How To Clean And Lubricate Your Garage Door Assembly

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If you use your garage door on a daily basis, then it's necessary you learn to maintain it. In addition to having your springs adjusted and replaced when necessary, your garage door will require regular lubrication to operate efficiently and quietly. However, many homeowner's mistakenly lubricate every component of their assembly with the wrong type of lubricant—which does more harm than good. Here's how to lubricate the essential components of your door assembly:

What Type of Lubricant Should I Use?

Most lubricant bases attract dirt and debris. When the moving components of your garage door become dirty, they'll create unnecessary noise and operate inefficiently. For this reason, you cannot use just any lubricant on your garage door.

Silicone and lithium-based lubricants are ideal for your assembly since they won't attract dirt and debris. These types of lubricants are typically labeled as specialized garage door lubricants and are available at your local home improvement or hardware store.

Rollers

Your rollers are susceptible to becoming filled with dirt and debris as they glide along your guide tracks. For this reason, you'll have to clean them before you apply any lubricant.

To clean a roller, place the hose of a gas duster or air compressor against the bearing cage located between the wheel and shaft of each roller. Blast away all debris inside the bearing cage with quick, short bursts before spraying a moderate amount of lubricant into the bearing cage.

However, if your roller is extremely dirty or seized, you'll have to remove it from your guide track to clean it. To do so, partially open your door and place a locking pair of vice grips under the upper rollers on each side of your door. Use pliers to pry open the section of guide track just above your seized or dirty roller. Next, remove the bolts that secure the hinge holding your roller in place. Place a flat screwdriver against the interior wall of your track and use it to pry your roller out through the opened section of track.

With your roller now separated from your door assembly, you'll have easier access to the bearing cage. Apply a generous amount of degreaser to the bearings and let it soak into the hardened debris for a couple minutes. Use an old rag or cloth to wipe away the softened debris. Spin the wheel to ensure that the bearings are clean—if the wheel doesn't spin freely, then repeat the degreasing process once again before blasting the bearing cage with your air compressor or gas duster.

Once your troublesome roller is completely clean, spray your lubricant into the bearing cage and reinstall it into your door assembly by reversing the steps you took to remove it.

Hinges and Springs

Your hinges and springs aren't likely to become as dirty as your garage doors rollers. For this reason, you can clean them by wiping them with a damp rag. To ensure that these components don't corrode, dry them with a dry rag after cleaning them.

Spray a small amount of lubricant around each of your hinge pins. Coat the entirety of each of your torsion springs with a thin layer of lubricant to prevent the coils from damaging each other as they wind and unwind during the cycling process.

Chain

Your opener's chain is the only component that doesn't require silicone or lithium-based lubricant. Instead, you should use an oil-based lubricant. An oil-based lubricant will attract debris, but it will also provide greater protection to the metal-on-metal contact points along your chain.

To begin cleaning your chain, disconnect your garage door opener by pulling on the rope hanging from your operator. Wipe your damp rag along the top and bottom of your chain. Apply a thin layer of oil-based lubricant to the top and sides of your chain. The bottom of your chain will become lubricated as the oil applied to the top of your chain works its way through the chain links.

Clean and lubricate your garage door assembly every few months to ensure silent and efficient operation. If you have any trouble cleaning one of these components, or if you identify a broken component of your door assembly while performing maintenance, then contact your local garage door technician for an inspection.

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16 January 2015

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