Tips for lubricating your garage door this winter

November 1, 2023

You know your garage door needs some lubrication. It’s probably the most-used door in your home and it has the most moving parts. So, you reach for whatever lubricant you have amongst your household supplies to give it some quick attention.

The fact is, one of the most common mistakes homeowners make is grabbing the WD-40 to lubricate squeaky or sticky garage door parts. You may hear some immediate improvement, but this treatment will not protect your garage door, especially during the winter season. Why? Because WD-40 is not a lubricant at all.

WD-40 was actually designed to protect surfaces from rust and corrosion, which might sound good, but it cannot hold up to the wear or the cold temperatures your door parts experience because it’s really a solvent that will break down the very grease you need to coat those moving parts.

How to lubricate your garage door

If your garage door is in good shape and has recently been inspected by your local garage door technician, a DIY greasing is a great idea before the cold sets in. Follow these steps to be sure your garage door is in its best condition to weather the winter temps.

  • Choose a spray lubricant that is lithium based and thick so it sticks to surfaces without dripping. If you can’t get lithium-based grease, use a silicone-based product, which also should be available in a spray.
  • Close your garage door and disconnect it before beginning any cleaning or inspection of the door and opening system.
  • Clean the tracks and remove any dirt or debris that has collected around the rollers, springs, and hinges.
  • You may consider using WD-40 to wipe down hinges and other parts that may be prone to rust.

Greasing your garage door

Do not grease the tracks or the chain of your garage door system. Your lithium- or silicone-based spray should be applied as follows:

  • Spray the coils of your torsion spring, as these can be prone to squeaking due to rust build up. Be sure to also treat the bearing plates on either side of the spring. Extension springs typically do not need lubrication.
  • Metal rollers should be greased using the hose attachment to generously coat the ball bearings. Plastic rollers do not need lubrication.
  • Spray the hinges by manually lifting the door and treating each hinge as it opens.
  • Treat the pulleys and rail by using the hose attachment to reach the ball bearings where the pulley sits at the curve of the track. You can grease the top of the rail only by spreading the product with a rag.
  • Keep the garage door lock operating smoothing by treating the lock, keyhole, and arm bar.

If your garage door system uses a belt driver you should not use a lubricant. Your local garage door expert can advise you on maintenance for belt-driver style openers.

If you have questions about maintaining your garage door and opening system, or you need a thorough inspection before the winter cold sets in, contact the team at Above & Beyond Door Systems. Our experts are available to ensure your garage door is operating safely this winter.

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