Everything You Need to Know About Summer Storms & Automatic Gates

An automatic gate system needs to be able to open and close at all times, even during a power outage. Nobody wants to be left stranded on one side of their gate, unable to bring their car safely into the driveway or unable to leave with their vehicle. Fortunately, automatic gate systems can be opened manually when a power outage occurs.

How to Manually Open Your Automatic Gate

All gate operators, regardless of the model, permit manual access when the power goes out. This is a requirement under the International Fire Code. Specifically, driveway gates either automatically open and remain ajar until the power returns or automatically unlock, allowing the user to open the gate manually. However, if the gate has battery backup, it only opens or unlocks in the event that the battery runs out.

Refer to your user’s manual or to find out how your gate operator provides access during an outage.

How to Manually Open Gates Equipped With a LiftMaster Gate Operator

Creative Door Services™ installs custom gate systems and we carry top-of-the-line LiftMaster gate operators: the models CSL24U and CSW24U.

These operators both include battery backup, so you never have to worry about your automatic gate becoming nonoperational. The battery backup for the CSL24U provides 208 cycles or up to 24 days of standby power, and the battery backup for the CSW24U provides 146 cycles or 24 days of standby power.

If the battery has been depleted, these operators have a manual disconnect feature. The user simply needs to locate the reset switch, found within the access door at the front of the operator, and press down the side of the switch that reads RESET/DISCONNECT. This allows the user to manually open and close the gate. To return to automatic mode, the user just has to flick the switch back to NORMAL OPERATION. Note that users have the option of locking the access door to ensure that they alone can use the manual disconnect feature.

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Protecting Your Gate and Operator from Weather Damage

When summer storms aren’t taking out your power, they’re busy pounding your property with wind, rain, and hail — and even delivering the occasional lightning strike.

Fortunately, driveway gates are generally made of robust metal and are very sturdy. Just make sure that your gate has been well installed and can stand up to the fiercest wind and hail storms. If you aren’t sure about your gate’s strength, have a professional perform an inspection. In addition, be sure to attend to the upkeep of your gate and gate operator according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will involve regular maintenance as well as periodic servicing by a professional.

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In addition, if you have a steel or iron gate, be sure that it has a powder-coated finish. Without a protective coating, these materials are susceptible to rust after exposure to rain and snow. A powder coating is a better option than paint, which can peel and fade. If you notice any knicks in your iron or steel gate that have chipped away the powder-coat finish, be sure to touch it up right away. Otherwise, the area will develop rust. Aluminum is naturally rust-resistant so aluminum gates don’t require any sort of finish.

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Gate operators are also designed to stand up to the elements. Their sensitive components are contained beneath the unit’s housing, which is impervious to moisture, including rain and snow. However, it’s possible for lightning strikes to cause damage to gate operators. While the lightening rarely hits the operator directly, it can strike surrounding wires and metal and generate power surges that travel to the operator. There are a couple ways you can protect against this: you can install a grounding rod to isolate and divert the power surge or you can have a surge protector installed.

If you have the LiftMaster CSL24U or CSW24U gate operator, you don’t have to worry about lightening damage, as both units provide industrial surge and lightening protection.

Custom Automatic Driveway Gates in Western Canada

Creative Door Services™ offers custom gate solutions to homeowners throughout Western Canada. We source quality gates and provide dependable installation and maintenance services. To request a quote for a gate system, contact us at one of our locations in Vancouver, British Columbia; Kelowna, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Calgary, Alberta; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Regina, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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