The garage door is typically thought of as one of the noisiest parts of your home, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Although many garage doors are poorly maintained and therefore end up being rather loud, if noise is a concern then there are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of noise that operating your door makes. Some of these steps might place you at risk, so we recommend only having an expert perform this maintenance, but some of the simpler steps can be safely performed by homeowners. If your garage door sounds like a dinosaur, like the video below, frankly that is awesome and we don’t suggest changing it. But if your door is a boring sort of loud, these simple steps can help reduce the noise and keep you sane.
On a basic level, the reason that your garage door makes noise is that the components are shaking or bumping each other. A perfectly installed and well-fitted door will still make some noise, but if your door is clanking around every time you use it and waking up your family, it is probably just in need of some attention. Routine maintenance is advisable for anyone, but these tips will be especially useful if you have a bedroom above your garage or if you have people (potentially teenage children…) using the garage door opener at odd hours.
Typical usage of your door will cause the components to shake themselves loose over time, so taking some small steps to maintain your door is highly advised. Firstly, examine the door’s hinges and brackets. Note that if your door uses a torsion spring, which the overwhelming majority of doors do, then you will not want to mess with the bottom bracket on each side of the door. These brackets are attached to the cables used to raise and lower the door, and if loosened these brackets can shoot off very quickly, potentially damaging anything in their way. Tighten the brackets on your door and make sure that all the hinges are tightly screwed to your door’s panels. Make certain that you are not loosening the bottom brackets! These parts might have come loose over time, and simply tightening them can tame a noisy door.
Secondly, lubricate your garage door. There are specially made lubricants intended for garage doors (not an affiliate link), and using one of these is a great idea, but white grease and light weight oil lubricants can work as well. Spray lubricants can be applied more easily, but be careful not to let the lubricant build up anywhere in the system and pool. You should lubricate the rollers, spring, tracks, hinges, and (if your opener has one) the chain drive. All moving parts of the door can produce sound if they are not operating effectively, and this is a small step that can make a world of difference. Lubricate the moving parts of your door one to three times a year to keep noise down.
Next, consider replacing your old metal rollers with newer nylon ones. These rollers are slightly more expensive than the old metal variety, but much quieter and longer-lasting. In addition, they require very little lubrication to keep running. This is only one recommended update for older garage door systems – if your opener is more than twenty years old, you should update to a new system and enjoy not only the new, quieter operation, but also the addition of several safety features that were not available in older models.
If you’re upgrading your opener and sound is a major concern of yours, look into belt-drive openers. Although they are much less common than a chain drive, the belt drive is a quiet and powerful alternative. The main disadvantage to choosing a belt drive is that they are more expensive, but sometimes the relatively small difference is worth it when you consider how often you’ll hear the sound of your garage door opening during its lifetime.
If you’ve already checked your rollers and roller stems for wear, lubricated your hinges and installed a quiet opener, your last possible step would be to use some sort of anti-vibration system like rubber pads to quiet your garage door opener. This would be a more involved project and we can’t suggest tackling it unless your opener needs to be nearly silent and you have extensive mechanical, carpentry, and electrical experience. The basic idea would be using rubber or cork pads (or some other shock-absorbing materials) to separate your opener from the brackets and ceiling. In doing so, you could absorb some of the vibrations before they had a chance to shake your home, producing noise. This step is a little extreme for most home or business owners, but if you need perfect quiet then it might be your next step.
These simple practices – tightening your door’s loose brackets and hinges, lubricating any moving parts, and switching to a belt drive motor – can reduce the roar of your garage door to a gentle hum, a much less offensive and nicer greeting for every time you get home. Again, be very careful working with any part of your door assembly that is under tension, such as the bottom brackets and the torsion spring, and if you do need work performed on any of these dangerous components, it is in your best interest to call a professional.
We hope that your doors stay quiet and balanced, and that you learned sometime from this article! If you leaned something about why your door makes noise or if you have plans to try these quick fixes for yourself, share this blog using the links to the left and pass the learning along to your friends!