Problem Solved: Fixing a Squeaky Garage Door
*Make sure to unplug your garage door opener before doing any maintenance so that you aere not accidentally injured by someone unwittingly opening or closing the garage door.*
1. Inspect the opening mechanisms:
As we are sure you have noticed, a garage door is made up of multiple mechanical parts, most of which have the potential to be the cause of your squeaky garage door. Use an air can and look at each part of the garage door to see if you can identify the cause of the squeaking. Use a ladder to get a better view of all of the opening mechanism components. Open and close you garage door a few times and watch carefully to try and identify the root cause of your squeaking problem. Here’s what to look for:
- Wobbling wheels
- Excessive dust or debris in the wheel track
- Loose nuts and bolts
- Bent or damaged track
- Condition of the springs
- Excessive rust or corrosion
- Damaged or loose hinges
It is important to keep in mind that some of these issues may require replacement of that specific part that is causing the door to squeak. Things such as damaged rail tracks, broken wheels, or damaged springs are examples of situations in which it is highly advisable to call in a local garage door specialist.
> Springs- There are two types of springs which are used in garage door openers, and it is very important to know the difference. Extension springs are always located above the upper tracks on both sides of the door, while torsion springs are located just above the closed door. Torsion springs must be treated with extreme care, as they are under very high tension. If you notice that either type of spring is damaged or overly corroded, you should call a garage door specialist as soon as possible. If either type of springs are damaged, you should replace both springs instead of just one- this keeps the garage door in balance and will help opening and closing run smoothly.
2. Tighten Nuts
Check your owner’s manual to find out the size of the nuts, and using a socket wrench, carefully go over all of the nuts on the garage door to make sure they are nice and tight. Often times, it is loose nuts which cause the squeaking, so take the time to make sure all of the components are tightly in place. Make sure when tightening nuts on the hinges of the garage door that you leave just a little bit of room. Garage door hinges need a little play, so don’t over tighten them. If the holed where the garage door attach to the hinge are damaged, you should replace them.
3. Thorough Cleaning
Good garage door maintenance means cleaning and lubricating all of the metal and moving parts of your garage door about every 6 months or so. We suggest using a spray solvent (which you an pick up at a local big box retailer). Make sure all of the moving parts are free from excess debris, dust, and rust.
4. Replacing Rollers
This step should be done by professionals, but you can still inspect the rollers and purchase new ones for the professional to install. There are two types of rollers- nylon and regular. Although nylon is the more expensive, it lasts longer and since they aren’t metal, they inevitably reduce noise.
You should be lubricating your garage door system roughly every 6 months. This will keep your system running smoothly and will help it last as long as possible. Use metal lubricant on the moving parts of the garage door. Don’t forget to lubricate the hinges, the track, roller bearings, springs, hinges and opening mechanism. We suggest using only lubricants that are specifically designed for out door application. Silicone lubricant and white grease are good options, but you can purchase a specifically designed garage lubricant which will work fine as well. Make sure you clean off any excess lubricant as lubricant attracts dirt and grime. If you have a chain driven opener, lubricate that very well using grease. If your unit is belt driven, do NOT apply lubricant to it.
6. Check Your Work
Remember that it may take a few times opening and closing the doors completely to make sure that the lubrication gets within the mechanical parts and coats them. Open and close your garage door multiple times and watch and listen. If you have completed all of the steps, and the squeaking continues, call in a local garage door specialist to come and view your project
A Squeaky garage door doesn’t have to be a permanent thing- with a few easy steps you too can have a quiet, smoothly running garage door of your own.