Lubrication: The Key To A Long-Lasting Garage Door

Construction & Contractors Articles

You can expect to get a good 30 years' worth of usage out of your garage door, but only if you take good care of it. That includes properly lubricating all of the moving parts that make up your garage door. If your garage door suddenly becomes hard to open or if it starts making a loud racket, then it's a definite sign that it needs a good round of lubrication.

How Often Should You Lubricate Your Garage Door?

There's no concrete rule when it comes to how often you should lubricate your garage door's moving parts. In fact, the answer could vary depending on a wide variety of factors, including your area's climate, how often you use your garage door and what your garage door contractor recommends. Most experts recommend homeowners to lubricate their garage doors at least once a year, while others may recommend 6-month intervals.

Of course, if you're hearing a lot of squeaking and squealing from your garage door as it closes and opens, you may want to have it lubricated as soon as you can.

Choosing Your Lubricants

White lithium grease and Teflon-based lubricants are ideal for most garage door components such as springs and hinges. These lubricants are commonly available in spray form, making it easier to lube hard-to-reach places without wasting any lubricant. Silicone-based lubricants are also effective at keeping your garage door's moving parts quiet and smooth.

You can also use ordinary engine oil to lubricate metal rollers and garage door opener chains. Unfortunately, using engine oil can get a bit messy due to its propensity to drip from lubed components due to its viscosity. You may want to move your car out of harm's way and keep the garage floor covered while lubricating your garage door components with engine oil.

You should avoid heavy grease as a lubricant. Although it's effective, it can also attract and collect large amounts of dirt and debris, especially within hard-to-reach pockets and crevices. In addition, heavy grease can harden as temperatures fall towards freezing. This makes it harder to open and close your garage door during the winter months.

You should also avoid water-displacing lubricants at all costs. These lubricants aren't really true lubricants at all -- they're solvents that provide lubricating properties by dissolving rust. Although spraying a water-displacing lubricant on a squeaky hinge or bearing might quiet it down immediately, the effect won't last, and you could end up attracting dirt and dust to whatever you lubricated.

Components to Lubricate

Start by lubricating the pivot points of your garage door's steel hinges, then move on to the springs. Make sure the springs get a thorough coating of lubricant but without leaving any excess oil behind. Avoid making direct contact with the springs, since doing so could raise your risk for severe injury.

If your garage door rollers are equipped with metal wheels, make sure to add lubricant onto each wheel. Don't forget about the bearings located in the center of each roller. If your garage door has a lock, don't hesitate to spray a little lubricant into the tumbler mechanism.

What Not to Lubricate

Contrary to popular belief, not all of your garage door components require lubrication. For instance, the tracks shouldn't be lubricated, but instead kept clean of any buildup that could get in the way of how smoothly the rollers function. Hinges made from plastic materials shouldn't be lubricated either, since certain oils can make the plastic disintegrate over time.

You should also be careful when it comes to lubricating nylon rollers. The metal bearings inside the roller can be lubricated, but make sure the oil doesn't come into contact with the nylon surface; otherwise, the roller could prematurely degrade.

For more information about garage maintenance, contact a local garage door service or visit this link

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6 May 2016

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