What’s the Purpose of Garage Door Lubricant?

Does your garage door make a frightening noise when opening and closing? While many homeowners think this noise is just part of the garage’s aging process, it’s actually a sign that your door needs lubrication.

Lubrication is a value solution. Rather than spending big on repairs or replacement, you can simply purchase lubrication at your local hardware store and apply it on your own. You also don’t have to wait for noise to lubricate your garage door. Whether or not you hear creaking and groaning, you should lubricate at least once a year or more if you live in a salt-air climate.

Choose Your Lubrication

Look for either lithium grease or silicone spray — each is available for less than $10, depending on the brand and container size. An effective lithium grease will protect against friction and create a moisture-reducing barrier. Quality silicone spray products will also protect, waterproof and help preserve the materials in your garage door. Both lithium and silicone should withstand extreme cold and heat, which is perfect for garage door application. Silicone spray can also help the lubricant reach into tight spaces.

However, don’t reach for the WD-40. Many homeowners have WD-40 sitting around the garage, but it doesn’t provide the effective lubrication of lithium or silicone. WD-40 provides a cleaning benefit by destroying rust and grease. While this can help certain parts of your garage door better, it’s not a true lubricant that reduces friction and protects parts. When in doubt, check with your garage door’s manufacturer. Most brands will recommend a process for lubrication.

How to Lubricate Your Garage Door

Always start by cleaning your garage door, both inside and out. Dilute just a bit of detergent into warm water, and then use a sponge to gently clean and clear away any debris that has built up. Once your garage door is fully clean, there are four areas to address:

  1. Hinges — For metal hinges, be sure to fully lubricate at the points where each pivots. Do not lubricate if you have a garage door that uses plastic hinges. Lubrication won’t help plastic hinges — it will only serve to degrade the material.
  2. Springs — Spray lubricant to get full coverage, but stop short of applying so much that it begins to drip.
  3. Rollers — Apply directly to the rollers, wiping away any excess so it doesn’t drip on the garage floor or on your car. If your garage door includes nylon wheels, don’t lubricate them either. Stick to the bearings only.
  4. Locks — Are you having difficulty opening and closing the lock? If so, cover it fully in lubricant. This is one area in which spray comes in handy, since it’s difficult to reach inside the lock’s tight spaces.

What about the tracks? Keep them clean rather than lubricating. As described, use detergent in warm water and a sponge to fully clean and remove debris.

Once you’re finished with cleaning and lubrication, raise and lower your garage door a few times. This will help to distribute the lubrication. If any noise prevails, identify where it’s coming from and see if you missed a spot while lubricating.

Your Garage Door Authority

If your garage door needs more than cleaning and lubrication, contact Custom Door & Gate. Since 1989, we have served North Carolina with a wide selection of residential and commercial garage doors, as well as expert guidance and service.