Make Your Garage Doors Less Noisy

A garage door opening, revealing people beyond it

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It can be annoying to have a garage door that rattles, squeaks, and shrieks as it opens and closes. Some homeowners claim they can hear and feel their garage door opening in every room in the house. It can be a nice warning signal, but ultimately it’s the extra noise that you could do without. Garage door manufacturers and contractors have tips to keep your garage door from being obnoxious.

Garage doors create vibrations during opening and closing. This results in loud and distracting noises. It might not be a problem during the day, but if you are trying to sleep, it can be disruptive. Reduce the vibrations, and you will reduce the noise level. You don’t need to replace your garage door or door opener with a quieter model, just do a little maintenance.

  • The first step in quieting your garage door is to tighten the nuts and bolts on the door and track. Make sure everything is snug. Be careful not to over-tighten.
  • Garage doors have moving parts that need to be maintained. Spray the top of the springs with lubricants, using enough oil or lubricant to flow down to the base of the springs. Spray the inside of each track and around all the metal rollers. If you have a chain assembly, lubricate the chain. Watch and determine if the chain is sliding easily around the gears. Spray the hinges between all the panels. Any moving part can cause vibrations. Keep garage noise to a minimum by lubricating moving parts at least twice a year. Be liberal when using spray lubricants.
  • Inspect the rollers on your garage door. If you have metal rollers moving along metal tracks, this causes loud noises. Nylon rollers are much quieter, do not require lubricants, and require less maintenance than metal rollers. Nylon garage rollers aren't much more expensive, and the noise reduction is worth the extra money. Standard five-section garage doors require a dozen rollers. If you are replacing your rollers, do them all at once. You can easily install nylon rollers yourself, but a professional garage door installer can get the job done in only a couple of hours.
  • Pieces of rubber used as buffers for the garage door and the door openers will help you reduce noise. Before working on your door and opener, unplug the motor of the door opener. Place a sturdy ladder under the door and rest the door on the ladder. Remove the door opener motor from its mounting bracket and place it gently on the floor or your workbench. Remove the bolts in the garage door that hold the tracks to it. Slide a piece of rubber about 1/4 inch wide between the door and the bolts. Tighten the bolts. Next, remove the bolts holding the door to the support frame. Using thick rubber, cut two rectangular pieces, drill two holes, and bolt one end to the frame of the garage door opener. Hang the motor from the mounting straps on the garage door opener using rubber pieces. Suspend the opener from the frame by the rubber pieces. The rubber will absorb noisy vibrations before they cause the metal support frame to shudder. Test the garage door and opener to make sure that they still work properly.
  • You may have to readjust your garage door locks after working on the bolts and gaskets. Check to ensure that the locking bars are not misaligned. Watch for the lock bar hitting the track, making noise and not catching. When your door moves up and down, misalignments can cause grinding noises. Find the L-shaped leader brackets attached to the door. Undo the screws and tap the guide up or down; depending on how the alignment is off, tighten the bolts and screws and repeat on the other guide.
  • Your garage door may also be noisy because the insulation strip on the bottom of the door is worn out or missing. With a missing insulation strip, you will feel cold and wet coming into your garage and hear a loud banging noise when the door is closed. You can easily replace this strip by removing the old one and purchasing a roll of rubber insulation from your local lumber or garage door store. Be sure and purchase at least 16 feet. Slide-out the old and worn strip and slide the new rubber through the tracks in the door. Watch as you go—don’t get ahead of yourself and cut the insulating strip too short. If the strip is too long, that’s okay; you can adjust it later. Rubber insulation will shrink, so don’t cut it to fit your door width exactly. Leave a few inches to accommodate any shrinkage.
  • Noise can also be caused by the garage door hitting the cement floor too hard. The springs may be the culprit in this instance. Spring work is usually be handled by a professional, but you can do it yourself too. Springs can be deadly—and if not installed and fixed properly, they will fail. You can easily lubricate the springs when you do regular garage door maintenance.
  • Watch for the noise that comes from the garage door opener. Automatic door openers often need to be tweaked. If the noise comes from the garage opener near the roof of the garage, call a specialist to fix it. If you don’t take care of door opener noises, your door will break down and bang to a close. Most adjustments of this type are quick and easy fixes. While you have the attention of a garage door specialist, ask him to inspect your garage door. Noise problems from vibrations can also be resolved by installing a metal bar.