What to do about a noisy garage door

Does it seem like the opening and closing of your garage door is something that can easily wake the entire household or sound like a catastrophe occurring? If you have ever jumped at the sound of your garage door opening or asked, “Why do I have such a noisy garage door?”, the following tips are for you.

Interior of garage

Some questions to pose

If you have a noisy garage door opener, simply ask yourself these questions:

  • How old is the opener? Chances are, if you have an opener that is 20 years or more in age, it is time to replace it as it will remain noisy, clunky and runs the risk of breaking down.
  • Is it a chain operated model? Does it have a combination of steel wires and chain?
  • What about the trolley that pulls the door? Is it a three‑piece model?
  • If so, the bolts used in this system can loosen over the years and cause a tremendous amount of noise. If it is a chain and wire model, there are countless reasons why the system is making noise.
  • What is the solution? Generally, you’ll want to consider upgrading to a newer model with better designs and systems.

The right models

Ideally, you would want a garage door system with the following elements and features:

  • A one‑piece trolley for lifting up the door
  • A system that uses a rubber belt (reinforced with metal) rather than chains and wires

The door and its hardware should also be taken into consideration as this too can make for a very noisy experience.

Is it the door?

Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you need to invest in a new door:

  • Is it non‑insulated? Is it only sided with steel on one side and not both?
  • Maybe you have a metal door with an insulating panel on the interior?
  • Does the door have tracks that are bolted together? If so, these bolts can also loosen and make a lot of noise.
  • Are the rollers on the door made of steel? If so, they can wear out over time, and they can begin to slide rather than roll – making a lot of unwanted noise.
  • What’s going on in the spring system? Does it use torsion or extension? Either way, this can cause noise as it may not create an effective counterweight for the door.

The ideal doors

If you are dealing with one or more of those issues, consider doors and hardware with these standards:

  • Three layer doors – sandwich‑type doors are built with steel/insulation/steel designs that are more durable and much less likely to make noise.
  • The tracks – hardware systems using anchor plates welded to tracks are sturdier and create less noise.
  • Rollers – opt for steel rollers, with 11 ball bearings, covered in nylon, as these are the quietest options available
  • Spring systems – you should opt for a torsion‑type spring system as they are safer than extension systems. They are mounted over the door and transmit less sound. Be sure the system has good lubrication as that too prevents sprints from making a lot of noise.

Your garage

Of course, the actual structure and location of garages can make even a relatively quiet door sound a lot louder than it is, or can muffle sound when there are some issues. Consider these points:

  • Basements – Garages inside the basement of a home are, essentially echo chambers and can make the noise seem worse than it is. Don’t ignore it, but do keep that in mind.
  • Concrete – Is your garage built entirely of concrete? Is it beneath a living space? Are the floors hardwood? These three things all add up to a lot of noise, even if the system is fine. Address some of the unwanted noise with carpeting or insulation. You can even advise family members that the door is not to be used at certain hours to prevent it from jarring someone awake or making too much sound inside the home.
  • Tracks and the ceiling – How are the tracks affixed to the ceiling? If a garage is made of concrete, noise isolators or a piece of semi‑rigid rubber installed between the anchor and the ceiling can reduce noise.
  • Wooden garages – A garage made of wood often has the opener attached to a rafter. Because such garages are often uninsulated, noise is a problem. Here too, isolators can reduce sound.

Upkeep really helps

Like so many other things in our homes, if you perform regular maintenance, you can reduce a lot of problems with garage door openers. We suggest the following:

  • Visual inspection – Just take a look at the components twice each year to be sure bolts are not loose, rollers are not sticking and so on. Tighten everything up and be sure it is all in working order.
  • Lubrication – If you lubricate the entire system properly, noise is often eliminated or reduced as well as the system being able to operate more efficient. Tackle all of the door components. If the door and system is steel, use a metal lubricant like 10W30, and for any other materials, such as PVC use a silicone‑based lubricant.

As the largest moving object in your home, the door can be a major safety issue, so you should be inspecting it at least once or twice per year.

Other steps

In addition to inspecting and lubricating, consider these steps:

  • Emergency test – Some doors have emergency cords that allow you to manually operate the door. Once or twice per year, give this cord a test. Then, open the door. Is it heavy? Is it too heavy? The experts say you should be able to open the door with one hand, and that the weight should be between eight and ten pounds (3.5 to 4.5 kg). Any heavier than that and you have learned that the springs are failing to perform properly. Get in touch with a repair expert immediately, and do not try to repair the springs on your own.
  • Get an expert – If all of that seems out of our depth, just call for a tune‑up program with an expert. Do this before winter and again in spring.

Whether you need a new system or door, or for your annual maintenance, schedule a service call online or contact us at 519-741-0930. You can click here to get a free quote, or click here to start by building your perfect garage door! We look forward to providing you with the best answers and service to keep your garage door working quietly and safely.

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