A garage is a beneficial feature to any home, but when you’re asking yourself “why is my garage door so noisy,” chances are you have something wrong with it. While the noise alone can be a nightmare, irritating everyone near it, the source of the sound can turn into a more significant problem.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with a noisy garage door. It begins with learning about some of the reasons why your garage door is making noise, then taking steps to quiet it.
What Causes a Noisy Garage Door?
If your garage door is noisy, you might be hearing a variety of sounds, like :
Below, we explore the signs for six of the most common causes of these garage door noises.
1. Bent Tracks
If you’re finding it difficult to open and close your garage door, the issue could be the metal rail bends. One particular tell-tale symptom of bent tracks is when you open and close your garage door, it makes rubbing noises. If you see loose screws, it’s a sign you could have a bent garage door track.
2. Loose Parts
The hardware of your door — like the rollers, hinges, nuts, bolts and chain — can become loose. Each piece of equipment has its signs to look for when your garage door is rackety, and you suspect it’s due to loose parts. Be sure to check your:
- Rollers and Hinges: One sign of worn out rollers or hinges is they’ll wobble when you’re operating the door. Metal or sloppy rollers or hinges will become noisy and worn after an extended period of use or if they are bent. You may hear high-pitched squeaking or grinding noises if your rollers or hinges are to blame.
- Chain: When your garage door opener chain becomes loose, it creates a loud slapping sound and causes the rollers to smack against the track because of jerky door movements.
- Nuts and Bolts: When the bolts and nuts become loose, they can cause your garage door to make a vibrating or rattling noise when you open and close it.
3. Poor Lubrication
Worn rollers, loose parts and other hardware needing lubrication will make plenty of noise — potentially in the forms of squeaking, rattling or grinding. When the door moves, it results in friction, which can cause a great deal of these types of sounds.
4. Unbalanced Doors
In an unbalanced garage door, the springs could be exerting too much tension or not providing enough for them to counterbalance the door’s weight. Both of these scenarios can place added strain on the opener. An unbalanced garage door can result in a snapped spring or cable, or cause the opener to fail prematurely.
Some unbalanced door symptoms to keep an eye out for are that the door:
- Appears uneven when you open or close it
- Takes a long time for it to open or close
- Doesn’t open
- Makes odd noises, such as banging, rattling, scraping or squeaking
5. Improper Installation
If your garage door was installed correctly, it should not be so loud it wakes you up. Some signs of improper installation include the garage door closes or stops halfway up or doesn’t close or open properly. It also may be difficult to operate. If this is the case, you could hear any number of noises, including grinding, squealing or rattling.
Sometimes, your garage door is working as it should, but it still is noisy. It may be a matter of acoustics or needing to soundproof your garage. Perhaps your garage or garage door isn’t insulated, allowing sound to escape and making it seem louder.
How to Fix a Noisy Garage Door
If you’re frustrated with your noisy garage door, you can solve many issues with some regular checks and slight repairs. If you’re asking yourself, “how do I make my garage door quieter?”, here are four steps to follow.
1. Tighten Nuts and Bolts
Garage doors can often have more than a hundred screws, nuts and bolts — all of which can come loose by using your door daily. You can eliminate this issue by taking a little time to check these items and tighten them up using a wrench or socket set. If this was the problem, once you make these items tight you shouldn’t hear the noise any longer.
2. Lubricate, Oil or Replace Garage Door Rollers
First, inspect the garage door rollers. While watching the rollers, open and close the door. The rollers could be the reason behind your squealing or grinding garage door noises. Each time you open or close the door, the rollers on the track of the door move, causing wear and eventually damaging each roller’s surface. When there’s damage to the rollers, they will no longer roll in the track properly. They may become bound up, leaving them to slide in the track. Sliding rollers are noisy inside the track due to friction. If you notice the rollers appear worn, you should replace them.
If the rollers seem to be working correctly, they may need lubrication. But, don’t lubricate nylon rollers since petroleum can degrade these and other plastic components on the garage door. If after lubrication you notice the garage door isn’t quieter, then your rollers probably need to be replaced.
Opt for nylon rollers over the metal variety since they’re quieter. You might pay a little more for them, but you won’t need to lubricate them periodically. Before you purchase any replacements, measure them. Standard rollers have a four-inch stem and two-inch roller.
To make lifting and lowering easier, garage doors use a couple of types of springs: extension and torsion. You’ll find extension springs on both sides and above the upper track. Torsion springs attach to the header, which is right above the closed door. Don’t attempt to replace bottom bracket rollers yourself if your garage door has torsion springs — they’re under a lot of tension, and you could become seriously injured if you tamper with the bottom brackets. Hire a trained and professional technician to do the job.
3. Lubricate or Replace Garage Door Springs
A common culprit for loud garage doors is the springs located at the top of the door. You need to lubricate the springs several times a year. However, remember the extreme tension the torsion springs are under — don’t place any part of your body in or near the springs. Don’t repair, remove or adjust the springs or any connected components of the counterbalance system like:
- Wood blocks
- Steel brackets
To lubricate garage door springs, you’ll need to spray them lightly with a silicone lubricant or white lithium grease. Don’t over lubricate them since the lubricant can end up dripping on the surface of the door when you operate it.
If you’ve opened or closed your garage door more than 10,000 times since its last replacement of springs or the springs appear worn out or broken, call a garage door technician for an immediate replacement.
4. Lubricate or Replace Garage Door Hinges
You may realize by now that many parts to your garage door will wear out eventually, and you’ll want to inspect them all if you’re still having issues with your garage door making a loud noise when opening or closing it.
Check to see if the hinges are worn out, broken or have metal fillings or dust around them. Should you notice any of these conditions, call a trained technician to come to replace or repair the hinges. Worn-out hinges aren’t as common as worn out rollers, but they can make a lot of noise. Metal and gray dust filings surround the pin of the hinge are early indications of wear. If you notice an oblong hole where the hinge bracket and tubular hinge pine connects, you should replace the hinge.
Don’t repair, remove or adjust the hinges by yourself or even with a friend. Removing the bottom bracket can make your door fall, which can result in severe injury or death. Only a professional garage door technician should make repairs of hinges.
If your hinges appear to be in good shape, you may need to lubricate them using synthetic lubricant. Before you work on your garage door, you need to take certain safety precautions. For instance, you should wear gloves, so you don’t get any of the lubricants on your hands. You’ll also want to ensure nobody operates the door while you’re working on it by disconnecting the opener.
Standard Garage Door Problems and Their Solutions
If you’re having one of these three common garage door issues, there is typically a simple solution.
1. Squeaky Garage Door or Garage Door Grinding Sound When Opening or Closing
If you hear a garage door grinding noise, it could be the rollers. The door track rollers move each time you open or close the door, leading to a lot of movement and causing wear. This wear could damage the roller surface, causing them not to roll correctly. They can also become bound up, leaving them sliding in the track causing friction and a lot of noise.
How to Fix: Lubricate or Replace
Replace the rollers — preferably with solid nylon or nylon-coated varieties — which leads to quieter door operation. Plus, nylon rollers don’t require periodic lubrication. Other rollers, however, do require lubrication at least twice a year. Lubrication prevents your garage door from causing vibrations when you operate it.
2. Garage Door Making Popping Sound When Opening
If your garage door makes a popping sound when opening, it could be the torsion springs. To help open the door, many garage doors come with big torsion springs. The spring coil over time can lock and prevent smooth operation. This causes the popping sound you hear.
How to Fix: Lubricate with Motor Oil & Wipe Clean
The spring requires lubrication with motor oil and should be wiped clean using a dry cloth. Again, you shouldn’t attempt to lubricate torsion springs yourself — instead, have a trained technician handle the job.
3. Garage Door Crashes to the Ground When Closing
The torsion springs could also cause your garage door to come crashing down to the ground when you close it. If you notice this happening, the torsion springs may be loose.
How to Fix: Call a Specialist to Replace It
Since torsion springs function under extreme tension, repairs or replacements, contact your local garage door technician to fix any loose or broken torsion springs right away.
How to Make Garage Door Quieter
Typically, you can quiet your garage door in one of the following four ways.
1. Add Rubber as Buffer in Spots Causing Noise
Create opener and garage door buffers using pieces of rubber to reduce noise. Before you work on the opener and door, unplug the door opener’s motor. Take the door opener motor out of the mounting bracket and put it aside gently.
Take out the garage door bolts connecting the tracks to it. Slide a 1/4-inch-wide piece of rubber between the bolts and door, then tighten up the bolts. You’ll then remove the bolts holding the door to its support frame. Cut two rectangular thick rubber pieces, drill a couple of holes and then bolt one end to the garage door opener’s frame.
Using rubber pieces, hang the motor from the garage door opener mounting straps. By the rubber pieces, suspend the garage door opener from the frame. The rubber absorbs noisy vibrations, keeping them from causing the metal support frame from shuddering. Test the opener and the garage door to ensure they’re working correctly.
2. Replace Steel Rollers With Nylon Ones
Some rollers can cause more noise than others. To make your garage door quieter, as mentioned above, you’ll want to purchase nylon rollers instead of metal ones. They absorb sounds better and don’t require as frequent lubrication as the metal rollers do.
3. Lubricate Metal Components
Many parts of your garage door move under a lot of pressure. Because of this, they do require lubrication to keep the movements running smoothly. By not lubricating your garage door, these parts can grind against and stick to one another causing unnecessary vibrations.
A good rule of thumb is to lubricate the bearings, rollers and hinges at least once a year. You may also want to grease the frame of the garage door yearly, as well, to help it slide easier.
The lubrication you use should be made to use on metal like 10W-30 motor oil, for instance. Apply the lubricant and wipe any excess off with a cloth — don’t ever use grease. When torsion spring system metallic parts rub together, it could create a lot of noise. You can also look for silicone sprays or white lithium grease which make good lubricants. Aerosol works well to maintain tiny moving parts.
4. Maintain the Garage Door Properly
Proper garage door maintenance is essential to keep your door operating correctly and safely. Some ways a professional garage door technician can make your door quieter is by:
- Replacing steel or metal rollers with nylon rollers
- Installing a belt-driven garage door opener instead of a chain-driven one
- Installing torsion springs rather than extension springs if there’s space
- Performing a thorough inspection to confirm your garage door is appropriately operating
Get Your Free Garage Door Problem Estimate Today
Hopefully, you can quiet your garage door with one of these methods. If you can’t, the best thing you can do is hire a reputable garage door technician to come to your home and inspect your garage door. They should be able to diagnose the problem and resolve it quickly. You should also invest in annual maintenance checks and hire an expert to lubricate your garage door parts every few months.
Call us here at Easy Open Company, Inc. for your free estimate to diagnose your noisy garage door issue. We’ve been helping homeowners in San Diego and the surrounding area with their residential garage doors since 1979. Count on us to either repair or replace your door so it continues to operate safely, efficiently and quietly for a long time.