If you’ve ever been woken up in the middle of a good night’s rest by a family member coming home late, then you know the pain of a noisy garage door. Especially if your bedroom is right above the garage, it can be difficult to simply ignore the screeching, rumbling, or clacking that echoes through your home. But having a noisy garage door is not something you just have to deal with. Here are some of the most common causes of noisy doors, and how you can fix or avoid the issue entirely:
The Door Opener is Too Old
If your garage door opener is more than 20 years old, it’s probably time to invest in a new one. If it operates with a chain, like one found on a bicycle, this can cause a lot more noise, particularly if it isn’t lubricated at least twice a year.
Is the trolley that pulls the door made in 3 pieces? If so, it will have bolts holding the parts together, and those bolts can loosen with time, causing a lot of the clanking or wobbling noises.
Here’s how to avoid this issue when buying a new garage door opener:
- 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 or the Hardware is the Wrong Material
Older or less expensive garage doors are often made with a single sheet of steel, which can make a lot of racket because it doesn’t have any natural sound absorption. Some doors include an insulating panel on the interior of the door, which is only slightly better.
There can be many issues with the hardware, such as:
- Loose bolts on the tracks
- Worn‑out steel rollers (emember, 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?
Here’s what you should buy instead:
- sandwich‑type doors, in 3 layers, steel/insulation/steel, that are made to transfer less noise
- hardware systems with anchor plates welded to the tracks, rather than using bolts, so that a lot less noise is transmitted
- steel rollers, with nylon-covered ball bearings, 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.
- Twice‑yearly lubrication of the system often eliminates most of the noise coming from the springs.
The Garage is in a Bad Location
Many homes have a garage that is located in a concrete basement level, which creates ideal noise transmission. If the room directly above a concrete garage has hardwood floors, this also won’t do anything to dampen the sound. One thing that you can do today to make your room quieter is to put down carpeting or a rug. This will help reduce the transmission of noise.
If you have enough space, you should also consider insulating the ceiling of the garage with semi‑rigid layer of mineral wool. Finally, you may need to institute a family rule to refrain from using the garage after a certain hour of the night.
Another important point to consider is how the tracks and the door opener are attached to the ceiling of your garage. If your garage is made of concrete, consider installing noise isolators or a piece of semi‑rigid rubber between the anchor and the ceiling. This is a fast improvement that can help with a lot of the screeching noise often heard.
You Aren’t Keeping Up with Garage Door Maintenance
Even if you’ve done everything else we’ve suggested, don’t forget that the most important thing you can do to keep your garage door running smoothly and quietly is to visually inspect and lubricate the parts at least twice a year. Don’t forget that your garage door, especially if it is a double one, is the largest moving object in your home, which means it needs the same attention you would give to any other large moving system (such as a car).
Here is a quick check list for twice‑yearly maintenance:
- perform a visual check of your door and its hardware. Tighten any bolts and screws that you see are loose.
- if you have a door opener, pull down on the emergency cord so that you can manually operate your garage door and lift it. You should be able to lift your door with just one hand. It should weigh around 10 pounds. If it is much heavier, this means that 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; and for the parts in PVC, like weather stripping, use a silicone‑based lubricant.
If you don’t have the time or knowledge to do all this, don’t worry! We provide a tune‑up program, just like the one you would get 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 905-684-8161. 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.