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How to Lubricate a Garage Door Properly

April 8, 2024

Did you know that you can prevent costly garage door repairs by maintaining your garage door properly?

Your garage door is a crucial component of your home's security and convenience. However, just like any mechanical device, it needs regular maintenance to continue to operate smoothly. Proper garage door lubrication is essential for maintaining your garage door's longevity and preventing costly repairs.

This comprehensive guide from Safety Garage Door Repair & Installation will give you the knowledge and techniques to keep your garage door in top condition.

We'll cover everything from selecting the right garage door lubricant to identifying the key components that need to be lubricated regularly. By following our expert advice, you can minimize the risk of premature wear and tear and avoid the inconvenience and expense of repair.

Essential Supplies to Lubricate Your Garage Door

Lubricating your garage door is one of the most critical maintenance tasks that you can perform to keep it in prime condition. We’ve put together some essential supplies that you'll need to lubricate your garage door as a professional technician would:

Essential Supplies to Lubricate Your Garage Door

How to Lubricate Garage Doors in 4 Easy Steps

Step 1. Shut the Garage Door and Turn Off the Power Supply

First, close your garage door. This will give you easy access to all the moving parts you need to lubricate. Whether you use the remote or bring it down manually, make sure the door is fully lowered so that you can work effectively.

After the door is closed, disconnect it from the power source.

Step 2. Vacuum the Dust and Wipe the Tracks with a Damp Cloth

By using a vacuum cleaner with a hose extension, you can easily suck out any pesky dirt or dust from the areas that are harder to reach.

Then, grab a damp rag and give the garage door tracks a good wipe-down, making sure that everything is cleared out. This ensures that your garage door rollers can glide smoothly along the tracks, allowing it to open and close with ease.

Step 3. Apply a Lithium-Based Grease or Lubricant Specifically Designed for Garage Doors

Step 3. Apply a Lithium-Based Grease or Lubricant Specifically Designed for Garage Doors

It's tempting to use a product that you already have, but it might not be ideal to use on your garage parts. For example, WD-40, a popular household degreaser, isn't recommended for lubricating garage doors. Instead, opt for a white lithium grease or a garage door-specific lubricant. You can easily find these products at your local hardware store or online.

Avoid using oil, as it can attract dirt and debris, causing more friction and damage to the garage door. With the right lubricant, you can keep your garage door running smoothly for years to come.

Step 4. Lube the Specific Garage Door Parts

How to Lubricate Garage Door Hinges

How to lubricate garage door hinges

Manually lift the garage doors to their highest point and spray garage door lube on each hinge, focusing on the points where the hinges meet the track. Use a thin hose attachment so the lubricant is evenly distributed. Wipe away any excess lubricant to prevent drips.

How to Lubricate Garage Door Rollers

How to lubricate garage door rollers

Using a thin hose attachment, spray lubricant inside each roller to ensure the garage door lube reaches the tiny exposed ball bearings. Rotate the rollers a few times to distribute the lubricant evenly. Wipe away any excess lubricant to prevent noise and uneven movement.

How to Lubricate the Outside of the Springs and Bearing Plates

How to lubricate the outside of the springs and bearing plates

The springs, often located at the top of the door, can easily become rusty and worn if they’re not properly lubricated. Spray down the outside of the springs with lube. After that apply lubricant to the center of the bearing plates on either side of the springs. Open and close the garage doors a few times to evenly distribute the lubricant. Check for any excess lubricant and wipe it away if necessary.

How to Lubricate the Garage Door Lock and Armbar

How to lubricate the garage door lock and armbar

Spray lubricant into the keyhole of the lock. Apply lubricant to the large armbar at the top of the door. Operate the lock and armbar to ensure smooth movement. Wipe away any excess lubricant to prevent the lock from sticking.

How to Lubricate the Top of the Rail for Optimal Maintenance

Spray down the top portion of the rail where the chain rides and spread the lubricant evenly with a rag to avoid clumping. Operate the garage door to make sure the lubricated rail is working properly.

Selecting the Appropriate Lubricant for Your Garage Door

Selecting the appropriate garage door lubricants is crucial to your door’s optimal performance and longevity. Choosing the right lubricant can prevent rust and corrosion while reducing wear and tear on the moving parts of the door. Here's what you should know when selecting the right lubricant for your garage door.

  1. Check the manufacturer's recommendations: Your garage door manufacturer may recommend a specific type of lubricant for your door. Check your owner's manual or contact the manufacturer for their recommendations.
  2. Consider the temperature: Temperature plays an important role in selecting the right lubricant. If you live in a colder climate, a silicone-based lubricant is best as it won't freeze. In contrast, if you live in a warmer climate, lithium-based grease is a better option as it won't melt.
  3. Avoid using WD-40: While many people use WD-40 as a lubricant, it's not recommended for garage doors. WD-40 is a degreaser and will remove any lubrication from the moving parts of your door, making the problem worse.
  4. Use a spray lubricant: A spray lubricant is the best option for garage doors as it can be easily applied to hard-to-reach areas. Look for a lubricant with a straw attachment that can be used to direct the lubricant where you need it.
  5. Look for a multi-purpose lubricant: A multi-purpose lubricant is a good option for garage doors as it can be used on multiple surfaces, such as metal and plastic.

Choosing the appropriate garage door lubricant helps achieve optimal performance and longevity. By checking the manufacturer's recommendations, considering the temperature, avoiding WD-40, using a spray lubricant, and looking for a multi-purpose lubricant, you can choose the right lubricant for your garage door to keep it moving smoothly.

Entrust Our Expertise for Reliable Garage Door Care

Effective garage door maintenance is the key to preventing costly repairs and ensuring the longevity of your investment. While regular garage door lubrication is crucial for smooth operation and preventing squeaking, there may be underlying issues that need the help of a professional.

However, if you feel like something is wrong with your garage door, don't hesitate to contact us for diagnostics or repairs. Our team of experienced technicians is always here to help you keep your garage door operating safely and efficiently. With 10+ years in business and over 2,000 completed projects, we’re proud of our work!

Don't risk costly repairs – call Safety Garage Door Repair & Installation for expert garage door care today!

Ammar Hanafieh

Ammar Hanafieh

Following the family's trade, Ammar has been working in the garage door repair and installation industry since 2010. He brings his expertise via the excellent service and industry insights.
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Why is my garage door squeaking?

Garage doors can squeak for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Friction between moving parts: When the garage door opens and closes, the moving parts rub against each other, which can cause friction and squeaking.
  • Rust or corrosion: Rust and corrosion can cause the metal parts to become rough and uneven, which can also cause squeaking.
  • Debris buildup: Debris such as dirt, dust, and leaves can get caught in the moving parts of the garage door, which can cause them to rub against each other and squeak.

To prevent your garage door from squeaking, make sure to lubricate the moving parts regularly and to keep the area clean and free of debris.

Why is WD-40 not suitable for a garage door?

WD-40 isn’t a true lubricant. It’s a water displacement formula that can evaporate, leaving the parts dry and prone to friction. Also, WD-40 can attract dirt and debris, which can make the squeaking worse and can also damage the parts. WD-40 can also corrode metal parts. This is especially true if the parts are already rusty or have been damaged.

Instead of using WD-40, you should use a lubricant that is specifically designed for garage door parts. These lubricants are formulated to stay in place and provide long-lasting lubrication. Opt for white lithium grease or silicone-based solutions.

What if the lubrication of garage door parts doesn’t help?

If lubricating your garage door parts doesn't help to eliminate the squeaking, there may be other problems that need to be addressed. Here are some possible causes of squeaking:

  • Tight springs: If the springs are too tight, they can put stress on the garage door and its parts, causing them to squeak.
  • Damaged rollers: If the rollers are worn or damaged, they can rub against the track, causing squeaking.
  • Misaligned door: If the garage door is not properly aligned, it can rub against the track, causing squeaking.
  • Loose hardware: If the hardware is loose, it can rattle and squeak.

As always, if you aren’t comfortable troubleshooting these problems yourself, it’s best to call a professional garage door technician.

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