Troubleshooting Driveway Gate Problems: Worn Tracks

Sliding gates are elegant and practical but require a little more upkeep than swinging gates. This is because they run on tracks that need to be cleaned and maintained. Unfortunately, the tracks are subject to wear and tear. Here’s what you should know about gate tracks and what you can do to extend the lifespan of this essential component in your residential gate system.


What Causes Gate Tracks To Become Worn Down?

There are several issues that can cause gate tracks to wear out prematurely. Here are the main problems to watch for:

  • Debris
    If your gate’s tracks are frequently strewn with sand, stones, sticks, and other debris, it can scratch, dent, and shorten the lifespan of your tracks. Each time you open and close the gate while there’s debris on the track, you risk the rubble getting ground into the tracks and damaging them.

  • Rust
    If you have steel or iron gate tracks, rust is a potential issue. If the protective zinc coating on the tracks gets scratched or chipped, rust may develop and potentially spread. Corroded tracks can severely affect operation and typically need to be replaced.

  • Derailment
    If your gate falls off the track, it can damage various components of your gate system, including the track itself. Signs that your gate may be on the verge of derailing include side-to-side swaying during operation, jerky movements during operation, and structural issues with the gate such as its being visibly unbalanced or crooked.

    To learn more about what causes a gate to derail, read our blog post “How to Get Your Automatic Gate Back on Track.”


  • Worn wheels
    If the wheels on your gate system become worn, they can jam and drag along the track, scratching it and causing other damage.

  • Unbalanced gate
    If the gate is unbalanced, it can scrape the track. An unbalanced gate can be caused by various factors but is most commonly due to a foundation problem. Gate tracks need to be on perfectly level ground. However, soil movement beneath the gate can sometimes cause the foundation to shift. If your gate appears to be unbalanced, you should have it inspected by a gate technician who can make the necessary adjustments.

  • Age
    If your gate is at the end of its lifespan, the tracks are likely to be worn. The typical driveway gate weighs about 250 pounds and your tracks have to bear its weight day in and out. Additionally, the tracks are continually exposed to rain, ice, snow, and other environmental factors. As rugged as your gate system is, there will come a time when the tracks and various other components need to be replaced.

How Can You Extend To The Lifespan Of Your Gate Tracks?

There are steps you can take to prevent premature wear on your gate’s tracks. It’s recommended that you:

  • Keep the tracks clean
    You should regularly sweep your tracks to get rid of dirt and debris and prevent track damage. In the winter, you should stay on top of clearing the tracks of ice and snow. A buildup of ice on the tracks can misalign the gate or cause it to derail, potentially damaging the track and other components.

  • Touch up scratches
    Nicks and scratches in your tracks can lead to corrosion. Prevent this by inspecting them regularly, and if you notice any scratches, chips, or rust spots, touch them up right away. This involves sanding the area and repainting it with a primer containing rust inhibitors.

    For more information about how to tackle rust and other structural issues, refer to our blog post “Preventing and Repairing Structural Issues in Your Residential Gate.”


  • Maintain your gate
    To keep your track in top shape, you need to attend to the gate’s upkeep. Lubricating the hinges, gears, chains, wheels, and tracks are essential tasks you can complete yourself. However, checking the pressure in the hydraulic system is best left to a professional gate technician. It’s best to get your gate professionally serviced on a yearly basis.

    For a full guide to maintaining your gate, read our blog post, “The Ultimate Automatic Gate Maintenance Timeline.”


Professional Gate Installation and Repair In Western Canada

If your driveway gate has worn tracks or is in need of repair or maintenance, turn to the experienced team at Creative Door Services™. For more information about our comprehensive residential gate services, or to get a free quote, contact us at one of our eight locations. You can find us in Vancouver, British Columbia; Kelowna, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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