Lubricant 101: Everything You Need to Know About Oiling Your Garage Door

Lubricant 101: Everything You Need to Know About Oiling Your Garage DoorDoes your garage door screech, bang, and rattle the neighborhood awake? At the end of a long day, that’s the brewings of a splintering headache. Your neighbors in El Dorado Hills probably feel your pain, literally. But you don’t have to be THAT neighbor on the block. You can have a quieter, smoother opening garage door without forking over money on a new door to do it. A little garage door lubricant can actually do wonders. Here’s what you need to know.

And when we are talking about a garage door lubricant, we mean one specifically designed for garage doors, not just WD40. Using the wrong type of lubricant can prematurely rust your garage door parts, leading to breakdown and other repair problems.

Garage Door Parts to Oil

Start with the tracks. Go over your tracks with a rag to eliminate any grunge buildup. You don’t want to lubricate the tracks themselves. Instead, oil the garage door components that connect with the tracks. Regardless, keeping the tracks free of dirt and grime can be essential to how they function. Clean tracks will also keep components in good working order.

Next, you’ll want to lubricate the springs. The idea is to apply just enough oil that the springs are flexible to move freely. You don’t need them to drip lubricant. It’s a waste and makes a mess.

You’ll want to oil any steel hinges, especially at their pivot points. DO NOT oil plastic hinges. For one thing, they don’t need it. For another, lubricant can cause them to break down quicker.

You’ll also want to lubricate any rollers. Again, if you have plastic rollers, oil only the part that has metal. If you have metal rollers, you can practically paint that lubricant on with a brush. But you don’t need so much lubricant that it drips. A light coating is plenty to ensure flexible movement.

You may also want to lubricate the lock, especially if you actually use the locks. This will prevent your key from sticking.

How Often Should You Oil the Door?

Ideally, you should oil down the components of your door every 3 to 4 months. Try opening and closing the door manually. How does it function? Are certain parts louder than others? These are the squeaky parts that need the grease, so to speak. Every door is different. Listen and see what it needs.

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Should You Consider Garage Door Installation or Just Repair?

To repair or install a new garage door? If Shakespeare owned his own home in the 21st century, that’s what he would be asking himself on a Sunday afternoon. But not even classical British literature can tell you what to do in this situation. We all must decide for ourselves. But keep in mind how much of your home’s appearance is focused on your garage door. It’s no wonder that installing a new garage door has been found to have one of the highest returns on investment when it comes to home improvement. It also depends on the issue. If your door is clatters and bangs, try oiling it with garage door lubricant and tightening down and loose bolts. Should it hang from one side, have the door professionally balance. When panels are missing, the door is rusty and heavily dented, you might be better off starting fresh with a new door. That’s something that really should be done every 20 to 30 years anyway.