Your Garage Door: A stiff, groaning monster?

The weather’s changing and winter will be here before you realize it. Don’t let yourself get stuck with a sluggish garage door.

Garage doors seem to work perfectly during the summer but then become stiff, groaning monsters when you have to open and close them during cold weather.

The only way to keep them moving smoothly is proper lubrication.

Whether they are manually operated or have a garage door opener attached, need to have periodic maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. One of the most common problems with a garage door is a lack of lubrication. This is usually what causes the squeaking you hear and it can lead to breakdowns requiring a garage door repair. Fortunately, door lubrication can easily be done by the average home owner. While you are lubricating the door, inspect the door for any loose screws and tighten them as you go. Also look for any frayed or damaged cables, broken springs, misaligned track, or loose chain if the opener is chain driven. Basically, inspect all of the doors moving parts whenever you lubricate the door and replace garage door parts as necessary.

Things You Will Need

Silicone or Teflon based penetrating spray lubricant. Garage door lubricant can be found at your local home improvement or hardware store.

Step 1

Garage doors should be closed prior to you lubricating and inspecting the door. The first step is to inspect the track to see in there is any grease or dirt buildup. If there is wipe or vacuum away any buildup in the tracks and on the rollers and roller pins before lubricating the door. Grease combines with sand and grit to form a sludge that acts as an abrasive and can interfere with the smooth operation of the door.

Step 2

You should never attempt to replace or adjust cables or springs. The doors springs are under a great deal of tension and this makes them dangerous to adjust. You should always call a professional if they break or you think they need adjustment. That being said, you should be able to safely lubricate them. Apply lubricant to where the cables connect to the bottom roller mount brackets. This is also a good time to check the cable for wear. Next run a line of oil along the top of the torsion spring. The oil will eventually work into the spring and help prevent corrosion and increase the life of the spring because it will reduce the rubbing of the spring against itself.

Step 3

Lubricate the roller bearings, door hinges and pulleys with the penetrating spray. In addition, tracks should be lubricated using the same lubricant spray.

Garage doors, whether they are manually operated or have a garage door opener attached, need to have periodic maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. Take a few minutes to lubricate and inspect your garage door and help prevent costly repairs.

Tips & Warnings

Contrary to popular belief, WD-40 is not a lubricant. It is great for a cleaner to remove rust, grease, and other substances but if used as a lubricant it will not last and you will have to the re-lubricate the door sooner. It is however a good “quick fix” until you can lubricate the door properly.

Always unplug an electric opener before servicing the door. The springs, cables and bottom brackets are under extreme tension and can break without notice.

Whenever working with tools or chemicals such as lubricants, safety glasses are recommended

If you are uncertain about what to do, or don’t have the time, most licensed garage door installers do tune ups. The service call should include a complete safety check, door adjustment, and lubrication.

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