How to Fix a Noisy Garage Door
The last thing you want is your garage door to be a nuisance to anyone. Its purpose is to provide shelter and protection for your family, vehicle and other assets. When you notice your garage door making noise, you’ll want to get to the bottom of the problem to see what’s causing the unbearable racket before it worsens. Though you may not be able to fix some parts yourself because of the possible risk of injury, you can always contact a garage door contractor to assist.
This article will highlight a few causes of a noisy garage door and what you can do to fix it.
Lubricate the Necessary Parts
A garage door has many moving parts that need lubrication to operate efficiently. With regular greasing, you could ease or eliminate the noise. Though most steel parts are OK to lubricate, you should be careful not to get grease on nylon or other synthetic materials needed for the door to work. Also, ensure the lubricant you use is safe for garage door part application. Though you may think WD-40 will work as a lubricant, silicone spray is a better option and will ensure your tracks stay dirt-free for longer.
Which parts should you routinely lubricate and clean?
- Tracks: The tracks are vital to the garage door’s mobility. You shouldn’t lubricate them directly, though they will likely come into contact with lubrication used for steel rollers. Wiping the tracks with a clean cloth to remove dust and dirt will create optimal conditions for the rollers to glide soundlessly.
- Rollers: Garage door rollers fit into the tracks and ensure the door moves smoothly. There are two types of rollers available — steel and nylon. The advantage of nylon rollers is that they are lighter than steel and, therefore, quieter. The drawback is that you can’t lubricate them as you would do with steel rollers. If your garage door has steel rollers, occasionally apply a small amount of grease to reduce unwanted noise.
- Springs: Torsion springs are above a garage door, while extension springs are on the sides. You don’t necessarily have to lubricate both types of springs, but you can apply a thin layer of grease on the coils to keep them flexible. The better oiled they are, the less noise the springs will produce.
- Bearing plates: Bearing plates at the end of torsion spring shafts require lubrication to support the spring system and help reduce friction and subsequent noise.
- Hinges: Hinges are especially susceptible to wear and tear and need more lubrication than other parts. Well-oiled hinges ensure smooth, silent operation.
- Locking mechanism: Though the locking mechanism is not part of the garage door’s mechanical structure, you can also lubricate it to reduce noise levels when opening and closing it.
If you can no longer maintain any of the parts listed above with regular greasing, it may be time to replace them. Worn components like rollers, springs and tracks all increase noise levels when they start squeaking and screeching.
Ensure the Garage Door Is Not Off-Balance
An imbalanced garage door will pressure the opener, rollers, springs and other parts to work harder, creating friction that can be noisy. Here are a few reasons your door may be off-balance and your garage door opener is making noise.
- Improper installation: Shoddy garage door installation can have severe consequences. Professionals use specialized tools to fasten bolts, screws, springs, hinges, etc. You may hear sounds that signal something is wrong — like unusual slapping, creaking and vibrating — when it should open and close smoothly. While the noise element is a factor, safety comes first. The best way to ensure safety and prevent injury and damage is to consult an experienced garage door technician. You will also enjoy a noise-free garage as a result.
- Worn rollers and cables: When rollers experience increased strain because of an uneven garage door, they will wear out quicker or come off the tracks. They will make noise as they struggle to move under the pressure. Replacing the old rollers with new, working ones will solve the noisy garage door problem. The strain also affects cables, which are more prone to breaking because of the increased pressure. A scraping noise could indicate a cable issue, which you should check out immediately.
- Greater friction: The imbalanced garage door’s heaviness will create friction as the panels and tracks work harder to support the added weight. The door will make a buckling, creaking sound as it moves slowly along the tracks.
- Heavy vibrations: An unstable garage door tends to be shaky. It vibrates and rattles every time you open and close it. The more the parts shake, the louder the noise will be.
- Wear and tear: If your garage door is old and has seen daily use for years, the resulting wear and tear can cause it to be off-balance. You will hear grinding and other loud noises during operation. In this case, consider the effectiveness of a maintenance checkup to determine the extent of wear and tear damage.
Check for a Faulty Opener Motor
The type of motor opener that operates your garage door may determine the noise levels you can expect, apart from the motor being faulty or broken. Here are the common types of openers you will find.
- Chain drive openers: This motor uses a chain that rotates a trolley to open and close the door. It is the most popular because it’s durable enough to carry the weight of bulky, cumbersome doors. One notable drawback is that this type is a noisy garage door opener because of the consistent metal-to-metal contact while in use.
- Belt-drive openers: Instead of a chain, this opener uses a belt in the same way to control the door. Noise is minimal with this opener, since the rubber belt inhibits noise.
- Screw-drive openers: These devices use a motorized steel rod to open and close the garage door. They have fewer moving parts than other garage door openers and require less maintenance, but still tend to be noisier.
- Direct-drive openers: The motor is the only part of this opener that moves along an aerial chain attached to the garage ceiling, making it the quietest option.
- Jackshaft openers: This opener is on the side instead of overhead. A motor turns a beam that allows the torsion spring to control the garage door. It is also not a noisy garage door motor.
Knowing which type of opener you have helps you understand why your door might be inherently louder or quieter. Various sounds can help you identify a faulty motor.
- Clicking: An electrical issue within your motor may be causing it to make a clicking or popping sound, so it’s best to have it checked out professionally.
- Rattling: Any time you hear rattling within a part like a motor, you can safely assume an internal component is loose or broken. You might have to disassemble the motor to inspect it.
- Shaking: Vibrations and shaking are common in motors that are misaligned or nearing the end of their life.
- Grinding: A grinding or buzzing sound could indicate that the gears in your opener are worn down or damaged. Immediately call a reputable garage door contractor to attend to this issue.
- Humming: This noise may sound like your opener is straining to work. It may result in laggy performance from a worn-out motor. Ideally, you should have it replaced at this point.
Let Quality Door Company Inspect Your Garage Door Components
Though you can inspect your garage door based on the noises you’ve identified, DIY garage door repairs are extremely risky. Quality Door Company hires experienced, talented technicians who know what to look for and what to do to restore your door with no hindering noises.
When you call us, we will gladly discuss your garage door noise issues with you. If you would like any other services or an estimate, fill out our contact form and we will get back to you in no time.
What’s a Good R-Value for a Garage Door in Michigan?
As a homeowner, you want your home to be efficient and comfortable. You might have tried many energy-saving tricks to reduce heating and cooling bills and regulate your temperatures. You have sealed cracks, changed your curtains and covered your fireplace to reduce the heat and cold. You’ve even changed your wall color. Despite these efforts, your energy consumption and bills continue increasing, and your home is still freezing or sweltering.
Your garage door might be the culprit, costing you money, time, effort and comfort.
What Are R-Values?
R-values measure insulation quality. Some materials offer high insulation and can prevent heat loss, while others are less insulated, losing warmth faster. For example, a non-insulated steel garage conducts hot air. It absorbs and removes the room’s heat.
A non-insulated garage door can also transfer in outdoor temperatures. An insulated steel garage door does not conduct heat, providing warmer indoor temperatures. The same principle applies to cold air.
R-values range from zero to 20.4, representing your garage door’s insulation capabilities. A higher R-value means your door is more insulated, letting out little to no heat. A lower R-value means your garage door is less insulated and loses heat faster.
Why Should You Insulate Your Garage Door?
Insulating your garage door can regulate your indoor temperature and help save money on energy bills. It can also provide a comfortable and enjoyable living environment. Here are some benefits of an insulated garage door.
Increasing your temperature settings to total capacity can hike up your utility bills. With garage door insulation, you can keep your temperatures and maintain your cozy or cool indoor climate, spending less on energy bills.
Rain, snow, humidity, extreme heat and cold can cause rot, rust, warping and other corrosion. Insulation helps your door absorb less moisture and heat, preventing wear and deterioration.
Improve Your Energy Efficiency
You can set your heat or air conditioning to lower temperatures, reducing energy consumption. If making your home more sustainable is your priority, insulating your garage door can reduce energy usage and be environmentally friendly.
Enhance Your Curb Appeal
A cracked, chipped or discolored garage door can impact your exterior appeal. Insulated garage doors can withstand wear, helping maintain your door finishes and design.
Increase Your Property Value
An insulated garage door is an attractive selling point. Potential buyers can spend less on energy bills and door maintenance, saving more money long-term and increasing their return on investment.
More Space for Recreation and Storage
A well-insulated garage has so much potential. You can use it for extra storage and entertainment, or extend your living area with a home gym or office. Insulating your garage door can help you maximize your space throughout the year.
Manufacturers fill your door with multiple insulation layers, compacting your internal structure. With restricted space, other internal components move around less, producing limited rattling when opening and closing your garage door.
Enjoy a Comfortable Living Space
Poor insulation can affect your living space. Hot days feel uncomfortable, especially when increasing your air conditioning temperatures does little to relieve the heat and humidity. Insulating your garage door prevents cold air from escaping, providing a cooler and comfortable internal environment.
Extend Your Garage Door Life Span
Installing insulation can make your garage door more rigid. You can prevent bumps, dents, cracks and holes and retain your doors in excellent condition for many years.
How to Select a Garage Door R-Value
Selecting a suitable R-value can require thought and research. The right insulation level can be a worthwhile and valuable investment. Your garage door R-value can depend on factors like climate, door usage, existing insulation, budget, home design and materials.
The climate is a significant consideration when selecting an R-value. You want your home to be comfortable year-round. For Michigan’s cold, damp winters and hot summers, higher R-levels can provide optimal insulation suitable for extreme temperatures. At the same time, lower values offer moderate insulation, ideal for mild weather. Understanding this variable can help you decide on a suitable R-value level.
Higher insulation levels are generally more expensive than moderate ratings. Manufacturers can use more insulation layers, increasing the R-value and price. The insulation material can also decide the cost. Foams like Fiberglas and polyurethane may cost more than polystyrene.
Your home design can impact your choice. Is your garage attached or detached? Do you have a room above your garage door? All these factors can affect your home’s temperature.
Air escapes every time you open and close your garage door. Cold and hot air can seep into the rest of your home, affecting your living space and energy usage. You might want a higher R-value, like R-13 and up. A detached garage can require a lower rating, like an R-value of six or less.
If your garage is your home’s primary entry, you probably use it more often. Look for a higher R-value garage door to increase energy efficiency.
Heating and cooling systems can help regulate your indoor temperature. If your home has climate control, consider a moderate R-value level. Ratings between six and nine can offer suitable insulation for cold and hot weather.
Wall and Ceiling Insulation
Your R-value can depend on your existing insulation. Garage door insulation can be more effective when paired with wall and ceiling insulation. Insulating your garage door might block external temperature in a designated area. However, uninsulated walls and ceilings can transfer external temperatures, minimizing your garage door’s insulation.
Rely on Quality Door Company for Expert Garage Door Insulation
If you’re wondering how to keep your garage heated or what’s the best garage insulation for winter, we’re here to help. Quality Door Company understands the importance of saving money on energy bills and enhancing your living space. That’s why we offer solutions tailored to your needs and goals. Our skilled technicians are experts in their craft and provide knowledgeable insulation advice and services.
Find excellent garage insulation services near you or request an estimate today to get started.
Understanding the Components of a Garage Door
A garage door is a valuable home feature because of its protective and aesthetic qualities. Various features and components allow a garage door to perform as expected regarding functionality and style. In this post, we’ll discuss the components that make your residential garage door work.
What Are the Parts of a Garage Door?
Garage doors feature five main elements that work together to achieve the functionality and style you expect:
- Door panels and weather seals
- Door opener
- Springs, drums and cables
- Tracks and rollers
- Emergency cord
Door Panels and Weather Seals
Your garage door’s main purpose is to protect your belongings from anything outside. The panel and weather seal are vital to any garage door’s performance.
A garage door panel forms a sturdy barrier between your belongings and the outside world. The right garage door panel will protect the interior against damage during a storm and prevent theft. You can choose between numerous door materials that each offer different levels of strength. Common garage door panel materials include wood, fiberglass, aluminum and steel. The door panel is also the key aesthetic feature, so choose a style that complements your home.
Weather seals also boost your door’s protective qualities. A weather seal is a strip of rubber or vinyl that fills the gap between the door panel and the surfaces above, below or beside it. Weatherstripping helps keep water and dust out of your garage while providing insulation.
It’s critical that your garage door opens and closes at your request, but only when you request it. That’s where a garage door opener comes into play.
The garage door opener is a mechanical system that moves the panel on its tracks. Every garage door opener comprises a motor and sensors. The motor drives the other components that lift or lower the door. The sensors tell the motor when to stop by detecting the door’s proximity to the ground and obstructions that could impede the process.
Springs, Drums and Cables
A garage door panel is heavy, which is why it needs features that support its weight as it opens or closes. The springs, drums and cables create a counterbalance assembly that helps the opener lift and lower your door panel gracefully.
Garage door springs are metal coils above the door that support its weight. The tension from the springs prevents the door from slamming to the ground and offers the strength needed to pull the door to the top. The spring tightens as the door closes, storing energy that it can use to lift the garage door when you want to open it.
When lowering the garage door, the springs transfer power to the drums at the top of the garage door opening. The drum is an aluminum wheel that holds a steel cable running to the bottom of the door. As the spring unwinds, it causes the drum to rotate and pull the cable, lifting the door.
Tracks and Rollers
The tracks and rollers stabilize the garage door as it opens and closes. Each garage door has two tracks running vertically along the door panel’s left and right sides. The tracks trace the garage door opening before curving to run parallel to the ceiling. They establish a path for the door to follow as it raises and lowers. The rollers are small wheels that connect the door to the tracks and allow it to move smoothly.
The emergency cord is a bright string that activates the garage door opener’s safety mechanism. Every garage door includes a manual safety mechanism that deactivates the motor and disconnects it from the panel. Disconnecting the motor and panel stops the door from opening or closing to prevent an injury. The emergency mechanism will also allow you to operate the garage door manually during a power outage when the automatic opener is offline.
Taking Care of Each Garage Door Component
With so many parts that need to work together for your garage door to operate, maintenance is essential. Regular maintenance will ensure your door opens and closes smoothly while also providing the protective and insulative qualities you expect.
While garage door maintenance is important to do often, performing the task safely requires professional training. Always contact a garage door specialist for maintenance and repair services.
Here are some tips for maintaining your garage door:
- Check for damage after harsh weather.
- Inspect and repair your garage door annually before the winter.
- Schedule garage door maintenance with a trusted professional.
Schedule Garage Door Maintenance With Quality Door Company
Quality Door Company maintains and repairs garage doors for homeowners in western Michigan. We conduct thorough inspections to highlight any issues and keep dependable garage door parts on hand to perform timely repairs. Our experienced technicians will prepare your garage door for years of efficient operation, so contact us online to schedule a maintenance appointment.
How to Increase the Life Span of a Garage Door
A garage door does more than let your vehicle in and out. It is an important part of your home’s design and can increase your home’s value. It also helps keep your home and vehicle safe and secure. Given the many purposes a garage door serves, it makes sense for you to want your garage door to stay in tip-top shape.
How Can I Make My Garage Door Last Longer?
Certain steps and methods can help make your garage door last longer. Here is how to increase the life span of your garage door:
1. Clean the Garage Door Panels
The traditional, classic residential garage door is the raised-panel style. The garage door is broken into sections or panels which follow a track and move into the roof space when it opens. While many of these components should be checked twice annually by a professional, the panels themselves can be looked after by the homeowner.
Keep the panels free of any dirt or grime buildup that might naturally occur. Rinse them with water between seasons. You can research how to clean your garage door panels depending on what your door’s made of, whether wood, steel, metal, aluminum or another material.
Do visual inspections as well to ensure that there are no cracks or damage from harsh conditions or a rogue soccer ball.
2. Lubricate the Springs and Moving Parts
You can lubricate your door’s springs and other moving parts. Lubricating moving parts helps your door work smoothly.
You’ll definitely want to lubricate the springs. The tension springs carry all the garage door’s weight when moving into open and closed positions. These springs need to be able to do their part and stay flexible. White lithium grease and silicone-based lubricants can help protect the springs from drying and stiffening up.
Here are some more ways you can make your springs last longer:
- Avoid bringing road salt into the garage: Road salt is very similar to table salt and is used to melt ice in cold regions of the United States. Road salt has many potential disadvantages for homeowners, including damaging metal and concrete, contaminating drinking water, and harming the groundwater. It can also cause damage to the unprotected parts of your garage door, including the springs.
- Keep your garage door balanced: Service your garage doors at least once a year to ensure the door is balanced. If the door starts to sag on one side, the imbalance will affect the springs, causing wear on at least one of them.
If your springs need to be replaced, your best option is to call a professional.
3. Clean the Tracks
You might think the tracks stay relatively clean as they are up on the ceiling of your garage. But think about the top of your kitchen cabinets or your curtain rails. Dust and grime have a tendency to collect in all sorts of places, including your garage door tracks. Keep the tracks clean of any obstacles or grime buildup.
A buildup of dirt or an in-the-way obstacle can cause the tracks to derail or make the door stutter or even get stuck. These can lead to an accident and potentially cause damage to the garage door and anything underneath it.
4. Read Your Owner’s Manual
Reading your owner’s manual helps you understand your specific door. If you want to avoid reading the manual, you can also chat with a professional about your door’s maintenance needs. Each style, type, design and brand of garage door is unique.
You can lengthen the usefulness of your garage door by understanding the parts that make up your specific garage door.
5. Prepare for Winter Weather
If you live in a state that experiences harsh weather conditions — such as snow, hail, rain or freezing temperatures — preparing your garage door for winter can lengthen its life span. Here are some tips on preparing your garage door for the colder months:
- Do a visual inspection: You will want your door to be in top condition before the cold sets in.
- Check the weatherstripping: A weatherstrip covers the gaps between the edges of your door and the outdoors. Checking the weatherstripping is essential for keeping the cold outside where it belongs.
- Lubricate: Garage doors and motors will take strain during this time. Ensure everything is lubricated so that parts stay flexible and move smoothly.
6. Service Your Door Regularly and Leave Repairs to the Professionals
There are some items that homeowners can do themselves when it comes to the maintenance of their garage doors. But larger items, such as garage door replacements, balancing the doors or fixing the motor, should be left to the professionals. You’ll want to service your garage door regularly and receive an inspection twice per year from a professional to keep your door in long-lasting shape.
How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
Garage doors can last about 30 years. You can get the most out of your garage door by receiving preventive maintenance services. The life span can increase depending on the following factors:
- Weather and climate: Each region has its own weather. For example, some areas have harsh wind and hail, while others might have extreme heat in the summer. Each material is vulnerable to different weather conditions. For instance, metal can rust if exposed to moisture for too long.
- Usage: Chat with a professional about how many cycles your garage door can do. If you know you tend to use the door often, choose a garage door style that matches your usage.
- Maintenance: Garage doors should be serviced regularly and maintained in between. Do a visual inspection every now and then and especially after harsh weather.
- Quality of door: The higher the quality, the more durable the garage door.
Garage doors often only need a replacement component, such as a spring or a panel, to return them to optimal performance. However, there may be a time when you will need a completely new garage door. Signs like physical damage and increasing energy costs can alert you it’s time for a new garage door.
The Best Maintenance Tip Is to Service Your Garage Door Regularly
Receiving preventive maintenance services helps keep your door in excellent condition. You should leave tasks like ensuring the door is balanced, inspecting safety features and servicing the motor to the professionals. You can let them know if you have any concerns or notice anything unusual during your visual inspections.
Quality Door Company is the leading dealer in residential garage doors in Western Michigan. We offer personalized maintenance services and carry high-quality models like Clopay®, Liftmaster and Cornell.
Send us a message online to request an estimate or schedule your service appointment for your garage door.
Signs It’s Time for a New Entry Door
The front door of your home is more than an inviting entrance for family and friends. It also provides security, weather protection and curb appeal for your home. Over time, entry doors can become weathered and malfunction. While you may be able to solve some issues with a repair, it might be time to upgrade your front door with a new one.
Replacing your front door can increase your home’s energy efficiency, security and value. This article discusses the common signs to replace your entry door to help you make the decision.
Your Entry Door Is Damaged
A good reason to replace an entry door is that it’s showing signs of damage. Doors are subject to a lot of wear and tear, from lots of traffic to the weather or getting bashed by grocery bags when you bring them inside.
Let’s consider a few types of damage that may indicate you need to replace your entry door:
- Peeling paint: While repainting a door may seem like a quick fix, if your door is wood, there could be an underlying issue that a new coat of paint doesn’t solve. Wood doors expand and contract as the temperatures change, leading to warping and peeling paint that could allow moisture inside the door. If left alone, the door could rot and attract wood-eating insects.
- Dents: A residential door could become dented with just a well-intentioned kick to keep it open when your hands are full. Dents impact a door’s structural integrity and impact the door’s look.
- Squeaking hinges: You may be able to solve squeaking door hinges by applying a little lubricant or tightening ill-fitting screws. Yet sometimes, a squeaky entry door is simply failing. A nonfunctional entry door might pose a security issue by making it easier for intruders to enter.
Your Door Poses a Security Issue
One of the most important signs to replace your entry door is that it’s causing a security issue. You could have trouble locking your front door if the door settles over time and becomes misaligned with the door jamb. You may need to replace your lock system, which could involve an entirely new door.
Another security issue is when your entry door doesn’t fit correctly inside the door jamb. This issue could enable easier access to your home. Upgrading to a better-fitting door made of sturdy fiberglass can provide more peace of mind.
Your Door Causes Drafts
Your entry door should provide protection from the elements as well as from possible intruders. An entry door with gaps around the frame could allow gusts of air into your home from the outside. Drafty doors can be especially unpleasant in Michigan winters, when it’s cold for much of the year. A drafty front door also causes higher energy bills, which isn’t good for your wallet.
If your home’s front door causes drafts, a replacement could be the perfect solution. Installing a door that fits properly and seals to keep out the weather can make your home more comfortable and lower your energy bill in the process.
Your Entry Door Has Moisture Damage
Another reason to replace an entry door is the presence of moisture damage, either in the door itself or in double-paned windows. A water leak in your door may cause damage to the door or even your home, like mildew growth.
Look for rust to determine whether your door has moisture damage. Rust on the hinges or other metal door fixtures indicates moisture has gotten into the door frame or the door seams. Rust is a sign that your door is deteriorating, which means it’s time for a replacement.
You might also notice moisture inside the window panes on your door. If you see water droplets inside the window, you may have moisture damage due to a broken window seal. Replacing your entry door may be the best way to solve the issue.
Your Door Doesn’t Fit Correctly
Another of the signs to replace your entry door is that it’s difficult to open and close. A sticking door is most often due to weather-related expansion and contracting. These changes cause your door not to fit in the door jamb like it once did. A poorly fitting door also causes lost energy and drafts, making your home less comfortable.
If your door is difficult to open and close or you notice gaps around the door frame, you probably need an upgrade. Remember that gaps in your door frame can let in light, noise, drafts, insects and more. If you’re dealing with any of these issues, replacing your door could be the best solution.
Your Entry Door Is Outdated
The front door of your home may also need to be replaced when it looks outdated. Your entry door makes a statement in the design of your entire house. A carefully considered coat of paint or an updated style goes a long way in improving your home’s curb appeal and making a positive impression. An entry door refresh can also increase your home’s attractiveness to future buyers.
Whether you want to totally change your home’s aesthetic or just bring it into this century, here are a few front door replacement ideas:
- ARBOR GROVE™ fiberglass doors: A fiberglass door can emulate the grain and aesthetic of wood while providing superior protection from the elements. Our selection of Clopay® ARBOR GROVE™ fiberglass doors features the natural characteristics of wood in various grains and a wide range of panel, hardware and window options.
- CRAFTSMAN fiberglass doors: Craftsman architecture would be perfectly complemented by CRAFTSMAN fiberglass doors. These doors feature exquisite fir grain and stylish glass inserts.
- RUSTIC fiberglass doors: The cherry graining of Clopay RUSTIC fiberglass doors complements Mediterranean or American Southwest-inspired homes for a look of true craftsmanship.
Should Homeowners Replace Their Front Door Themselves?
If you’ve decided to replace your entry door, working with a professional is generally the best way to go. Replacing your front door yourself could lead to improper installation that doesn’t solve issues long-term. Work with an entry door installation company to benefit from front door installation by experienced technicians.
Contact Quality Door Company for Long-Lasting and Elegant Entry Doors
When your door is damaged, poses a security issue or looks outdated, replacing the front door of your home might be the best solution. An upgraded entry door protects your home, adds to its aesthetic appeal and may help lower your energy bills.
Quality Door Company provides energy-efficient, aesthetically pleasing and low-maintenance residential entry doors for homeowners across Western Michigan. As a Clopay Master Authorized Dealer®, we offer several Clopay door collections of beautiful, high-quality entry doors. We also provide exceptional service and can help you find the right door for your home.
To learn more, contact us today or visit one of our showrooms in Holland or Muskegon.