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When to Lubricate Your Garage Door Chain | Garage Door Doctor
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How Often Should You Lubricate a Garage Door Chain?

by | Apr 24, 2023

Each time that you come and go from your home, you press your garage door button to move your door. Homeowners rely on their garage door opener to function each and every time they need access. However, issues can arise with this area of your home. In order to experience a quiet and smooth transition from open to closed, your garage door chain should be lubricated regularly. This is something that a garage door professional can take care of for you as part of a routine maintenance appointment. You can also take care of this maintenance yourself. Let’s talk more about the lubrication of your garage door chain and how often this process should be done.

The Benefits of Regular Garage Door Chain Lubrication

In order to fully understand why it’s important to regularly lubricate your garage door chain, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this process.

Smooth Transition From Open to Closed

A garage door chain that is in need of lubrication can be very loud. It can also experience some resistance, making the transition from open to closed rattle. Instead of tolerating your garage door shaking and rattling while it’s in the process of moving, you can lubricate the chain to maintain a smooth movement.

Preventing a Malfunction of Your Garage Door Chain

Have you ever pressed the button for your garage door to open or close, and nothing happened? There are a few reasons why this can occur, including a broken or jammed chain. When the chain mechanism is very dry and in need of lubrication, it’s more likely to snap. You’ll need to call in a professional to replace the chain, which is far more time-consuming and expensive than a quick lubrication.

Garage Door Chain Lubrication Frequency

You should routinely lubricate your garage door chain at least twice per year. Depending on how often you open and close your garage door, the frequency may increase. The area where you live can also impact this maintenance schedule. For example, living near the beach or in another harsh environment can put a lot of wear and tear on the chain. This is because of exposure to different kinds of materials like sand, high levels of humidity, etc. Some homeowners will lubricate their garage door chain every couple of months. Ideally, you want to keep up with this maintenance rather than just waiting for your garage door to sound noisy or rattle.

Try to avoid using a product that is overly greasy or oily when lubricating your garage door chain. This type of product will end up attracting a lot of dust and particulates to the chain. If those particles accumulate in all of the cracks and crevices of the chain, it can become more prone to breaking. If you apply too much product, you can wipe the excess away. Avoid spraying lubricant on other areas of your garage door, such as the rollers or the garage door opener.

If you live somewhere that experiences very cold temperatures during certain points of the year, you should choose an all-weather lubricant. Otherwise, certain products will become very thick and gel-like when temperatures outside fall below freezing. Also, avoid anything that can be corrosive to metal.

Steps for Lubricating Your Garage Door Chain

You can ask a garage door professional to lubricate your chain as part of an upcoming maintenance or repair appointment, but this is also something you can easily do on your own. Let’s take a look at the steps you should follow to lubricate your garage door chain.

Make sure that your garage door is completely closed. Unplug the garage door opener from its power outlet. When lubricating the chain, you want to avoid having the door move.

Use an old rag to remove any dirt, residue, or grease from the garage door chain. You can also use a vacuum to remove any debris that has accumulated.

Apply a product designed specifically for lubricating a garage door chain. These products are generally silicone-based for longevity and durability. You can also use WD-40 in a pinch. Spray the top, bottom, and sides of your chain. Spray lightly, as you don’t want the product to drip off the chain and all over your garage floor.

Plug your garage door opener back into the power outlet. Open and close your garage door a few times to evenly distribute the lubricant. You may need to repeat the process if you notice the chain is shaky or loud.

Other Related Maintenance

In addition to lubricating your garage door chain, there are some other related maintenance tasks to consider completing at the same time.

Inspect the Rollers

A thorough inspection of your garage door rollers will determine if there’s a repair or replacement that needs to be made. You want to make sure that the roller doesn’t shift or wiggle at all when you touch it. You can lubricate your rollers with lithium- or silicone-based grease for optimal protection.

Inspect the Hinges

Check your garage door hinges to make sure the attached hardware is secure. You also want to inspect for rust or signs of wear and tear. Hinges can be quickly replaced, if need be, which helps secure your garage door and protect its longevity. Hinges can also be lubricated if they are squeaking when in motion.

Tighten Your Garage Door Chain

Your garage door chain can have a little bit of a sag to it, but it shouldn’t come anywhere near your garage door. You also want to prevent the chain from being tightened too much, which increases the chance of the chain snapping.
If you need to tighten the chain, loosen the nut that is closest to the garage door. The chain should drop slightly. Loosening the inner nut at this point will allow you to tighten the chain using the outer nut. Make sure both are secure when you are finished.

Listen for Odd Noises

Aside from visually inspecting your garage door chain and lubricating it, there are some other issues to listen for. The sound of your garage door chain hitting your garage door indicates that the chain needs to be tightened. A vibrating sound may mean that the bolts holding the chain in place are loose or damaged. Many people mistake roller issues for a damaged chain, so look closely at both of these areas if there are odd noises when your door is in motion.

There may be a problem with your garage door that requires the attention of a garage door professional even though you have routinely lubricated your garage door chain. Reach out to Garage Door Doctor if you live in Bloomington or the surrounding areas to schedule an appointment for garage door maintenance or repair. In addition to emergency repairs and services, Garage Door Doctor will address residential and commercial garage door maintenance, spring repair, and total garage door replacement.