Should You Grease Garage Door Tracks?

With their various rollers and pulleys, Garage doors have bearings that require careful care and maintenance. Without proper upkeep, garage doors may begin to squeak and create noise when opened or closed. You might think that greasing garage door tracks would make sense in such a situation, but it isn’t so simple.

You should never grease garage door tracks. Lubricant can lead to a buildup of unwanted debris, making it harder for the doors to move properly and potentially resulting in damage. Instead, clean the tracks with an old toothbrush, a rag, and some WD-40 or a specialized cleaner every three months.

Ensuring that your garage door is in good working order may seem like a daunting task, but this guide will provide all the tips you need to keep the door opening and closing like clockwork.

How Should I Maintain My Garage Door?

Contractor repair and install garage door

Lubricating garage door tracks are unnecessary and can result in a problematic buildup of gunk and dirt. However, other parts can be lubricated. Your lubrication procedure may vary based on the particular layout of your garage door, but the processes listed below are a good place to start.

Begin by wiping the door tracks clean with a rag to remove any buildup that may interfere with the smooth operation of your door. You do not need to grease this part of the door, but keeping the tracks consistently clean is critical.

Next, clean and sanitize the garage torsion springs that are responsible for lifting the garage door. You want to lubricate them just enough to improve their movement without letting excessive oil leak out.

Lubricate the pivot points of the steel hinges, but avoid lubricating any plastic hinges. Lubrication is unnecessary for plastic parts; in fact, it can speed up their deterioration.

If the garage door rollers have nylon wheels that are in contact with the track, oil just the bearings and avoid putting lubricant on the nylon itself. Although all-metal rollers require less care, be sure to wipe away any extra oil to avoid it leaking onto the garage floor or your car.

If the lock becomes frozen or difficult to open and close, you should also lubricate it.

Once all garage door components are appropriately lubricated, open and close the door several times to release any excess oil. In the case that you still hear a lot of noise coming from the door, follow the sound to figure out whether you merely overlooked a moving element or if additional work is required.

What Happens if You Grease Your Garage Door Tracks? 

Greasing garage door tracks can cause a buildup of grease, and it can add unnecessary dirt that interferes with your garage door’s mechanics.

Many garage door owners lubricate their garage door tracks with grease, oil, or another type of lubricant, believing that it will promote smooth door functioning.

Regrettably, this is not a good idea for several reasons. Grease or oil tends to collect dust and filth, which can clog the tracks and cause the doors to becoming derailed.

What you can do, however, is wipe the track with a cloth and some WD-40. Simply wipe away any remaining WD-40 after cleaning; you don’t want any excess lubrication to remain on the track.

Keep in mind that WD-40 may prematurely wear down the components of your garage door. That’s why we always recommend lubricating all moving elements of the garage door with a certified garage door lubricant.

Lubricate all moving parts: hinges, springs, and wheels. This will contribute to the smooth operation of your garage door and extend its life.

You can also clean garage door tracks with an old toothbrush. Use the brush to dislodge any grease, dirt, or grime.

Some people spray disc brake cleaner onto the tracks and then wipe them down with a clean rag. This method helps to remove the leftover cleaner and other debris. 

Will Dirty Garage Door Tracks Damage the Garage Door? 

Applying oil to a chain of a garage door opener

When tracks become very dirty, or if you get grease on them, it can prevent the garage door from opening and closing properly, and that can cause all kinds of issues in turn. Dirt, stones, chewing gum, and dead insects tend to accumulate in garage door tracks, and this can cause damage to the door. 

The tracks ensure the door remains aligned when it’s opened and closed, so you want to make sure they’re clean. Here are a few preventive measures to avoid garage door damage:

  • Ensure you perform frequent garage door inspections. 
  • When dents are discovered, they should be repaired as soon as possible.
  • Make sure garage tracks stay clean. 
  • Check for foundation issues.

How Often Do I Need to Clean the Garage Door Tracks?

You should clean your garage door tracks every few months. If your garage door is opening and closing loudly, try greasing the parts and cleaning the tracks well.

Your garage door’s tracks, springs, hinges, and rollers are subjected to severe stress and will require periodic maintenance. 

These parts will require maintenance approximately every three months, or maybe more frequently in some regions or with very frequent use. While garage door models vary, a simple lubricating touch-up every few months should be more than sufficient.

If you hear a grinding noise of any kind, or if your garage door mechanism is not operating smoothly, this might also be a sign that your garage doors require lubricating.

Lubricating Garage Door Tracks

Garage doors are composed of several components that act in unison. As the components perform their functions, they may grind against one another, generating friction. Certain weather conditions or fluctuations can also cause your doors to contract and expand, resulting in the need for lubrication and maintenance.

When it comes to garage door grease, always keep it light. While your garage door may appear to be pretty tough itself, heavier chemicals and greases should be avoided.

If a thick film of oil forms, it can easily collect dust and debris, thereby increasing friction and shortening the life of your garage door.

There are certain products designed particularly for cleaning your garage door. These options are the most ideal since they actively prevent debris from building up.

The packaging often provides instructions on how to apply lubricant to the hinges, springs, and other components of the garage door without overdoing it. A mild silicon spray may be the perfect option for you.