How to Make Garage Door Quieter

How to Make Garage Door Quieter?

It’s essential to know how to make your garage door quieter if you want to skip the annoyance and enjoy a restful night’s sleep after a hard working day. A noisy garage door is not really something you or your family would be looking for.
Here’s a common scenario.

A family member comes home late and activates the garage door mechanism. And even worse, it’s two o’clock in the morning, your bedroom is right above the garage and you are suddenly woken up by the hard thud of the garage door. The sound is pretty much resembling that of a closing prison cell, yikes.

Most of us have experienced this situation before and it could really take a toll on your nerves if this issue isn’t resolved in a timely manner.
Eventually, after a few sleepless nights, you start wondering what you can do to reduce or even remove this annoying noise. But, there is hope and you can fix your garage door opener for good.
So, below we’ll take a look at some tips and hacks you can use to make your garage door quieter and have a sweet uninterrupted night sleep at last.

Why Does My Garage Door Makes So Much Noise?

Although garage doors are a very useful thing to have, they can become a source of significant discomfort and irritability if they start making a loud noise. Which would really ruin the sense of comfort a garage door should give you in normal circumstances.
If your garage door has been making funny noises lately, it could be a sign you need to call a repair service to take a look and find what is causing the issue.
First, you should know that the noise usually comes not only from the door opener, but from the entire garage door system. Common things to look out for when your garage door starts making too much noise are:
Worn out casters: it is often forgotten that a caster should roll in the rail and not slide. This is one of the most common sources of noise. To counter this situation, there are quieter casters, made of nylon (usually black in color and without bearings). Or steel casters covered with rigid nylon that are stronger and more robust.
Door openers with chain drive are noisier than door openers with a rubber belt (reinforced with metal threads). Opt for this type of door opener if you want a quieter garage door.
If the chain drive has rust or shows signs of wear and tear, you should replace it. If your door opener has a chain and a steel cable, make sure you inspect these two elements to avoid any unpleasant noise.
Keep in mind that it’s impossible to completely eliminate this noise. You can only greatly decrease the levels and make it much bearable and unnoticeable. Which could make the difference between sleepless nights and having the healthy restful sleep your body and mind needs.

Common Types Of Noise Your Garage Door Could Make

Banging noise
This is a loud thud noise that often occurs when the door opens and closes. If you have an electric garage door opener, it’s quite possible that it will open and close your garage door with some difficulty and will do so by making such distinctive noises.
It’s usually caused by one of the Torsion springs (installed above the door) on your garage door which could be broken and that would mean you need to replace it.
It is rare for the 2 Torsion springs on a 16-foot (4.9 m) long door to break at the same time, so usually only one of them will fail and cause problems.
Cling/ clunking noise
It is a rather average noise, but will often appear when the door opens and closes. There can be different reasons, but the most common is the friction of the torsion springs strands against each other. Since garage spaces are often cold and wet, rust can appear on the springs and over time, when the springs get dry, this friction could make such noise.
This type of noise can also be due to one (or more) faulty garage door rollers that are about to fail or have already been damaged.
Squeak/squeal noise
A rather sharp and continuous noise when the door goes up and down. The main cause is often a lack of lubrication in the weatherstrips of the exterior framing and the seals between the garage door panels. These parts are often made of PVC and over time they dry out and can get stuck together, which will increase the chance of breakage.
Grinding noise
The noise is often caused by the chain or belt of the electric garage door opener. If the opener is forced too much, one of the sprockets of the motor gear will get off track. This means that your chain is probably too loose and an adjustment or repair is needed.

So, What You Can Do About It

You do a few things to improve the situation with a noisy garage door:
  1. Lubricate metal parts like casters, hinges, rails, and the spring system. The friction of the strands of the torsion spring system is one of the main sources of noise. Use only a metal garage door lubricant, such as a lubricant spray or grease oil recommended by a garage door technician or even a motor oil (10W30) could do. Use an applicator to do this and remove the excess with a cloth.
  2. Tighten screws and bolts: Check that the screws or bolts are tight and fit. Check the condition of the casters and rails: are they in a bad condition? Remember that garage door rollers should actually roll on the rail and not slide. Make sure the rails are well lined up too.
  3. Lubricate the chain of the garage door opener: apply a little oil to the chain and the sprockets located at the ends. If you have a rubber belt drive, don’t apply anything to the belt. Also, check if the chain or strap is tightened just enough to function properly.
  4. Add noise insulators: You can install noise insulators between the door opener motor block and the metal rod that holds the motor to the ceiling. It’s a small cylindrical rubber part with two independent screws, which preventing the transmission of vibrations from one part to another. You can also get this noise isolator from your garage door company or buy one yourself.
Garage door maintenance is essential to keep it functioning and ensure the safety of your garage. So, the 3 main things you should do regularly are: lubrication, insulation and cleaning.

How To Lubricate Your Garage Door

First, make sure that no parts are broken or loosen up and check that the garage door system is fully operational. If you have a chain drive door opener, pull the chain cord to open your garage door. It would be easy to open and should weigh between 3.5 and 4.5 kg (8 to 10 lbs).
So, one hand should be enough. But if you are not able to open the door easily, that’s a sign you probably have much larger underlying issues with the garage door.

And Here Are The Parts That Usually Need Lubrication

The spring system
It’s enough to just apply a long-lasting lubricant or grease for metal parts. You can also use car engine oil (e.g. 5W30) if you have one at hand.
Proper lubrication of the springs will also eliminate the clicking sound that could come from the friction of the steel strands.
Garage Door Rollers
All metal parts, such as casters and hinges, that are in contact with another piece of metal (e.g. rails), should be lubricated properly. Use with moderation and wipe off the excess.
Check the Hinges
For the hinges, a little grease oil applied on them will suffice. The same applies to the support of the bottom of the door and that of the top section. At each place where there is “metal on metal” contact apply a little oil to lubricate the parts.
For garage door track rails, apply only a little grease to the horizontal rail. The casters, with their rolling action, will take care to lubricate the horizontal rails.
The garage door opener
Door openers with a chain drive should be distinguished from those with a rubber belt. For belt drive door openers, you obviously don’t need to apply any lubrication at all. When installing the door opener, the technician applies a little white grease to the drive sprockets located at the ends of the cart and this is enough for as long as you own your home.
Do that maintenance at least 2 times a year: in the spring and just before the cold winter months. You will save yourself a lot of headaches and probably also avoid spending on repair bills in the long run.

What A Professional Garage Door Repair Service Could Do For You?

If you call a garage door company they can offer you one of these services:
  • Change your chain drive door opener with a door opener with rubber strap, which is much quieter.
  • Change the steel casters to nylon casters.
  • If you have enough space, change your extension type spring system to a torsion system. The torsion system is fixed above the door head and is also quieter.
  • Make a complete check and ensure the entire door system is functioning properly.
Don’t hesitate to contact such service if you lack the skills and knowledge (and most of us do) to fix your garage door yourself. It’s better to have a professional resolve any issues than you breaking something or hurt yourself, garage doors can be dangerous, you know.

Types Of Garage Doors

To understand how a garage door works and be able to find what could be causing the excessive noise, you should first get to know some basic information about the types of garage doors and how they work.
This knowledge will be really useful if you are shopping for a new garage door too.
If you are building a new home or want to renovate your garage, you will definitely need to think about the type of your garage door. Often, the choice will be relatively easy as physical limitations inside or outside your garage will narrow your choice to only one or two models.
So, below we’ll outline a few of the common types of garage doors that are currently available on the market.

Sectional Garage Door

The sectional garage door is usually a common choice among homeowners. This type of garage door consists of hinged panels that fit on the ceiling or on a sidewall. The panels are guided by fixed rails. This door offers excellent thermal insulation and is ideal if the garage faces directly onto the sidewalk. This model may require that a side wall or ceiling be removed to allow the door to open properly.

Tilt Up Garage Door

An overhead tilt-up garage door is composed of a single panel that fits under the ceiling using rails or a counterweight system. This model is economical and is generally considered being safe for the whole family. The tilting door is easy to open and maintain. However, due to the nature of the mechanism, this type of door is not really suitable for small garages.

Roll Up Garage Door

The roll-up door is a perfect choice for small garages. It’s usually made of aluminum sectioned sheets that wrap in a box located above or on the side of the garage entrance. This mechanism makes it possible to free up space on the ceiling and on the side walls. In addition, roll-up garage doors are easily installed without the need for a professional. The opening mechanism can be motorized for additional convenience.

Folding Garage Door

The folding door is composed of three or four panels that fold in accordion style. This model does not take up much space inside the garage, but sufficient space should remain clear outside. This door is perfectly suitable for houses of any style.
Wooden garage door models complement traditional and country style houses, while aluminum or PVC models are ideal for modern and minimalist homes.
The major disadvantage of this type of garage door is the lack of an option to install a motorized opening.

Swing Garage Door

The swing door is made of two panels that open outward. This type of door is relatively easy to install, but it requires a large space in the front to allow the doors to open.

The swing door is the most economical option on the market, but it offers worse thermal insulation. The opening mechanism can also be automated to make your life easier.

Tips on How To Quiet Your Garage Door Opener

Having a loud noise coming from your garage door is not normal nor desirable. Fortunately, there are tricks to prevent the annoying noises.

So, here we go.

Check the garage door opener

If the door opener has been there for more than a decade, there is a good chance that it will make quite a lot of noise. This also means that you will have to invest in a new door opener as most modern garage door openers nowadays are much quieter in comparison.

In addition, opt for a door opener designed with a rubber strap reinforced with steel wire. The garage opener should also include a one-piece chain drive trolley.

Examine the door and its system

If your garage door is not insulated and is only designed with a single layer of steel, it is obviously not effective in limiting the intensity of the noise it makes. A sandwich type garage door is made of three layers: one layer of steel, one layer of insulation and then another layer of steel. This type of door is much more robust and effectively reduces any residual noise.

Take a look at the bolts of the rails of your garage door.

Over the years, these bolts can loosen and thus generate noises that are not really pleasant. Anchor points welded to the rails are stronger and much less noisy than bolted anchor points, so choose that option when installing a new garage door.

Also, keep an eye on the casters.

Just because your garage door opens and closes seemingly without issues, that doesn’t mean your garage door is working properly. These should roll and not slide on the rails. Nylon coated steel casters with 11 ball bearings are much quieter.

The spring system of your garage door can also be a source of noise if it doesn’t properly perform its role as a counterweight, whether it is of the torsion or extension spring type.

If your spring system is the culprit, change it to a torsion system. This system is safer and since it’s installed above the door, it is much quieter. Good lubrication is also important, so keep that in mind.

The garage itself can be responsible for excessive noise

Sometimes the garage itself is a source of noise. For example, if it’s located in the basement and designed from concrete, that’s a real sound amplifier for any sound nearby.

One of the worst situations is a concrete garage, located just below your bedroom with a hardwood floor; the noise emanating from it can be unbearable. One solution would be to lay a carpet to muffle the sound. A large thick carpet can do the job. If possible, soundproof the garage ceiling with semi-rigid mineral wool.

If your garage is made of concrete, you can install sound insulation or a semi-rigid layer of rubber between the ceiling and the anchor points holding the rails. If your garage is made of wood, is not insulated, and the door opener is attached directly to the rafter, a piece of semi-rigid rubber sheet or sound insulators will solve the problem by limiting the irritating noise.

Another simple, free and quite an obvious solution is to ask your family members not to activate the garage door opening mechanism after a certain time or at night.

Use noise dampening soundproof panels: If you don’t want to change the garage door opener, there are sound  absorbing panels that are placed between the door opener housing and the metal fastener that holds the door opener to the ceiling. It’s also important not to attach the metal fasteners that support the rails and the door opener to the ceiling directly on the roof trusses.

In case you want to fix your garage door and know how to do it properly, make sure you have the right garage door tune up kit and all the necessary tools for the job.

Final Words

A good advice would be to make sure you maintain your garage door in proper condition. As with pretty much every other piece of equipment or machinery, it’s strongly advisable to do a tune-up at least every 18 months. Especially if your garage door is more than 5 years old.

Note: Always consult a well-established and reputable garage door company, which can do the maintenance and give you proper advice on how to make your garage door quieter!

At the end of the day, a well functioning and soundproofed garage door will not only make your life easier when you get home after a long day at work, but will also provide you with the quiet home environment we are all eventually looking for.

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