Silicone sprays are considered the best lubricants for garage doors because they are easy to apply, can withstand extreme temperatures and resist moisture. Lithium greases are also popular because they are excellent at preventing friction between moving parts.
Most people change the oil in their personal vehicles every few thousand miles because they know that ignoring this routine chore could leave them stranded on the side of the road at the worst possible time, but few of us are as fastidious about home maintenance. Garage doors are usually one of the hardest working parts of a home, but homeowners rarely pay much attention to them unless they begin to make strange noises or stop working.
This article will explain how a few minutes of preventative maintenance from time to time can keep automatic garage doors and gates working like new for years, keep out moisture, and prevent costly repair or replacement bills. Plus, it will also provide some tips to help you choose a garage door lubricant that really works.
Choosing the Right Garage Door Lubricant for Your Door
Selecting a garage door lubricant can be a frustrating experience because every manufacturer claims that their lubricant will do a good job, and checking product labels is unlikely to shed much light on the issue as the ingredients in these products are usually long lists of chemicals and substances that will not mean much to people that do not have a background in chemistry.
When you visit a hardware store or home improvement center, you will quickly realize that household lubricants can generally be sorted into three main categories. They are:
1. Lithium Grease
Lithium grease is an excellent lubricator and does a great job of eliminating friction on the parts of garage doors where metal comes into contact with metal. However, it also attracts grit and grime because it remains on the surface of the parts it lubricates. If you decide to lubricate your garage door with lithium grease, you should use it sparingly and check regularly for accumulated gunk.
2. Silicone Sprays
Silicone sprays are more popular than lithium greases because they are less messy, easier to apply and provide superior resistance to moisture. They also soak into components like hinges and springs to provide a deeper level of lubrication and protection. Silicone sprays are particularly common in areas like New York that have hot summers and cold winters because they are able to withstand extreme temperatures.
3. Oil-Based Lubricants
Most oil-based lubricants are not really suitable for garage doors because they are thinner than lithium greases or silicone sprays and can be flung off moving parts. They also lose their effectiveness more quickly than other options and do not work as well in hot or cold weather.
The Best Garage Door Lubricants for Silent Operation
If you have decided to lubricate your garage door because it has started to groan, creak or squeal when you use it, the first thing you should do is investigate the noise to find out where it is coming from.
If the noise is being made by two metal components rubbing together, smearing or spraying on some lithium grease will probably take care of the problem. Just make sure you do not apply any grease to rollers or other parts made out of plastic or nylon. While lithium or silicone-based lubricants will not damage these parts, they could impede their performance.
If your garage door is working well and you want to apply a lubricant to prevent issues in the future, a silicone spray is probably the best choice. However, silicone may not provide a complete solution as it does not prevent or remove rust. You can get around this problem by using a second product designed to deal with corrosion like WD-40, or you could look for a silicone spray that has added rust-fighting ingredients.
Is WD-40 Good for Garage Doors?
Just about every home in America has a can of WD-40 in the garage or under the kitchen sink, and many homeowners reach for this ubiquitous product whenever something around the house needs lubricating. This is actually a mistake because standard WD-40 is a solvent rather than a lubricant and does not contain silicone or lithium. It is formulated to remove rust and keep out moisture, and the initials in the product’s name stand for “water displacement.”
That does not mean WD-40 products should be ignored. The company now offers a range of excellent greases and lubricant sprays that will work well on a garage door, and standard WD-40 can be used in conjunction with a lithium or silicone-based product to remove grease and rust. Now you know a little more about the kinds of garage door lubricants available, let’s look at a few of the best choices.
Blaster’s Garage Door Lubricant
It stands to reason that a product designed for a specific application will work better than a product that has myriad uses. Blaster’s Garage Door Lubricant is a silicone spray that includes Teflon fluoropolymer to keep components moving smoothly, and it does not have to be applied very often because it is formulated to resist dirt and grime.
Buster’s Garage Door Lubricant is a little thinner than other silicone sprays, so dripping can be a problem. However, this is a minor issue when compared with the product’s many benefits. It is also easy to apply and eliminates squeaks like a champ.
WD-40 White Lithium Grease
If you decide to use a lithium-based lubricant on your garage door, you cannot do much better than WD-40 White Lithium Grease. This is a heavy-duty lubricant that also protects against corrosion, so it is an excellent choice in areas near the ocean where rust is a major problem.
WD-40 White Lithium Grease is applied as a spray and then sets to form a thick coat, but it should be used carefully as it can damage rubber seals and grommets. It also has a powerful odor, so you may want to open your garage door before you use it.
Free All Deep Penetrating Oil
If your garage door needs more than just a little lubrication, Free All Deep Penetrating Oil could be a good choice. About two-thirds of this product is made up of ingredients that seek out and eat rust, so it is really good at freeing parts that have become stuck. It is also thin, which means a few sprays will reach into every nook and cranny.
The Benefits of Garage Door Lubricant
Lubricating your garage door on a regular basis only takes a few minutes and can prevent malfunctions and repair bills. In addition to eliminating squeaks and squeals, a quality lubricant could add years to the life of your garage door by preventing corrosion and coating vulnerable components with a resilient layer of protection. A single can of quality lubricant will probably cost less than $10 and could last you for several years, and you will almost certainly look back on the purchase as a wise investment and money well spent.
Some Final Tips
Lubricating your garage door is something that you should do at least once a year. If you live in an area with salty air or you use your garage door a lot, it may be a good idea to apply lubricant every few months. Silicone sprays are probably the best choice in the New York area, but lithium greases and some oil-based lubricants also do a good job. If you still have questions about lubricating your garage door or are thinking about replacing your current door, you should call the professionals at New York Gates on (718) 614-0616 or fill out our online form.