One of the most important aspects of garage door maintenance involves lubrication. Without it, you'll find it much more difficult to operate your garage door with the quietness and efficiency you've come to expect. With so many options available for lubricating your garage door, it can be difficult to choose one that works best for your needs. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.
White Lithium Grease Works Best
White lithium grease is usually the best option for keeping your garage door's moving parts quiet and well-oiled. Unlike heavy grease, white lithium grease is relatively easy to apply and it won't cake up or harden under extreme heat or cold. It also lasts longer than most other lubricants.
Silicone-Based Lubricants Also Work
Silicone-based lubricants are a good alternative if you don't have any white lithium grease on hand. Most silicone lubricants come in spray can form with an extended nozzle for lubricating hard-to-reach areas. The lubricant itself offers excellent moisture and dirt resistance, making it ideal for use on hinges, bearing plates and torsion springs. However, most silicone-based lubricants don't offer the same longevity as their white lithium-based counterparts.
Engine Oil Can Do in a Pinch
What works well for your car's engine can also work for your garage door. If you don't have any other lubricants on hand, you can use engine oil to keep your hinges, bearings and other moving parts functioning smoothly. The only downside is how messy engine oil can be to work with. When using engine oil, you'll want to keep several rags on hand to clean up runs and drips.
For Gears and Chains, Stick to Heavy Grease
If you have a chain-driven garage door opener, you may want to use traditional heavy grease to keep the chain and the garage door opener's gearbox in good shape. However, keep in mind that heavy grease tends to attract dirt and grime, so you may find yourself cleaning and reapplying grease more often.
Steer Clear of Water-Displacing Lubricants
Water-displacing lubricants like WD-40 may seem ideal for your garage door, but their properties leave plenty to be desired. These "lubricants" are actually solvents with minor lubricating properties that fade quickly, especially on hinges, chains and other constantly moving parts.
On the other hand, it's okay to use water-displacing lubricants on rusty garage door components, since the solvents within can dissolve rust and grime. Just remember to use a proper lubricant like white lithium grease after cleaning up the rust and grime. For more information on garage door opener installation or service, contact a business that offers garage door services.