We tend to ignore the noises our tools, equipment and even vehicles make. For instance, that squeak from under the hood of your car. If it keeps up and never seems to get worse, chances are good that you’ll eventually learn to ignore it. The same thing applies to your garage door. Chances are very good that you barely register the rattles, creaks, and other noises made when it opens and closes. However, just as with our cars, tune‑ups help ensure that those noises really are harmless.
Does your garage door make so much noise going up and down that your neighbors know exactly when you’re coming and going? If that’s the case, there is good news. We have some important tips that will help you get a handle on that garage door noise.
Your car’s engine needs oil for lubrication. Otherwise, metal parts will rub on one another and wear out more quickly. The same thing applies to your garage door. There are numerous metal parts needed to keep it working correctly, and they all need to be lubricated regularly. Not only will this help cut down on the amount of noise your door makes when opening or closing, but it will also help prolong the life of the door’s hardware.
What should you use when you lubricate those parts? Actually, it is probably something you already have on hand, particularly if you keep an eye on your car’s engine. Standard engine oil can be used for just about any of the metal components on your garage door. However, you need to avoid products like WD‑40. This particular formulation actually works as a degreaser. Automotive grease is often applied to the curve and horizontal portions of the garage door track, and WD‑40 can completely remove that layer of protection.
What should you lubricate? Actually, pretty much any metal component can benefit from a quick coat of engine oil. For instance, you’ll want to lubricate your hinges, as well as the rollers and lift springs. However, remember that a little oil goes a long way. You want to lightly coat these items, not cover them completely. Your rollers should roll, not slide. It’s always better to lubricate twice per year rather than go too heavy with your initial application.
If your door’s weatherstripping is made from PVC, you need to lubricate it, as well. However, don’t use the engine oil for this. Instead, you’ll want a silicone‑based lubricant. Spray this and the weatherstripping will stay supple and healthy for years to come. You can actually use this lubricant in other areas of the home, such as your sliding glass doors or sliding screen door.
Not sure where to get a silicone spray, or the right oil for your garage door? The right garage door installer can offer two types of lubricant.
Check the Screws and Bolts
Often, garage door noise is more related to loose hardware than any other cause. This is because as your door opens and closes, it vibrates. Those vibrations work screws, nuts, and bolts loose. As they loosen, it allows the metal components to move around, creating a great deal of noise. Go over the nuts, bolts, and screws and make sure that everything is good and tight. You also need to make sure that the bolts holding the track in place are tight – if the tracks move while the door opens or closes, they’re loose.
Check the Rollers
Your garage door opens and closes by riding a metal track. Rollers attached to the sides of the door allow it to roll up and down. These rollers can actually be a source of a lot of noise. Checking them can help you home in on the problem.
First, check that the steel rods that hold the rollers in place are secure. If not, tighten them down. You also need to watch each of the rollers while the door is in operation. Are they actually rolling, or are they sliding? Sliding is an indication that they are either seized, or they are over lubricated.
It may also be necessary to replace your metal rollers with nylon rollers. You’ll find both black, bearing‑less rollers on the market, and steel rollers covered in white nylon with 11‑ball bearings. The black rollers are the best option for single garage doors that measure about 9 x 7 feet. For double garage doors that measure around 16 feet, go with the white rollers.
Check the Electric Garage Door Opener
Another area where noise can be a problem is your electric garage door opener. If the components are poorly adjusted, the system can make a lot of noise, and determining what’s wrong will require careful attention.
If your garage door opener is seven years old or newer, then you should not need to perform any maintenance. It will not need lubrication of any kind. However, it is possible that the belt or chain drive needs to be tightened. There should be no slack in the belt or chain when it is not in use. You might also want to consider using rubber noise isolators to reduce noise transmission from the opener if there is a room over the garage.
If the garage door opener is over seven years old, or if you’re not sure how old it might actually be, you may want to consider changing it. If you’re unsure of how old it is, check under the plastic housing over the light. Not only will an upgrade be quieter, but you’ll also have access to advanced technology that has been implemented in the last few years, such as improved security, and operability via your smartphone.
Other signs that it is time to replace your garage door opener include a three‑section track held together by loose nuts and bolts, as well as the use of a chain or chain‑cable combination to open the garage door.
When it comes time to find a replacement, look for a ½ HP model. You should also make sure that it uses a reinforced belt drive, and comes with a one‑piece track, not a three‑piece track.
Don’t Have Time to Tune It Up?
Stuck for time with your garage door maintenance? We can help, contact us today. We can offer a full 28‑point tune‑up program to help ensure that your garage door system is in great condition, and runs as silently as possible. You can get in touch by phone, we can offer an free email quote, or you can come by the showroom.