more costly than conventional, manual gates.
Good places for semi-automatic pedestrian gates
- Public facilities
- Museums and galleries
- Small retailers
- Private practice doctors
Fully Automatic Pedestrian Gates
These kinds of gates offer maximum security for those who are more concerned with safety and access control, such as business owners who are managing commercial or industrial premises. Most fully automatic gates are powered with an electro-hydraulic drive ram, and they are – like manual and semi-automatic gates – hinged with adjustable rod eye bearings and lubrication points. They also contain magnetic locking mechanisms and manual override control features.
Automatic gates are beneficial because they are highly accessible, particularly for the disabled. People with reduced mobility generally struggle with manual gates because they require hand operation, while fully automatic gates do not require hand operation and are easier to navigate even without assistance. Automatic gates are also accommodating for high volumes of foot traffic, making them especially suitable for commercial and industrial premises – in this sense, they are useful in reducing congestion. Finally, they are also praised for their stylish and sleek operation, which attracts customers who want to demonstrate a modern and sleek design in their properties.
Good places for automatic pedestrian gates:
- Fast food restaurants
- Court Buildings
- State-Owned Enterprises
Different Materials and Maintenance Methods for Pedestrian Gates:
Pedestrian gates can be fabricated in many different materials according to the client’s preferences and specifications. Some options for fabrication include wood, steel, wrought iron and aluminium. Below you can find some examples of maintenance for each material.
How to Maintain Aluminium Gates
Fortunately, aluminium gates are less prone to damage than iron and wooden gates. However, they do still get scratched and should be regularly checked for scratches as they can accelerate wear and tear. However, these scratches can be easily fixed with aluminium paint, which should be applied after the gate or affected area has been sanded down. Alternatively, many also choose to apply powder coating to prevent scratches, although, this may require professional help and or PPE.
To clean aluminium gates, you can use a garden hose to remove debris and dirt. Be careful not to use a pressure washer, as it will be too harsh, and ensure that your gate cleaner is non-alkaline and that your brush is non-abrasive, as these can actually worsen any damage to your gate. After soaping the gate and removing the residue, you can wipe it dry with a microfibre cloth.
How to Maintain Wrought Iron Gates
Wrought iron gates can last for more than a decade if they are cared for properly. If not, rust can accumulate and ruin the character of your product, forcing you to spend more money replacing it and repairing it. To keep it in peak condition, you can clean your fence regularly and repaint it when necessary.
When cleaning your fence, you can use a cloth soaked in warm water and soap to wipe down the wrought iron, gently scrubbing the dirt off. Make sure that any remaining soap is rinsed off, as residual soap can discolour the gate and warp the paint. For tougher dirt, you can take a stiff wire brush or even fine sandpaper to remove rust and peeling paint. Thereafter you can dry your gate with a towel or wait for it to sun dry properly before attempting to repaint the wrought iron.
If your gate is in need of a repaint, you should prime it first by using a suitable primer that’s specifically made for the particular kind of metal it’s being applied to. After priming the surface, you can allow it to dry and then apply two coats of paint. To prevent any further rust from accumulating, you must avoid scratching the gate. Scratches can be avoided by introducing an electronic lock and opening system, as this prevents the need for keys.
How to Maintain Steel Gates
Steel gates require similar care and maintenance to wrought iron gates. It is necessary to look out for rust on steel gates, as an accumulation of rust can render the gate problematic to use or unappealing to look at. With steel gates, it is necessary to wash the gate with mild detergents and warm water. Scrubber brushes are useful to remove debris buildups, and thereafter the gate should be rinsed and dried.
If it is necessary to repaint the steel pedestrian gates, then they should be primed first using a suitable product that contains rust inhibitors. For high protection, two coats of primer will be useful. Another great tip is to choose a good lubricant for the gate locks and latches. This lubrication will help prevent any rust from building up, therefore ensuring that you can open and close, lock and unlock your gate seamlessly.
How To Maintain Wooden Gates
Wooden gates require the most maintenance compared to other kinds of gates, as the wood is susceptible to weathering, particularly rain and high temperatures. Depending on the heat, wood can contract and expand, which can often cause paint to peel or chip, and the shape of the gate to warp. Wooden gates are known to crack or even rot if they are not treated properly. However, if the maintenance is kept up with, then slight weathering will not be too bad, and can even create a more rustic look that many prefer for their shabby chic preferences.
With wooden pedestrian gates, it will be necessary to reapply coats of wood oil to the surface every 2 to 3 months so that the timber does not damage too much. Most people used to opt for gloss paints, but today it is more common to use microporous or moisture vapour permeable paints and stains that allow the wood to breathe while stopping the wood from avoiding moisture. Paints with UV filters are also useful to prevent sun damage.
Zinc Coating: Zinc coating is also referred to as electro-galvanising, and it applies to a procedure where zinc is applied through a current of electricity. Zinc coating is widely used as a finish for pedestrian gates and other kinds of gates because it offers great rust protection. It is cost-effective protection that will maintain the shelf life of your gates.
Zinc Plating: Zinc plating is a process whereby a product or gate is submerged into a cold chemical solution of zinc. Similarly to zinc coating, an electric current is also used to apply the zinc layer. Generally, this plating is applied in a thickness of 5 micrometres.
Galvanised: Galvanised usually refers to hot-dip galvanisation, where products have emerged in a bath of molten zinc. For example, when putting steel through a hot dip galvanisation process, it will be dipped into a bath of molten liquid zinc that measures about 450°C. When a gate has been hot-dip galvanised, it will appear dull in colour and slightly rough in texture, whereas a zinc-plated product will be smooth with a shiny appearance.
Painted: When it comes to wooden gates, many people opt to paint or stain the surface as there are more stylistic options and colours to choose from as opposed to zinc plating, zinc coating or galvanising, which only offers a specific look. However, paint and stain jobs do require more upkeep than other kinds of finishes, as paint does tend to chip and peel. If the paint is your preference, you will need to repaint it semi-regularly.
- Hydraulic Closer
- Push Pad
- Bar Release
- Razor Wire
- Rotor Spikes
- Barbed Wire
- Control Panels
- Electro-Magnetic Gate Locks
Order Your Unique Pedestrian Gates From Glow Innovations Today
Glow Innovations manufactures a wide variety of products. With more than 20 years of experience manufacturing everything from ornate wooden pedestrian gates to steel driveway gates and wrought iron stairway bannisters, Glow Innovation has the human resources and the resources to create high-quality products that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Clients are encouraged to collaborate with qualified staff to conceptualise and commission unique, custom designs well-suited to their homes and specifications.
Glow Innovation’s services include design consultation, manufacturing/ fabrication, automation and installation, making it easy for clients to obtain the best possible products with the least hassle and administration. Glow Innovations’ products include fencing, electric fencing, balustrading, security gates, driveway gates, pedestrian gates, custom steel work and engineering, burglar bars and automation and electronics. What’s more, Glow Innovations offers free quotes so that all customers and potential customers can gain insight into the pricing beforehand. With highly competitive rates and an experienced team, clients can rest assured that their homes will be stylish and safe.