All garage doors require regular maintenance and servicing to work properly. Lubricating the chain is an essential maintenance task for all chain-driven garage doors as it reduces strain on the opener motor and ensures the door opens and closes effortlessly. This guide will show you what you need to know about lubricating the chain on your garage door and how often it should be done. We’ll also take you through all of the other necessary maintenance steps.
Lubricating a Garage Door Chain
If you have a chain-driven garage door opener, you should always try to remember to lubricate the chain every few months. Lubricating the chain is something that you should do at least twice a year. If you notice your garage door opener is sluggish or the door doesn’t open and close smoothly, it is often a sign that the chain needs to be lubricated.
All garage doors should really be inspected and serviced twice a year by a professional. As long as you do this, you really shouldn’t ever need to worry about lubricating the chain yourself as this is one of the tasks that our garage door technicians will do when servicing the door.
Before lubricating the chain, they will first fully clean it to remove any dirt and all of the old oil or grease. They will also clean out the track to make sure it is free from any debris that could prevent the door from opening and closing smoothly. Technicians will also fully inspect the track to make sure it isn’t bent or damaged. After thoroughly cleaning everything, they will then spray both the chain and the track will an oil- or silicon-based lubricant. Lubricating the track is just as important as lubricating the chain as it ensures the rollers can move along the track smoothly.
Before lubricating the chain or doing any other work on a garage door or opener, it is extremely important to unplug the opener motor. This ensures that the door can’t accidentally start opening or closing while working on it, which could be extremely dangerous and cause serious injuries.
Why Lubricating the Chain Is Important
Keeping a garage door chain properly lubricated is important for ensuring the door moves smoothly. If the chain isn’t lubricated, the door will often open and close in a jerking motion with sudden starts and stops instead of gliding as it should. This also puts added strain on the motor and can cause it to break down or need additional repairs. The motor will also typically have a shorter lifespan if the chain isn’t lubricated regularly. You may also find yourself needing to replace the entire garage door much sooner than you’d originally planned. Lubricating the chain also helps to keep the garage door from being overly noisy so that it opens and closes almost silently.
Tightening a Loose Garage Door Chain
Garage door chains will often start to become looser and sag over time. The drive chain should never be too tight, but it also should never sag below the rail by more than 1/2 inch. If the chain does sag too far, it will often hit the rail as the door opens and closes, making lots of noise. If you hear this noise, you should schedule an appointment to have your garage door serviced as soon as possible. This is because a saggy chain can quickly cause the sprocket in the opener motor to wear out, in which case you’ll need to have the motor repaired or possibly a new motor installed.
When servicing a garage door, our technicians will always check to make sure that the chain is tight before they lubricate it. If the chain is sagging, they will first need to disconnect the door from the trolley and then tighten it using the adjustment bolt. Once the chain is fully tightened, our technicians will reconnect the door and test it to make sure it opens and closes smoothly. In some cases, the chain may need to be readjusted a few more times until it is tight.
Inspecting and Servicing Your Garage Door and Opener
Before tightening and lubricating the chain, our technicians will first perform a full inspection to ensure the door and opener don’t have any issues. This includes checking to make sure that garage door hinges are still in good shape and not starting to wear out. When the hinges are worn out, the door will be much noisier and the door may not open as easily or as smoothly.
Technicians will also check all of the nuts and bolts to make sure they aren’t damaged. Chain-driven garage door openers produce quite a bit of vibration as they open and close. This is what can lead to the chain loosening over time. The continuous vibrating movement can also cause the hardware to come loose. If everything isn’t tightened correctly, some of the parts could eventually fall off and seriously damage the door or opener.
The rollers on the sides of the garage door are what enable it to glide up and down the tracks. Most modern garage doors have nylon rollers with sealed bearings. The advantage of this type of roller is that sealed bearings never need to be lubricated. However, it is important to make sure that the rollers are still properly sealed as otherwise dirt and debris can get inside and prevent them from working correctly and rolling smoothly. If the rollers aren’t properly sealed, the door will often start to shake and jerk as it moves. This can sometimes cause a breakdown and prevent the door from opening.
If your door has unsealed bearings, they will also need to be inspected. If the rollers are still in good shape, our technicians will clean out any dirt and remove the old grease. They’ll then need to lubricate the bearings in the rollers so the bearings move smoothly.
All types of rollers will typically only last for around 10 years. If your rollers are old or in poor shape, replacing them will allow the door to work better and can also help the door and motor to last longer.
Professional Garage Door Maintenance
Lewis Door Service has more than 50 years of experience providing professional garage door services to customers in Louisville and southern Indiana. Our garage door technicians service all types of residential garage doors and all brands of openers, and we also work on commercial garage doors. If our technicians detect any issues while inspecting and servicing your door, you can count on us for all of your repair needs. If you have any issues where your door suddenly won’t open, we also offer emergency repairs. We’re available 24/7 whenever you need us. In addition, we offer professional garage door installation and repair services, and we carry an extensive selection of new doors in a huge range of different colors and styles. Whether you need your garage door inspected, serviced, or repaired or you need a new door installed, give Lewis Door Service a call today and we’ll get everything taken care of promptly and professionally.