Is your garage door making noise when it opens? Garage doors that aren’t maintained and lubricated regularly can become noisy and eventually stop working. One of the best ways to silence your garage door and extend its lifespan is by lubricating it every six months. This frees up the door’s range of motion and makes it easier for the opener to open and close the door. If you’re wondering how to lubricate a garage door, keep reading!
Pre-Lubrication Maintenance Checklist
Before you lubricate your garage door, it’s necessary to complete a few important maintenance tasks. Here’s a quick list of things to do before you break out the lubricant:
- Tighten every part of your door. Make sure the nuts and bolts are snug but don’t over-tighten them. You should also check for worn parts and replace them if necessary.
- Inspect the rollers. Most rollers have unsealed bearings that collect dirt and break down over time. When rollers break down, they wobble around in the track and create noise.
- Check the hinges. Worn hinges can be noisy and cause the door to bind at each section as it opens.
- Tighten the garage door opener chain. A loose chain will make slapping sounds and cause the door to jerk around.
Once you’ve completed these basic maintenance tips, you’re ready to lubricate your garage door.
How To Lubricate Garage Door: Step-By-Step Guide
Not sure how to lubricate a garage door? The most important thing is to be thorough and make sure you get all of the moving parts. Follow the step-by-step directions below to lubricate your garage door:
- Close the garage door and turn off the power to the opener (if you have one).
- Wipe the inside and outside of the tracks with a damp rag to remove dirt and debris. Never use a lubricant on the tracks, since this makes it harder for the rollers to move and forces the opener to work harder. If you’re having trouble getting the tracks clean, you can use automotive brake cleaner to loosen the grime.
- Open the door and lubricate each of the hinges where they meet the bend of the track.
- Thoroughly lubricate the rollers, including the tiny ball bearings inside each roller. Be sure to wipe away any excess lubricant to keep the door from becoming unbalanced. Most importantly, never lubricate nylon rollers.
- Lubricate the springs and bearing plates at the top of the garage door. Make sure you open and close the door to evenly distribute the grease.
- Lubricate the armbar and lock (if you have one) to make it easier to manually lock the door. Be sure to lubricate the keyhole and large armbar at the top of the door, too.
- Lubricate the top of the rail (what the chain rides in) and spread the grease around with a rag. You don’t need to grease the chain, since it already has a natural lubricant.
General Garage Door Lubrication Tips
It’s very important to lubricate all of the moving parts in your garage door every six months. This extends the lifespan of your door and also keeps it quiet. If you live in a harsh environment (e.g. near the coast), you should lubricate your door more frequently.
Make sure you’re using an all-weather product, since low temperatures can cause lubricants to become thick and viscous. This makes it harder to open and close the door. Lubricating your door’s springs in cold weather is also important because they become brittle at low temperatures. That means they’re more likely to break or snap, which can be costly and dangerous.
Choosing the Right Garage Door Lubricant for Your Door
You may be wondering how to grease a garage door, but it all starts with choosing the right product. Look for silicone sprays or white lithium grease when selecting a garage door lubricant. Aerosol sprays are your best option when it comes to injecting lubricant into small moving parts. Standard degreasers (e.g. WD-40), mechanic’s grease, and engine oil are susceptible to dirt and dust buildup, so you’ll want to avoid these products.
These products typically come with a long, thin straw attachment to keep the spray contained. These attachments are also helpful when it comes to getting lubricants into small spaces. Silicone products are long-lasting and hold up in a variety of temperatures.
White Lithium Grease
This product is applied by hand, so it’s a bit messier than aerosol sprays. However, that means it’s easier to evenly spread around. White lithium grease is made of soap and oil, so it’s non-corrosive and adheres well to metal.
Best Garage Door Lubricants
There are a wide variety of garage door lubricants on the market, so it’s important to pick a high-quality product. Here are five of the best lubricants on the market today: