The squeaky wheel gets the grease—but what if the grease isn’t what you want? Garages are intended to keep your cars safe and secure, not alert the neighbors every time you leave or come home. There are many reasons for garage door noise, and some are more common than others.
However, diagnosing a garage door squeak without professional help is like self-diagnosing an illness by Googling symptoms. You might stumble across the right answer, or you might scare yourself with worst-case scenarios. Only a garage door specialist can fully diagnose your door and help you decide what steps to take to keep the door quiet.
Why Does it Happen?
You ask a lot of your garage door and it’s likely one of the most highly-trafficked areas in your home. Those panels are heavy and it’s an exterior door, which means it takes a beating from the elements. So the metal rollers, tracks, and hinges are all affected by the occasional stormy weather.
Which is fine – good garage doors are built to stand up to the weather. But just like anything else in the home (roofing, windows, furnaces, etc.), they need to be serviced on occasion to keep them running smoothly. One of the biggest problems is that homeowners fail to schedule annual or bi-annual inspections and garage door maintenance checks.
In addition to extending the life of the garage door, this service will keep any problems – like noise – to a minimum. There are a lot of moving parts in a garage door, and if they don’t know what to look for, homeowners may miss something.
If the garage door operates with rollers and tracks, even the smallest bit of debris can throw it out of whack. If a small piece of gravel manages to get lodged between a roller and a track, it will affect the operation of the door. The roller will get dragged up the track, causing an awful scraping sound.
The rollers are usually the main culprit when it comes to a noisy garage door. Without based lubricant, they won’t move smoothly and will drag in the track. Which means more scraping and more noise. If it becomes damaged, the roller will probably need to be replaced.
But it’s not always the rollers fault. If the track, bottom brackets, or mounting brackets become damaged in any way, the alignment of the door will be affected. This adds extra stress to the system, causing the door to grind or wheeze under the added strain.
Another possible issue is a worn-out torsion spring, often the first sign of wear and tear. Springs squeak, as anyone with a spring mattress knows. Sometimes it’s just from the spring adjusting to the demands of the door, but often a loud squeak indicates a weakened spring. If you have concerns about your springs, act immediately, before major damage occurs.
There are a few reasons if it’s the garage door opener making the noise. Just like the rollers and hinges on the door, the internal workings of an opener need occasional lubrication as well. The belt drive could be too loose or too tight and even the chain could be damaged in some way.
Garage Doors that Go Bump In the Night
If the sound produced is more of a deep rumbling, you will want to call Ponderosa Garage Doors and Repair immediately. A sound like this could mean the door is off the track or shaking so badly that the panels are at risk of falling down. Even if you recently had an inspection, it is imperative to have your door examined to make sure it is running safely.
For sounds louder than a squeak, avoid using your door and instead call a trained contractor immediately. Similar to the human body, which displays physical symptoms, your garage door lets you know through complaints when something is wrong. Preventative maintenance is essential and can help you avoid a much larger (and costlier) problem in the future.
If your garage door is new or installed within the past 10 years, it should ideally be quiet when opening and closing. If you are hearing loud noises when your door opens or closes, contact Ponderosa as soon as possible for an in-depth assessment.
How to Fix a Noisy Garage Door
There are some simple solutions that homeowners with a DIY spirit can handle on their own. With the proper tools and a little bit of know-how, those creaks, squeaks, and rumbles can be silenced after a little bit of effort.
Tighten the nuts and bolts
Using your adjustable or socket wrench, tighten all the nuts and bolts on the door and along the track. Be sure each nut is snug without being over-tight. Don’t have wrenches? These essential home improvement tools can be purchased from any hardware or department store. Consider investing between $10 and $40 on a wrench that will help with a wide variety of home improvement projects.
Metal rollers often grow noisy with age as they roll up and down on the track. If the rollers look worn down, you may want to replace them. If you have a five-section garage door, you will likely need about 12 rollers. Nylon is quieter than metal and does not need regular lubrication.
However, because nylon rollers cost almost double metal ones, you may want to assess your budget before purchase. Most standard rollers are two inches wide with a four-inch stem. You would do well to measure yours before buying any replacements to ensure a perfect fit.
A word of caution: Garage doors use two types of spring mechanisms in order to ease lifting and lowering. The extension springs are located above the upper tracks, while torsion springs are attached to the header above the closed door. Torsion springs operate using extreme tension and can be hazardous to unskilled hands. So contact Ponderosa Garage Doors and Repair to replace the bottom bracket rollers for you.
Replace The Hinges
The hole in the hinge that houses the roller stem can become worn, causing rickety garage door sounds. Inspect each hinge and replace those with a hole that appears more oblong than round.
Noisy garage doors do more than just disrupt your peace and quiet – they indicate a problem. Any problem with your garage door is one worth solving quickly to avoid personal injury, break-ins, and damage due to overuse.
For other repairs, consider these tips to troubleshoot your creaks and shakes. Fixing your noisy garage door could be as easy as tightening a nut or replacing a hinge. However, if you don’t feel comfortable working on such a big part of the home, call Ponderosa’s garage door experts for friendly, knowledgeable service that gets the job done.