That squeaky, eerie, annoying sound that your garage makes when it’s not doing so hot is enough to drive anyone crazy. Beyond that, it signifies that your garage needs some tender love and care. Figuring out what’s wrong can be somewhat of a pain in the butt.
The Main reason your garage door is squeaky is bad lubrication. However, old parts, and cold weather could also be causing your garage door to be squeaky. The good news is that a simple inspection and looking at things can quickly find your answers. And they aren’t always a complicated fix.
Knowing what to look for is one thing. Fixing it is another. So let’s take a look at how you can troubleshoot your squeaky garage door and get it running great again.
Why is Your Garage Door Squeaking?
A squeaky garage door is a common issue. This is especially true with age. The joints and workings start to break down, so there can be several issues. And in some cases, there can be more than one. Here are the common contributing factors.
Old Hinges or Rollers
The hinges and rollers are an essential part of the garage door. The hinges connect all the important areas, while the rollers are responsible for smoothly moving the garage up and down the tracks. Old hinges and rollers are the usual culprits of a garage squeaking,
The materials start to rust up and depreciate over time. When the hinges and rollers start to deform, they can break other parts and force the garage to go into misalignment. Checking for rust and debris buried in these nooks and crannies is a problem.
A garage should be well-lubricated in all important parts, such as the hinges, springs, rollers, etc. Lubrication doesn’t last forever, so you could look at a few problems in this subsection. The lubrication could be old, cheap, or in some cases, affected by the weather. Cold weather hardens and thickens the lubricant, making it difficult to move through.
Any moving part of the garage requires lubrication. In general, regular maintenance is required when reapplying lubrication, but most people don’t think twice about it in the garage. The rule of thumb is to check every three months.
Garage Door Track is Not Aligned
Your garage door track has two tracks where the rollers travel vertically and horizontally to get the garage up. The vertical track will run from the floor to the ceiling, and the horizontal then connects at the ceiling and runs horizontally back into the garage.
Those two tracks need to connect and align for the garage to go up smoothly. There can be several reasons why your track gets out of alignment. Some include pressure on the pulleys and forcing the garage door to move.
Your Torsion Springs Are Broken
Torsion springs use torque to help balance the weight of the garage. They are coiled steel springs that sit above the garage door. Generally speaking, these types of torsion springs can support around 200 to 500 pounds in garage weight. When the garage is shut it will be tightly wound and then uncoil as it opens.
Springs do not last forever and will lose their tightness over time. They also can be affected by cold temperatures if not lubricated properly. When they are stiff and rusted, they won’t be as mobile. So it may be time to replace your garage door springs.
The Limit Setting is Misadjusted
The garage door limit is a setting that predetermines how much or how little your garage door can open or close. Its most natural setting allows it to close and open all the way. But sometimes this can be misaligned or malfunctioned. What happens is that the garage door will only open or close a certain amount before it reverses itself.
The issue becomes more of a safety problem when the limit setting is misadjusted. When the sensors are incorrect the garage may not recognize that something is in the way of the door shutting.
Common Fixes For a Squeaky Garage Door
The great news is that there are many solutions to any of the problems listed above. And most of the common fixes can easily be done by yourself. Only the biggest problems will cost a pretty penny and require a handyman to solve the issue.
Lubricate Your Garage Door
Lubricating all the moving parts are the best way to fix all the creaky bones in your garage door. The hinges, rollers, springs, and parts that are made of metal and steel need some love. Even your weather strip should be lubricated in order to keep it from sticking or freezing to the ground.
Silicon-based lubricants are the best to use because they avoid moisture build-up. They also tend to last longer and are more durable than other lubricants. It also is weather adverse to the cold, so you don’t have to worry about it hardening.
Replace the Garage Door Rollers
If there were a time to hire someone for a job, it would be when replacing the garage door rollers. The project can be done by yourself, but if you loosen the wrong bolts, you set yourself up for risk of personal injury. The bottom rollers and cable support the garage weight, which could come down in this case.
Paying someone to do the job for you is not an expensive feat. Typically, the entire replacement will cost between $80-$175. After being replaced, they should last five to seven years comfortably.
Adjust Your Garage Door Track
This project is possible to do yourself. It takes some trial and error as you may need to readjust on the go. The first step is to loosen the bolts and move the track in or out to put it in line and center with the next one. Then tighten the screws.
As you align the garage tracks with the mounting bracket, you may need to also check your cables and your rollers. Sometimes the track can be commonly confused with these two problems.
Replace the Torsion Spring
Torsion springs have a lot of energy and are tightly wound. Most think they would want to open the garage door as the torsion spring loses its tension when opened. However, you have to replace them when the garage is closed. It’s essential to be very careful as the pressure can unwind and cause injury.
You will need a winding bar to release the tension of the torsion spring. Simply unwind the spring carefully and wind the new spring into place. Ensure it’s secure, so it doesn’t fling in your direction.
Replace Your Garage Cables
With the right tools, you can replace your garage cables without it being a completely overwhelming task. For this job, the garage door will be opened and held in position with locking pliers. You need to release the spring tension as instructed in the previous paragraph. Then you can loosen the cable screws and remove them.
Simply put in the new cables and set them into the drum. Next, you will put the tension back into the springs. The process requires a lot of steps but is not a complicated job. In situations where you are unsure, call a professional.
Adjust the Garage Remote Settings
In the overhead motor, you can find the garage remote settings and the travel limit adjustments. Typically the settings will be on the left side of the remote if you are facing the garage. You will see an up arrow and a down arrow. These are inside the travel of the garage door.
To change the limits of how far the door can travel up or down, you will tighten or loosen the corresponding screws. Tightening it will increase travel, whereas loosening it will decrease travel.
Instances where you need to adjust:
- The garage door closes and reopens
- The garage door ignores the safety reverse when an object is in the way
- When the garage does not close or open fully
Replace Garage Door Opener
The garage door opener is the center for the running power that gets the garage up and down. Replacing the motor is one of the more extensive jobs regarding these issues. Replacing the garage door opener requires an overhaul of the overhead motor, remote devices, and rails. In this case, it’s better to call a professional for help. It will take them half the time it will take you.
When Should You Call a Professional
There is truly never a bad time for a professional to step in and help do the job of fixing your garage door. That doesn’t mean that you can take some matters into your own hands. Applying some lubricant to stop minor squeaking is not a hard job. But it doesn’t compare to replacing your center console garage door opener.
Sometimes it’s worth spending some money to fix your garage door rather than potentially causing more problems. Some jobs may cost as little as $20-$30 to fix. Depending on the complications and issues, bigger jobs will cost upwards of $500.
It may take a little detective work to determine the issue at hand. Sometimes it’s more than one. Some jobs are easier to take on than others, so there is no shame in calling a professional. In the end, you can protect yourself from some potentially dangerous situations and ensure you get the job done correctly.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.