After working in the garage door installation business for over 45 years, we’ve learned that nobody likes to listen to the squeaks and screeches of their garage door. Thankfully, eliminating annoying noises is easier than you might think. Follow this guide to learn how to grease a garage door and get rid of those squeaks for good.
What Kind of Grease Is Best for Garage Doors?
Before we tackle those garage-door screeches, we must find the right kind of grease. One of the most common mistakes people use when trying to grease their garage door is using oil-based products, like WD-40. Contrary to popular belief, WD-40 de-greases surfaces and won’t aid in reducing unwanted noises.
Instead of WD-40 or other oils, use a lithium-based grease, which usually comes in a spray can. You’ll notice that, unlike oil-based sprays, a lithium garage door lubricant will appear thick and won’t drip.
If you’re unable to find a lithium-based spray, use a lubricant with a silicone base. Although it’s not as effective as lithium grease, silicone-based spray is a much better option than oil.
Position Your Garage Door
Once you have found a quality lithium-based grease, you can position your garage door. Make sure that the door is closed and disconnected from the motor to ensure the door doesn’t move as you’re applying the grease.
Clean the Tracks
Before you start greasing, you’ll want to clean out the garage door tracks, located on either side of the door, with a wet rag. You can also wipe down your tracks with a cloth sprayed with WD-40.
A note about tracks: You don’t need to grease them! The only place on your tracks you may ever want to lubricate is the point where the track curves, near the top of the door, where the screws are located. If you’re noticing squeaks from this area, you’re welcome to grease it, but, usually, you should avoid lubricating your tracks all together.
Grease All Moving Parts
Now, you’re prepared to start lubricating your garage door. Pay specific attention to these parts as you begin the process:
Hinges: To lubricate the hinges of your garage door, it’s best to lift the door up manually generously spray each hinge as it bends open.
Rollers: The rollers of your garage door are small, circular pieces attached to the end of your hinges. They are usually made of metal or plastic and help your garage door roll up and down the track. If your rollers are plastic, there is no need to grease them (though you might want to replace them every few years).
Metal rollers, on the other hand, have ball bearings that should be lubricated using the small hose attachment that comes with your spray can. After you’ve greased the inside of your roller, be sure to wipe away any excess garage door lubricant.
Springs: Your garage door spring will be located at the top of the door, towards the center. If you have an extension spring, which stretches as the door opens, don’t worry about lubricating them; they come pre-coated and should be good to go. But if you have a squeaky torsion spring, which is wound instead of stretched, grease it up! Generously spray the coils of the spring.
Note: It’s common for springs to bend out of shape. If you’re having a problem with your springs and grease doesn’t seem to do the trick, contact your local garage door service department. We’ll get your door up and running in no time!
Bearing Plates: The bearing plates are the rotating discs located on either side of your spring. While you’re greasing your torsion spring, spray the bearing plates as well.
Lock and Arm Bar:
Your lock should be in the middle of your garage door, while your armbar is the large bar at the top of your door. Spray the lock and keyhole with grease, then lubricate the armbar.
Rail and Pulleys:
Finally, you will want to grease the rail and pulleys of your garage door. Only lubricate the top of the rail, where the trolley creates friction by moving back and forth; the bottom of the rail does not require lubrication. Simply spray the grease along the top of the rail and spread around with a rag.
Like your rollers, the pulleys at the curve of your garage door track will have metal ball bearings that should be lubricated. Use the thin tube attachment to coat the ball bearings on the inside of each pulley.
Note: DO NOT grease the chain connected to your garage door. If you want to give your chain attention, spray a cloth with WD-40, then wipe down the chain with the oiled cloth.
Call Your Neighborhood Experts
If you’re still unsure about the right methods or lubricants to use when greasing your garage door, or if you have other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our Portland, Oregon based team specializes in garage door repair and maintenance, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have about greasing your garage door at home.
*Door lube at Home Depot, Lowes, and other hardware stores is known as “chain and cable fluid.” You can also lube the chain on the garage door opener.