Steps On Quieting Your Roll-Up Garage Door
The question was originally asked on Quora.
Oil The Door
Oiling the door first allows the oil a chance to spread while working on everything else.
Buy the right oil
I recommend Tri-Flow from
Sun City Hardware.
Maybe even Hanks Hardware.
Tri-Flow is one of the top chain lubricants used by crazy bicyclists that will spend an extra $5,000 for a bike that weighs one pound less.
It sticks to the hinges and clings for over a year.
Do not use WD-40.
WD-40 is part solvent.
It eats in to your door and coagulates after about six months leaving your door dry and in worse condition than when you started.
I don't like silicon sprays that are dry.
They may be tidy and neat but I don't see much improvement after a few months.
Likewise I donn't trust oils with labels on them saying "garage door oil".
I have no idea what is inside of them.
I've had very earnest sells-reps talk about how great their brands were because of such-and-such.
I don't know what makes those ingredients so good.
I do know the oil bicyclists use have been developed over many many decades and is meant for metal-on-metal with about the same strains found in a garage door.
So why rock the boat and use something that hasn't been tested by hundreds of millions of people for decades?
Oil the hinges and rollers
I'm assuming you have normal hinges.
However, there are strange hinges that are plastic and riveted in to the door sections.
Don't oil these or you will destroy the hinges.
Plastic and oil does not mix.
Usually these cheap hinges are only used only on Ideal doors.
I think they sell these doors in the hopes you'll destroy them and have to buy a new door.
Amarr also makes some strange hinges that are almost impossible to oil.
I'll have to put a video up on how to do these.
They are that complicated.
Finally there is one other strange hinge that was sold by Clopay.
They are also hard to oil.
Basically this company quit making the hinge and has told the industry if the hinges break you must buy a new door!
Most doors come with normal hinges.
Oil each hinge from both sides.
These hinges are very much like chains.
You have a metal link to the section on top and another link to the section below held together with what looks like a rivet on a bicycle chain.
It is metal on metal and very noisy.
Oil the springs
Now apply Tri-Flow oil to the spring(s) above the door.
There is also a spacer near the center plate holding the springs to the header.
Sometimes that spacer needs oil but it is very hard to get the oil on it.
That's more of an expert level task.
Applying oil over and over until the squeak goes away.
Oiling the springs might only need to be done on a five year basis.
Or only if you hear noises coming from the coils rubbing against each other.
Actually since most springs don't last over 10 years oiling the spring once might be all that is needed.
Oil the end-bearing brackets
Use Tri-Flow oil on the end bearing brackets where the tube passes through.
The end bearing brackets hold bearings that allow the tube to roll as the door opens and closes.
If they are not oiled they cause friction causing the cables to come off.
Eventually the bearings will crack and cut the tubes in half.
So be sure to oil these on a regular basis.
They are hard to reach.
The drums the cables attach to block access to the rollers from the "inside".
However, if there is space on the "outside" they can be sprayed.
(Sometimes, especially in converted car-ports in Sun City there is no room.)
A bit of the oil will seep in this way.
Try to oil these bearings once a year.
Open and close the door by hand several times
You have now lubricated everything possible in the door.
So you want to open and close the door several times by hand to spread the oil.
Also feel for anything wrong.
Finally check to see if there are still any noises.
If there are any noises slowly determine where the noises are coming from.
This could be a cable sticking to the door on the way up.
Or the door rubbing against the horizontal rail.
Maybe rubbing against the vertical frame?
Perhaps a roller needs replacing?
You open and close by hand until you've located any additional noises.
Once finished wipe away all excess oil.
Check For Defective Hardware
Go over the door and verify that all the bolts holding the hinges are tight and not stripped.
This is a time consuming task.
There are usually five columns of hinges across three rows for a total of 15 hinges.
Each of these hinges are held together with four tech screws.
And you need to know what "tight" is.
Too much and you strip the bolts.
If any are missing add them.
If any are stripped add two new bolts to the hinge into the door.
Check the bolts holding the struts in place, the bolts holding the center plate, the bolts attaching to the opener, and finally the bolts holding the rails to the wall and keeping them together.
Everything needs to be tight and not stripped or missing.
If you have a non insulated door you can add insulation to it.
Hardware stores like Lowes in Menifee carry it.
The insulation makes the door much quieter.
It will take you Saturday afternoon to install this.
Check the balance of your garage door.
It should stay half way open.
It should also stay all the way up.
It will not stay a foot off the ground though.
The door is designed to fall at that point.
If the door does not pass these tests you may want to call a garage door company to adjust or replace the springs.
Call me obviously because I have the best prices, best hardware, and I'm local.
Now you have done pretty much all you can for your garage door.
The next step is to quiet your opener.
If you have a chain drive and the chain is slapping about you can tighten it.
Then oil the chain with Tri-Flow.
If you have a screw drive and the screw drive is noisy use only Lubriplate on it.
Remember to keep the screw drive quiet you should use lubriplate four times a year according to Genie!
(Be sure to wipe off the old before applying new oil and when finished run it a few times and wipe off any excess.)
If you have a belt drive do not add any oil to it.
The belt is an oil based product and oil will destroy it.
Sure there may be some "oils" that are not petroleum but do you want to take that risk?
The manufacturers clearly state not to oil because it usually disolves the belt.
And if you have some garage door company telling you to do that you had best call somebody else!
Now check the motor cover for noise.
Often they will vibrate fiercely.
Causing a resonating sound that amplifies the noise to extreme levels.
Loosen the screws and reset the cover to minimize the vibrations.
Sometimes you can put in a sponge or rag to dampen the sounds.
Be careful nothing catches on fire.
Finally check for other noises and locate them.
This could be the cables on the side hitting the door sections.
The door making cracking sounds as it sags going up and down.
Struts not bolted in place on both sides.
Cracked bearings in the end brackets.
Operator bracket loose.
Door limits not set correctly on the opener.
Drums the wrong size for the height of the door.
Or wrong cables used on the drum.
The cables not being exactly the same tension pulling the door against one of the horizontal rails.
Or thousands of other things.
The steps here are the basic ones.
One of the favorite things dishonest garage door companies do to make money is change the rollers.
This is a job that can be done safely and looks like a big deal to the home owner.
It rarely makes a difference.
Yet the confidence man will try to convince you the door is much quieter.
Can you say BS!
This was originally written on 2017-08-02 and last updated on 2017-10-23.