As gate automation specialists, at Portcullis we pride ourselves on doing a job well. However, from time to time, even the finest of automated gates can encounter problems. The good news is that most of these problems are easily solvable.

Here’s some of the most common automated gate problems and how to fix them.

Typical Gate Issues

Not enough space for a standard gate

If your drive is on an incline, then a standard gate would bottom out and would either leave an ugly gap or scrape along the floor at points. Additionally, you may find that you have a width that doesn’t have the capacity to fit a standard gate. Fortunately, there is a solution to your gate concern.

Bi folding gates are a great alternative to standard gates thanks to their folding back sections. Also, if your gate needs to fold only to one side – Portcullis can install a customised gate that uses only two leaves to fold one way to give you extra vehicular access.

Automatic bi folding driveway gates are a very popular option among people looking for a convenient and effective solution to protecting their property.


Gates heavily affected by rain

Although they won’t sag like wooden gates, metal gates (and iron gates particularly) are notorious for rusting in the rain long-term, so it’s important to take extra measures to prevent your gates from degrading.

If you haven’t chosen a gate made of a waterproof material, fear not – as rust can be removed! Some people use a grinder, however, this often takes the paint away along with the rest. Our recommendation? A stiff wire brush is ideal to safely scrape the rust away. If you need any more tips, we have dedicated a full post to weather warnings and protecting your gates from the elements.


Metals gates at risk of corrosion

Rust is bad, but in our opinion, there’s nothing worse than seeing gates marred by orange corrosion. Over time, metal gates are exposed to the elements and this can cause them to oxidise and corrode too.

Galvanising is a commonly used method to protect metal from corrosion. Using a thin coating of zinc, galvanized metal is shielded from the surrounding environment. It is also a cheaper option than using metals such as aluminium and stainless steel.

It is worth noting that if the zinc coating is scratched deeply enough, the metal can be exposed and will still be susceptible to corrosion – so it’s worth keeping a regular eye on your gate.


Worn track

It may not initially be apparent that your gate has a worn track, so you will need to physically check the functionality. Here are the common signs that could indicate that your track is worn:

    • When opening the gate manually, is the movement fluid? If your gate gets stuck or jerks along, this could mean that your track is worn.


    • Look at the chain and the track. Can you see any signs of wear and tear, corrosion or damage?


    • Check that the gate hinges are not broken or damaged.


  • If you have a swing gate, check the arm and ensure it is not damaged.

If you do suspect that any element of your gate is broken – or that your gate has a worn track, we offer a maintenance and repair service, covering both pre-planned preventative maintenance as well as gate repairs.


Sensitive sensor

For electric gates, the sensors can sometimes be quite sensitive and when blocked (even if the obstruction is only slight) they can suddenly stop working. Here are some of the most frequent causes of sensor related issues.

    • As mentioned previously, obstructions that are within the range of the sensor can prevent the gate from operating. Obstructions may include weeds or branches that are blocking the sensor. Sliding gates also may be susceptible to pests, rocks, dirt and plants jamming the track.


    • You may find that your sensor recognises motion but the gate locks keep jamming. This is often caused by the weather moving the gate posts. Monitor your gates, do you find that this issue arises after heavy rainfall? If you do experience this issue, you may need to consider an alternative locking system or more durable gate posts.


  • Your sensor may appear to be working, but your gate is simply not functioning. Before worrying, check the batteries of the remote. You would be surprised how often this is the root of the problem and it’s one of the easiest problems to solve! If the batteries are fine, your remote itself could be broken, so it may be worth contacting the manufacturer and requesting a new one.


Electrical problems

Electrical problems are also fairly frequent. However, messing with electronics can be dangerous, so we would advise you to leave this to the professionals. If your gate isn’t functioning, but the power to the rest of your house is on – check the fuse box and see if one has tripped. If it has, flip it back on and your gate should work. If this doesn’t solve the problem, speak to a trained professional for further assistance.

Hopefully, this will have solved most of your gate woes. However, if you do need further advice or support, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be more than happy to help!