Lubrication plays an important role in keeping your garage door in excellent condition. Without it, your garage door could come to a shuddering halt. Proper lubrication prevents excess wear while providing ample protection against rust and corrosion. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when lubricating your garage door.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LUBRICANT
With so many different types of lubricants available, choosing the best one for your garage door can seem like a challenge. Here are some of the more common lubricants used on garage doors:
Silicone lubricant – Silicone lubricants often come in spray form, making them ideal for precise application in otherwise hard-to-reach areas.
White lithium grease – White lithium grease leaves behind a thicker layer than silicone sprays, making the former ideal for hinges and joints that need maximum lubrication coverage.
Low-temp grease – This grease is thicker than white lithium, but it works better under extremely low temperatures. However, it’s also more prone to hardening as it ages.
Engine oil – You can use ordinary engine oil in a pinch, but applying it can be a messy affair. If you plan on using it, make sure to cover your garage floor with newspaper.
You shouldn’t use water-displacing lubricants like WD-40 on your garage door’s moving parts. These lubricants usually contain solvents that strip away rust and grime from metal parts but provide only minimal lubrication. For this reason, water-displacing lubricants simply don’t last as long as the lubricants listed above.
LUBRICATE EVERY MOVING PART
Any part that helps your garage door move up and down needs ample lubrication. Door hinges and other moving parts that experience metal-on-metal contact while moving need lubricant the most. Otherwise, the constant friction will not only wear out those parts, but they’ll also be without any sort of rust protection. Lubricating your garage door springs will also help reduce excess noise.
You shouldn’t leave your garage door opener out of the fun, either. If your opener relies on a chain, screw or jackshaft for movement, be sure to lubricate these components. If the opener is belt-driven, focus on lubricating the opener’s motor.
The only exceptions to this crucial rule are nylon rollers and the garage door track itself. Nylon rollers are designed specifically to go without lubrication, so you won’t have to worry about keeping those rollers well-oiled. Directly lubricating the garage door tracks can turn them into a magnet for dust and debris. Instead, stick to oiling the roller bearings and make sure the track remains debris-free.
REMOVE OLD GREASE WHEN NEEDED
Layering old grease on top of new grease can cause problems, especially since old grease can be full of grit and debris. Before applying new lubricant on any garage door component, use a clean rag to wipe away as much of the old lubricant as possible. You’ll also be wiping away any debris that could cause more wear on your hinges and other moving parts.
Some lubricants tend to harden as they age, resulting in solid chunks that could cause your garage door mechanisms to bind up or jam. Remove these solid chunks and thoroughly clean the part in question before adding new lubricant.
MAKE IT AN ANNUAL EVENT
Right about now, you’re probably wondering how often you should lubricate your garage door. According to most experts, lubrication should take place on an annual basis, preferably while giving your garage door a thorough inspection. If you use your garage door more than five times a day on a consistent basis, then you may want to check and lubricate it more often.
Keeping your garage door lubricated is the key to ensuring it functions well and lasts a long time. You can count on Garage Door Pros to be there whenever you need help with your garage door.