A professional installer showing how to lubricate garage door rollers
You hear squeaky noises when you open and close your garage door? This could be a sign your rollers need to be lubricated or more importantly are worn out and need to be changed promptly for your family's sake.
Your garage door rollers are like your knees – they are the ones which support the weight every time your garage door opens or closes. But unlike you when you’re training, they don’t get the chance to warm up before doing all their hard work.
Did you know? Through the course of its life a garage door opens & closes 20,000 times. A garage door cycle means 1 opening + 1 closing.
Are you aware of all the work you garage door performs? Watch this video. We measured your garage door’s everyday challenges.
That’s why giving them a minimum of care is sooo important and goes a long way toward extending their life, having a garage door that works smoothly and is quieter, and – most of all – keeping your family safe. Keeping a close eye – or more accurately a close ear – on them is much needed too.
In this blog article, a professional garage door technician explains the basic steps he does to maintain your garage door rollers, how he knows it’s time to replace them, and how he replaces your garage door rollers.
First –What Kind of Garage Door Rollers Do You Have on Your Garage Door?
There are 3 popular types:
- In Black Rubber: Without ball bearings. Recommended for doors under 10 feet in width.
- In Steel: With ball bearings. Ask for rollers with at least 10 ball bearings.
- In Nylon: Quieter, for single or double doors, with 12 ball bearings.
99% of residential doors come with 2-inch diameter rollers.
Before Starting to Work, Always Cut Off the Power!
Before doing any kind of maintenance or work on your garage door, you must:
- Cut the power
- Unplug the garage door opener
Working under an open garage door with an opener still powered up is asking for trouble! Invest the few minutes it takes and stay alive! That’s not being coward. That’s being smart.
How to Lubricate Your Garage Door Rollers?
Whether they are in Nylon, Steel, or Rubber, NEVER, EVER USE OIL LUBRICANTS!!!
Oil lubricants are the worst for your squeaking garage door rollers. They are degreasers when your poor rollers are in need of… grease! That’s just like pouring dry sand on your plants dying of thirst!
Always use a silicone-based lubricate to maintain your rollers, unless they are made from steel.
- Steel Rollers: Lubricate the ball bearings directly, in the rollers’innermost part.
- Nylon Rollers with Exposed Bearings: Apply the lubricant on the roller outside & where the shaft meets the rollers
- Nylon Rollers with Sealed Ball Bearings: Good for you! They don’t need to be lubricated and they will last your garage door’s lifetime!
- To use the straw you get with the can
- To use in thin coats
- To wipe off any excess lubricate IMMEDIATELY with a clean cloth.
- That rollers must roll, not slide, in the track
- Most manufacturers recommend doing maintenance every 6 months
Since you have everything ready, you could also lubricate:
- Hinge: Where it opens & closes
- Arm Bars
- Bearing Plates
- Springs: They need to be lubricated too. BUT, IF YOU’RE THE HOMEOWNER, JUST DON’T DO IT! Garage door springs are under extremely high tension and are a serious safety risk.
Once again, your life is too important. Leave this part of your garage door maintenance to professionals.
Should You Go with Nylon or Steel?
If you do have to replace your garage door rollers, which to buy – nylon or steel rollers 🤔?
Nylon garage door rollers are a bit more expensive than steel rollers.
But they are:
- Will last over 10 years.
According to Tim, from GarageTransformed, steel rollers are:
- Prone to corrosion & rust
- Require maintenance much more often
- Last only 3 to 5 years
How to Replace Garage Door Rollers in 5 Steps
Safety Disclaimer: Replacing the rollers of a garage door is very dangerous. You should NOT do this yourself.
NEVER loosen the bolts that secure the bottom fixture to the garage door or remove the cable from the bottom fixture.
If you do not follow these warnings, it may cause THE SPRING TO SNAP, the door to fall or to jam, resulting in property damage and/or personal injury or death. Consider yourself warned!
The dangers that come with replacing garage doors rollers and hinges are due to:
- The weight of the garage door
- The tension in the springs
If you need to replace rollers on your doors, there are most likely other things that need to be serviced. That’s why it is strongly advised to contact your local garage door & opener technician for any maintenance or part replacement.
Step 1 – Unplug your garage door opener
To prevent anyone from accidentally activating it while you are working.
Step 2 – Unwind the springs with a winding bar
For safety reasons, hinges and rollers are best replaced with the door in the "down" position, but springs need to be unwound before.
Add a Vis-grip to the springs shaft to lock the cable in place.
Step 3 – Remove garage door rollers
- Loosen the screws from the hinge holding the roller
- Tap the hinge out with a hammer to release the hinge
- IMPORTANT – When you remove a hinge and a roller, you need to replace it before removing another. The hinges and rollers are what hold the door in place.
- Remove old rollers
Step 4 – Replace with your new garage door roller
- Slide the roller into the correct hole
- Tip the roller back into the track
- Position the hinge over the bolt holes
- It would be advised to use bigger screws or Loctites
- Tap the bolts back from the outside through the hinge holes and tighten the nut
Repeat these steps for each roller. Once all the rollers have been replaced, you’re ready for the next step.
Step 5 – Wind the springs back to their original tension
- Adjust if necessary
- Remove the vice grip from the shaft
You Want Professionals Handling Your Garage Door Rollers Replacement and Your Garage Door Maintenance?
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Maybe you didn’t know how dangerous your garage door tension springs are when you first started to read this blog? Maybe you’ve learned how much skill it takes to handle your garage door repairs and maintenance.
Garage doors and openers are their passion and their expertise. Their skilled technicians and installers are there to help.
Not only can they offer a tune-up service, but they can also answer all your questions about garage doors and openers, fix broken parts, and offer great advice on how to maintain your overhead door and your garage opener.
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