Every garage door, whether operated electrically or manually, contains metal parts that require lubrication occasionally. Lubricating the moving parts, such as door’s rail, springs, hinges, and rollers, prevents them from rusting or becoming squeaky, as well as keeps them in functioning order for years to come.
One common mistake homeowners do is using a standard lubricating oil such as WD-40, which is actually a degreaser that takes away the grease, rather than serve the right purpose. Rather, you should use a lithium-based lubricant, which you can find at the local hardware store. If you cannot find any, aim for a silicon-based lubricant. It isn’t as good, but it’s better than oil.
Another mistake homeowners do is lubricating the garage door opener’s chain. Garage door openers come out of the factory with a protective coat that should last for as long as the opener is running. The most you should do to aid the chain is use a rug with a tiny bit of WD-40 to help smooth it out.
The third mistake is lubricating the tracks. Tracks don’t need to be greased, but rather need to be cleaned.
1. Start by standing inside the garage and close the garage door shut. Pay attention to all the moving parts (springs, rollers, drums, and hinges).
2. Make sure you blow all the dust, dirt, and cobwebs that may have accumulated on the door’s moving hardware. If necessary, climb a step stool to help cleaning the upper rollers, as well as the garage door overhead tracks.
3. Spray small amounts of lithium/silicone spray into the moving parts on the garage door. If your bearings are sealed (e.g. on rollers and drums) you don’t have to do so, they don’t require maintenance. Open and close the door a few times to make sure all parts are lubricated evenly. Spray additional lubricant if needed. Wipe away lubricant leftovers that drip.
4. If you have an electric opener, climb a step stool and spray the lithium/silicon spray on the top of the rail, which is where the trolley goes back and forth and creates friction.
Making sure your garage door is well groomed and maintained can add many years of functionality to it. If you have an owner’s manual for the electric garage door opener and/or door itself, read it thoroughly, since the manufacturer may provide specific maintenance recommendations. Garage door openers operate in various ways depending on manufacturer and style.
During lubrication check all hardware for looseness and tighten necessary bolts. Also, make sure you use spray cans with a straw nozzle to be more accurate and reach tight spots.
Remember to use a lithium or silicone based lubricants rather than degreaser; degreasers may dry out rather than lubricate surfaces.