Think about your garage door opening and closing. Imagine returning after a long day and waiting for that door to rise – the last step in finally getting home. Does your image include a horrible grinding, squealing noise? If so, your garage door needs lubrication. Even if your door is quiet, lubricating about once a year is an excellent idea, but if you do hear the groaning, you can save your ears and your wallet by cheaply lubricating before big repairs become necessary.

The offending noise is secondary to the problems that are actually making all that racket. Your garage door is quite possibly the largest moving part of your home, and just like with you car, a little bit of regular maintenance can prolong the door’s life and avoid serious problems along the way.

What Should I Use?

Either a lithium grease or silicone spray. Both should withstand extreme cold and heat, which is ideal for garage door application. Aerosols are especially useful for getting into small and moving parts. Lithium grease and silicone won’t attract dust or get gummy the way that mechanic’s grease or engine oil will.

Whatever you do, don’t spray WD-40 on your garage door parts. While it may be most convenient, WD-40 is a cleaner that destroys rust and grease. That can help clean your garage door and may provide some relief, but it is not the lubricant you need to reduce friction and protect parts.

How Do I Do It?

You will want to address the moving parts of your garage door.

  • Hinges – Fully lubricate at the points where they pivot. Though, you should not lubricate plastic hinges – it will degrade the material.
  • Springs – Spray all spring thoroughly. You want them to be covered, but not so soaked that they are dripping lubricant.
  • Rollers – Again, you will want to apply thoroughly to the rollers, but no with so much excess that you have drips. If you have nylon wheels on your rollers, try not to lubricate them, just the bearings.
  • Locks – If you are having any trouble opening and closing the lock, cover it fully in lubricant, too. You’ll want to make sure you get into the tumbler, so a spray is particularly helpful here.
  • Tracks – The tracks are the one exception. You don’t want to lubricate them, but it is essential to keep them clean. Just use sponge and water to remove debris.

After you have finished cleaning and lubricating, open and close the door a few times to help distribute the lubricant all over the moving parts. If it is still making lots of noise, try to track down any spots you may have missed, or it may be time to bring in a professional. Keep up your maintenance and soon, when you imagine opening and closing your garage door, it will be a silent movie!