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Metal Gates Direct - Understanding Gate Wind Loads And The Design Considerations You Should Think About

Understanding Gate Wind Loads and The Design Considerations You Should Think About

Residential and commercial property owners who`s entrances are in areas susceptible to high winds must consider wind load when choosing a new gate. Here at Metal Gates Direct, we have created this useful guide that will break down this concept and help buyers understand what considerations they should make.

Understanding Wind Load

In simple terms, “wind load” is basically the pressure exerted onto the gate by the movement of the air. Understanding this loading will be a crucial factor for you if your property is in and exposed location as it determines the force exerted on the gate. Before buying a gate we recommend that you consider the potential speed and direction of the prevailing wind together with the size and shape of the gate you would like to install as this will influence its overall suitability for the location.

Consider the following:

  • Wind Speed: The higher the wind speeds the greater the load will become on the gate and its support structure.
  • Entrance Size: The wider the gates, the greater it surfaces area will be and consequently will have more resistance to the air flowing over it. This will in turn lead to a higher wind load that that of a smaller gate size.
  • Gate Design: A gate with open sections between the framework will allow the wind to pass through reducing the forces it must withstand. In comparison, a gate with a solid panel will act as a barrier to the wind and consequently will need to be capable of withstanding more forces.

Appropriate Materials

Selecting the most appropriate material for your exposed location is a must as it will play a major role in the overall longevity of the gate.

  • Metal Gates: Metal is a strong and durable material that can take the stresses imparted onto it by high winds. Furthermore, because most metal gate designs have open sections between their bars, the wind will pass straight through although the drawback to this is that privacy levels can be compromised somewhat.
  • Aluminium Gates: Lighter in weight than metal, aluminium gates have increased dramatically in popularity in recent years. Whilst some designs do have open section between the components to allow the wind to pass through, the majority don’t so if this is your preferred material of choice careful consideration should be made to find an appropriate design before making any expensive purchases.

Design Considerations

Think carefully about the gate design required when living in an area exposed to high winds. Listed below three design consideration that may offer an appropriate solution for you:

  • Open Framework: Choosing a gate design with open slats will allow the wind to pass through, reducing the pressure exerted on it.
  • Solid Panel: If privacy is your number one priority, additional bracing will help to reinforce the framework from the wind but may compromise the aesthetic appearance.
  • Opening Direction for Swing Gates: Consider having the gate closing onto the latch plate in the same direction of the prevailing wind. Even though it may be difficult to open it in a high wind, it will mean that the risk of it swinging open is greatly reduced.

Installation for Wind Resistance

  • Substantial Posts: If you installation requires freestanding posts, it would be advisable to select bigger posts than normal to ensure they can hold the gate up to the stresses of high-wind speeds.
  • Reinforcement: Consider specifying a design with heavier duty components as these will be able to resist twisting and will ultimately strengthen the overall structure.
  • Closers and Stops: Installing an appropriate slam plate or large latch will help to protect against the wind forcing the gate to be blown past its intended range of movement.

Essential Maintenance

Due to the potential for high forces to applied to the gate, we recommended that you check your gate on a regular basis and look for signs of wear to the framework and fixing points. If issues are discovered any fixing points should be tightened and any missing components should be replaced as a matter of urgency.


In conclusion, before you commit to making a purchase, we recommend that you research the local wind conditions in your area because each location is different and can produce its own unique and specific challenges. However, with careful planning, the right material selection and design choices implemented together with the correct installation methods been utilised it is quite easy to find a gate that is well suited to an exposed location.

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