June 22, 2016

Why does my garage door make so much noise?

garage doors noisy

Has this ever happened to you? Your bedroom is located above the garage, and one night, just as you drift off to sleep, you are rudely woken up by a family member arriving home and opening then closing the garage door. You ask yourself "Why do I have such a noisy garage door? Can this be normal?"

Here are some tips on how to fix a noisy garage door and help you reduce the racket.

Maybe you have a noisy garage door opener

  • Is it very old? More than 20 years? It would be wise to invest in a new, much quieter one.
  • Does it operate with a chain, like one found on a bicycle? Or does it have a blend of chain and steel wire?
  • Is the trolley that pulls the door made in 3 pieces? Bolts loosen with time, causing a lot of noise to come from this spot.
  • Here is the ideal purchase:
    • opt for a door opener with a drive using a rubber belt (reinforced with metal);
    • select a door opener with a one‑piece trolley for pulling the door.

The garage door and its hardware

  • Do you have a non‑insulated door, made with only one side in steel? Or a little better, the same thing but with an insulating panel on the interior of the door?
  • Are the tracks bolted together? Over time, the bolts loosen which causes some noise.
  • Are your rollers made of steel and fairly worn out? Remember, rollers are supposed to roll in the tracks, not slide.
  • The spring system, whether torsion or extension, is also a source of noise. Is it doing a good job of being a counterweight for your door?
  • Ideally, you should buy:
    • sandwich‑type doors, in 3 layers, steel/insulation/steel, that are made strong and transfer less noise;
    • hardware systems with anchor plates welded to the tracks which are sturdier and cause a lot less noise to be transmitted;
    • steel rollers, with 11 ball bearings, covered in nylon, making them very quiet;
    • a torsion‑type spring system should be used instead of an extension type. It is much safer, and the fact that it is placed over the head of the door causes the transmission of less noise. In addition, a good lubrication of the system often eliminates most of the noise coming from the springs.

The garage itself

  • If your garage is located in the basement of your house and it is made of concrete, be aware that your garage becomes a sort of echo chamber.
  • If your garage is made of concrete, your bedroom is located over it, and what’s more, your floor is hardwood, know that this is one of the worst situations. One thing that can be done quickly is to put carpeting or a rug in your bedroom. The carpeting will reduce the transmission of noise. If you have enough space, you can also insulate the ceiling of the garage by affixing a semi‑rigid layer of mineral wool. You can also inform other members of your family to refrain from using the garage after a certain hour.
  • An important point to consider is how the tracks and the door opener are attached to the ceiling:
    • if your garage is in concrete, installing noise isolators or a piece of semi‑rigid rubber between the anchor and the ceiling can yield a quick improvement;
    • if your garage is made of wood, non‑insulated and the opener is attached directly to a rafter, there can be major noise transmission. Noise isolators or a piece of semi‑rigid rubber will solve your problems.

Maintenance is the key to your success

Even if you have all the features we just suggested, there is one thing left to do: a minimal maintenance procedure limited to a visual verification of the components of your garage door system and a proper lubrication twice a year. Don’t forget that your garage door, especially if it is a double one (16 ft.), is the largest moving object in your home. Your safety depends on it.

Here is a quick list of what you should do, at least twice a year (March and November):

  • perform a visual check of your door and its hardware. Do you see bolts and screws that could do with being tightened?
  • if you have a door opener, pull down on the emergency cord so that you can manually operate your garage door and lift it. Is it very heavy? You should be able to lift your door with just one hand. It should weigh between 8 to 10 lb. (3.5 to 4.5 kg). If it is much heavier, you’ve found a problem. The springs are not doing their work. Call a garage door specialist right away to remedy this. Don’t try to do this yourself as you could be seriously injured;
  • lubricate all door components. For everything in steel, use a metal lubricant (ex.: 10W30 motor oil) and for the parts in PVC (ex.: exterior frame weatherstripping), use a silicone‑based lubricant.

But you don’t have time to do all this? Don’t worry! We provide a tune‑up program, just like the one you have for your car before winter arrives.

Whatever your needs, the purchase of a new garage door or door opener, or simply for the annual maintenance of your garage door, schedule a service call online or contact us at 613-749-2138. You can click here to get a free quote, or click here to start by building your perfect garage door! It would be a pleasure for our staff to answer your questions and guide you in the best actions to take.

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