Could You Be Using the Wrong Garage Door Lubricant?

Red, white and black motor oil container

Most of us have been told that it's important to lubricate moving parts in mechanical devices, including garage doors, car engines, and all sorts of other machinery. Wherever metal can be found rubbing against metal, you can be sure that lubrication is a crucial requirement. At A Better Garage Door, we understand more than most the importance of lubrication for moving components in outdoor environments, which is why today's blog post is all about the subject of lubricating your garage door: the type of lubricant you use and the frequency with which you should apply it. Our primary focus will be on choosing the right lubricant for the job. We have lost count of the number of garage door repair requests we've received from local homeowners who have been using the wrong lubricant for years, due to receiving poor advice.

Lubrication Tips from Our Parker Garage Door Installation and Repair Team

Before we explain why some lubricants are simply not suitable for use on the opening mechanisms of overhead garage doors, let's take a minute to think about why lubrication is so important in the first place:

  • Decreased Wear and Tear – A good-quality lubricant can protect the moving parts in your garage door and its opening mechanism, by helping to reduce friction. The less friction, the less wear there will be on these components. This is, of course, assuming that you choose a suitable lubricant in the first place. If you use the wrong type of lubricant, you could end up doing more harm than good as far as increasing the longevity of your garage door's moving components is concerned.
  • Less Corrosion – Rust is the enemy of all metal components used in outdoor devices such as garage doors. Once it starts, it seems impossible to stop it, with replacement of the offending parts being the only practical solution in most cases. Whether you pay for a new overhead door installation in Broomfield, Parker, or any other part of the country, you owe it to yourself to protect your investment by applying suitable lubricant to all of the moving metal components. A liberal coating of high-quality lubricant will repel moisture and keep the moving parts of your garage door free of rust. This will, of course, help to ensure the next-listed benefit: smoother operation.
  • Smoother Operation – As garage door repair experts, we are happy to confirm that applying quality lubricant to all moving metal components will result in smoother operation. A well-maintained overhead door glides effortlessly up and down in response to button presses on its remote control unit. A poorly-maintained overhead door, on the other hand, may appear to be reluctant to open and close, owing to the noises it makes when doing so, and its juddering, hesitant movements. If you enjoy mechanical devices that perform flawlessly day after day, week after week, and month after month, you should lubricate the moving parts of your garage door regularly.
  • Fewer Garage Door Emergencies – Well-lubricated moving components are subject to less wear and tear, as noted above. This means less chance of inconvenient breakdowns when you maintain your garage door in line with the manufacturer's guidelines. All overhead door manufacturers recommend that the moving parts in their doors are lubricated now and then, to avoid the possibility of excessive wear and tear, premature failure, and, in the worst cases, costly replacements. Considering the cost of a brand new garage door installation and the inconvenience associated with garage door failures, it is easy to appreciate the importance of lubrication as far as the moving components in your door opening mechanism are concerned.

For all of the above reasons, it is worth spending a few minutes of your time to lubricate your garage door opening mechanism now and then.

Are You Using the Right Lubricant on Your Overhead Door Installation

Now we've established the importance of lubrication, let's talk about the type of lubricants available today and which ones are best suited to the task at hand.

  • Heavy Grease – The sort of grease that is thick and gloopy and that seems to be found in every garage over a certain age is not a great choice when it comes to lubricating the moving components in your garage door. Although it will do a good job of protecting metal parts from rust, it will also attract dirt and debris in large quantities. Because of this, it often does little to reduce friction and, in certain cases, may actually result in more rather than less wear and tear over the years. Every member of our garage door repair team recommends staying away from heavy grease when lubricating overhead door components.
  • WD-40 – If you have ever had a garage door that opened and closed at torturously slow speeds, owing to the amount of rust, dirt, and debris that was covering the surfaces of every moving part, you may well have turned to WD-40 for help and been impressed with the results. WD-40 is undoubtedly a first-class cleaning solution and can produce stunning results. However, it will do nothing to protect the now clean components from friction in the future. For this, you need a lubricant, not a hydrophobic solution such as WD-40.
  • Lithium Grease – In marked contrast to the first two options that we have discussed, lithium grease is an excellent choice of lubricant for moving components in garage doors. In addition to being a long-lasting choice that provides excellent lubrication and protection against rust, there are no poisonous fumes to worry about when applying lithium grease, which is always an important consideration when choosing a lubrication solution for use in a confined space such as a garage. Every member of our overhead door installation and repair teams in Parker and Broomfield agrees that lithium grease is a great choice for garage door lubrication.
  • Silicone Spray – Silicone spray lubricants are widely available and exceptionally easy to apply. The majority of brands you are likely to come across in the USA have a straw spray adapter that can be attached to the nozzle of the spray can as and when desired. This is why it is very easy to lubricate harder-to-reach components with silicone spray solutions. However, as a reputable garage door company we feel compelled to sound a note of caution about relying on this particular option as your sole lubricant. Whilst undoubtedly a good lubricant, silicone spray cannot match lithium grease in terms of the protection it offers to move metal components in outdoor locations. For this reason, we recommend using it in combination with lithium grease if possible. You can apply silicone spray lubricant to the parts of your garage door that are otherwise impossible to reach and lithium grease to all other components that need to be lubricated.

If you have any questions about garage door lubrication, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us by phone or email. And if you live in Broomfield or Parker and you're ever in need of a professional garage door repair service, you are also very welcome to get in touch with us.

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