Garage Door Maintenance: How to Properly Lubricate Your Garage Door & Opener

Many homeowners who do their own maintenance on their garage door often times will break out lubrication of any kind they can find: axle grease, motorcycle chain lube, oil, and the can with no label- “but I’m pretty sure it’s grease”.

  The selection of lube isn’t so much where the homeowner typically goes wrong, but in the application to the garage door system.

Greasing the garage door opener rail:

First of all, remember all things in moderation! When you apply too much grease on the rail of the automatic opener IT WILL DRIP on your car which doesn’t seem like a big deal until you notice it has been baking into your paint in the hot sun for three weeks in the middle of summer. The grease will also drip on the garage door- if you see a straight black vertical line down the center of the outside of your garage door, you have not been practicing the ancient art of moderation with your grease. Simply grab a rag and lightly wipe away the excessive grease. Screw drive rails are synonymous with over-greasing. Remember the screw drive is not a bearing that needs the grease tightly packed in every groove! After you lightly grease the entire rail run the door a few times and be prepared to wipe grease off of the trolley (the carrier attaching the rail to the J-arm that pushes and pulls the door) it will plow up the excessive grease as it slides along the rail. 
 

The Rollers:

Think of your rollers like the tires and wheels of a car and the metal track is the road. Many home owners with put grease on the metal tracks- now if your car is not running smoothly do you try to grease the road or your tires? Of course not!  But it is fun to think about… take a moment if you need to. The best way to lubricate your rollers is to get silicone spray (with little red straw) and spray the stems where they are held by the hinges try to angle the spray so it gets as far into the hinges as possible. While you are at it spray all of the hinges in the same fashion this will help the garage door run smoother and eliminate that “nails down a chalk board” sound you get every time you open and close your overhead door.  So don’t grease the tracks! (you can visit www.spokanegaragerepair.com/tips_tricks.htm for more pictures and help with maintenance)

No WD 40! WD 40 is a solvent and will break down any grease and dry out- causing more friction.  It also attracts dust and dirt to it.  I recommend using a heavy duty silicone spray. The thicker the silicone spray, the better. The thicker spray tends to lubricate for longer. If you use your door a lot I suggest spraying the door down every 6 months- for lighter users, once a year.  And don’t forget… moderation!

And don’t forget to check the balance of your garage door!  This is even more important than lubrication in terms of saving you money over the long run!

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