Squeaks and squeals aren’t good coming from any mechanical object—and your garage door is no exception. Aside from being grating on the ears, it’s a surefire sign that something is wrong. But can that something be fixed with a little lubricant, as it can with so many other machines? And if so, what’s the right type of the stuff to use on your garage door? Will your trusty can of WD40 do the job?
Indeed, lubricating your garage door can quickly grow complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing; some squeaks aren’t the result of poor lubrication at all! Door Power, your Norwood garage door company of choice, is here to set a few things straight. Below, you’ll find out all you need to know about garage door lubrication to properly care for your residential or commercial garage door installation—including the best stuff to use.
Do I Need Garage Door Repair First?
It’s an understandable instinct to default to lubricant as a solution to unpleasant garage door noises. A sound means something is grinding together with something else, and you may reason that they need to move together more smoothly to reduce strain and noise. Problem solved. Right?
Not necessarily! A noisy garage door can very well be a sign that something more mechanical than a maintenance problem is amiss. In this case, lubricant might quiet the machine down for a bit, but it sure won’t fix the underlying issue!
Before you reach for your aerosol bottle, make sure your garage door is in good health. Check for the following friction-producing problems:
● Your garage door tracks might not be perfectly aligned
● Debris could be stuck in the garage door system (dirt, rocks, leaves, ETC)
● Your garage door’s wheels could be damaged
I’m Leaning Towards Lubrication
Is your garage door healthy? Have you gotten a garage door company out just to be sure? If the answer to both is “yes,” then it’s time to get to work! Lubricating your garage door isn’t a hard job, but when it comes to what stuff to use, you must be particular.
Put Down the WD40!
We know, we know, it’s probably fixed a ton of mechanical issues for you in the past—but your garage door won’t be one of them.
While it does somewhat lubricate, WD40 does a much better job at cleaning things. This can actually strip away any remaining lubricant you’ve left on, say, your garage door tracks, making things even worse than before! Dissolving properties aside, it’s also way too thin to be able to deliver the heavy lubricating properties your garage door needs to function at its best. You’d need a whole lot of the stuff to achieve the desired outcome—and that gets expensive.
In short, don’t let this stuff anywhere near your garage door. There are plenty of better alternatives that will actually get the job done.
So What Do I Use?
All garage door companies have their preferred brand and formula, but if you buy something from the hardware store that’s specifically made for garage doors, you should be in good shape.
Specifically, though, look for cleaners made with Silicone or Lithium. Each has its pros and cons, which we’ll chat briefly about below, but together they keep your garage door working smoothly and silently.
These tend to come in an easy-to-apply grease that has excellent lubricating properties and that is great for garage door tracks. However, because of its greasy nature, it has a hard time getting into tighter spaces, such as that of your garage door spring. It also can attract dirt if you aren’t mindful about garage door cleaning. The very same thing that gives it its excellent lubricating properties—the fact that it doesn’t soak into the metal—also means that it needs regular reapplication.
Unlike Lithium-based models, these products get right into the cracks, making them a great choice for your garage door springs, which Lithium-based lubricants might miss. It’s a bit less of a lubricant than its counterpart, but it makes up for it by its ability to get into tight spaces and being much tougher in harsh climates.
Use Each Lubricant to its Strengths
No one lubricant type is better than the other, but they are better for certain applications and certain weather conditions. For best results, we at Door Power recommend using a combination of Silicone-based and Lithium-based lubricants. Not on the same part, of course—just where it’d be most effective.
● Use Lithium-based lubricants on broad areas that face a lot of friction.
● Use Silicone-based lubricants on small, tight areas
Need Advice on Garage Door Maintenance? Door Power is Here to Provide
Taking care of a garage door can be a learning curve—but it’s a learning curve that our friendly and dedicated team is here to help ease. For all of your garage door needs, give Door Power’s Norwood office a call at 952-467-3199.