Garage doors work with a motor on a track to open and close as you need, but sometimes they can get stuck. If there is dirt or dust on the track, it can cause damage to the whole garage door. It may cause it to derail completely, in which case you will need a professional to put it back on track. If a roller or slider starts to wear away or the metal mechanisms start to rust, you will have a much costlier project on your hand than just needing lubrication.
Garage doors can get stuck for a variety of reasons. The best type of lubricants will depend on the type of problem you’re experiencing and what material you’ve chosen for the chains or belts.
Silicone is long-lasting, which means that you won’t have to lubricate the garage door as often. It can withstand a variety of temperatures too, which is great if you live in an icy and cold climate where the garage door frosts over and gets stuck. Most silicone sprays come with a very thin and long nozzle that can be used to get into all the crevices of the chain or belt.
Silicone also covers a much larger area because the element is slow-moving and thicker than other sprays. If you give it a generous spray, it will cover most of the unit without having to pinpoint the location of the problem. Where silicone may be a good choice to prevent corrosion and fix annoying noises, it won’t attract dust or debris as easily as oil-based lubricants. Silicone is also an ideal choice for less maintenance and work. It lasts much longer than other types of lubricants, so you don’t have to apply it as frequently.
This element is ideal for garage doors where metal grinds on other metals. It helps to control the heat and reduce friction and is ideal for chains, rollers, and rails where the most friction occurs. Lithium is incredibly weather-resistant except against water. It won’t protect the garage door from water damage but it will stay on the surface much longer than other types that soak into the unit.
Lithium-based garage door lubricant is easy to apply and works wonders to take away any squeaking noises. However, it has quite a pungent smell, so make sure that you work in a well-ventilated area and keep the door open. Lithium also negatively interacts with rubber, so be careful what gloves you wear and don’t use them if the rollers have rubber parts or insulation. To combat this, pair a lithium-based lubricant with some oil or grease. This will also help to remove the nasty smell of lithium. It will last just as long as silicone-based lubricants, but it may cause some areas of the garage door to turn white because of the bleaching effect.
Grease-based lubricants are better for wider surfaces where a cloth is needed to wipe them down. They are very messy to work with and most come in a paste form that you need to spread by hand. Grease compounds are great for metal-on-metal but you will need to mix a little bit of oil and soap with the grease so that no corrosion occurs.
Grease as a garage door lubricant will work well for the gears, springs, and hinges, but not so well for rollers and chains because you won’t be able to get into the nooks and crannies as easily. The danger with grease-based lubricants is that they normally come in a flammable aerosol can. The compound grease itself can spark into roaring flames with the strike of a match, so it has to be handled with care. This means keeping the container in cool and dry conditions and not in any place where there is low pressure, or it may explode. This type of lubricant is the most common one used for industrial sliding and roller-type doors that businesses use.
You can tell that your garage door needs some repairs if you hear a lot of noise, or it isn’t moving on the tracks as smoothly anymore. The importance of regularly lubricating garage door mechanisms is to avoid costly repairs in the long run. The right lubrication can prevent rust or heat friction that could set off a fire. There are only about three main types of lubricant that you can use for a garage door.
The type you pick will be determined by the factors discussed, but also what type of material you need to lubricate. Is it rollers and sliders for a single panel door? Then silicone and grease are good choices. For metal-on-metal units, steer clear from lithium-based lubricants. If you need to create a long-lasting solution that reduces friction, then grease is the right way to go.