A squeaky garage door is rarely more than a nuisance, but it's still a sign that your garage door could use some maintenance. The only problem is, with so many moving parts, it may not be easy to tell where the squeaking is coming from. Your garage door should get regular maintenance, so instead of starting out by looking just for the source of the noise, you should take this time to check up on all your door's parts and systems.
Use The Right Materials
If you assume that squeaking probably means that your door's moving parts need to be lubricated, you would be correct -- but you shouldn't use just any lubricant. Instead of using an oil or grease-based lubricant for the moving parts on your door, use a lithium or silicone-based spray. Oil and grease sprays tend to drip and run, which can cause damage in the long run, and they aren't very effective.
Lubricate All Moving Parts
Garage doors operate pretty simply, but there are plenty of moving parts to lubricate. Start by lubricating all the hinges on your door while the door is closed, then make sure you reach all the door's pivot points, and finally, the arm bar attached to the door. Use the thin straw attachment that comes with the lubricant can to avoid making a mess.
If you have metal rollers, you'll need to do these next, but if you don't need to lubricate your rollers if they are plastic or seal-bearing rollers. This is because plastic rollers have no ball bearings to lubricate. When lubricating metal rollers, make sure you're only lubricating the ball bearing area and not the actual track the rollers move on.
Next, move on to the pulleys. There are usually two for each door, and are located on both sides over the top of the door. In some cases they are attached to a torsion spring. Again, use the spray straw to get inside the ball bearing of the door, then open and close the garage door a few times to work in the lubricant. The exception is if you have pulleys with seals, in which case no maintenance is required.
When you lubricate the rail, you only need to lubricate the top. The trolley only touches the top of the rail, so lubricating anything else won't have any effect.
The only springs that need to be lubricated are torsion springs. In this case, you can remove the straw and apply lubricant liberally to the torsion springs, then open and close the door a few times to make sure the lubricant is worked into the spring.
What Not To Lubricate
It's a safe assumption that if a part doesn't move, it doesn't need to be lubricated. Some homeowners will add a little extra lubrication to different parts, thinking that it will help reduce the noise even further, but the results of doing this can range from absolutely nothing to actually causing damage and wear.
- The chain: The garage door opening chain itself should not need any cleaning or lubrication for as long as the motor still works, because it already comes with a protective seal on it. Lubricating won't necessarily hurt it, but it won't really accomplish anything.
- Extension springs: Extension springs also have a protective seal on them, and because the coils don't grind against each other, they probably aren't making a lot of noise. If they are, they may be getting worn out and will need to be replaced.
- The track: The track that holds your rollers shouldn't move too much, and as such, shouldn't make much noise. The only thing you need to do to your track is clean it, and this can be done with a wet cloth. Using lubricant can actually cause dust and dirt to build up more easily, which can then put strain on your rollers and the rest of your system.
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