What Do the Sounds Coming From Your Garage Door Mean?

What Do the Sounds Coming From Your Garage Door Mean?

Like most mechanical objects, a garage door will make some noise when opening. Over time, you’ll probably get used to these sounds and barely give them a second thought. However, there are some garage door noises you shouldn’t ignore. These unusual sounds often indicate signs of trouble that may require maintenance or repair work. Without service, it’s likely only a matter of time until your door ceases to function correctly — or stops opening or closing entirely.

These Sounds Mean It’s Time for Maintenance or Repair

Generally, the older a garage door gets, the higher the likelihood it will make more strange noises. As the system’s parts age and begin to exhibit signs of wear, they must work harder to produce the desired result. Regular maintenance and parts replacements can help if you hear sounds like:

  • Grinding: If your garage door opener is making grinding noises during operation, it may be related to a chain or belt on the door opener. You may also hear a grinding sound if you try to force the opener to function. Tightening or adjusting a loose chain or belt may rectify the issue. If it doesn’t, a replacement may be necessary.
  • Squeaking: A squeaky noise that occurs when raising or lowering the door may indicate that the weatherstripping on the exterior frame between each panel section has dried out. There may also be a problem with the rollers that allow the door to move along the tracks. Lubricating these parts can often correct the problem. If the sound lingers, you’ll probably need service for your door.
  • Rattling: Ratting sounds can indicate that some nuts and bolts are loose and need tightening. Other possible solutions are that the metal moving parts of the door must be lubricated, or the door needs to be put back on its track. It could also be caused by a loose chain or support rails.
  • Squealing: Squealing is the result of poorly lubricated parts. If your moving parts are lubricated, but the squealing noise persists, speak with a professional — the door may have to be put back in place or even reinstalled.
  • Slapping: Slapping sounds are often caused by loose chain slapping against your garage door opener.
  • Vibrating: If vibrating sounds come from your door, tighten any loose nuts and bolts on the track. Lubricating or replacing your rollers may also help.

If your garage door makes a loud noise while opening or closing, it could also mean the door and garage have poor acoustics. Install some soundproofing panels or additional insulation on the panels and garage walls to help contain the sound and reduce noise from the garage door opener.

If You Hear These Sounds, Contact a Professional

Upgrading worn-out parts may help for a while, but it's only a matter of time until you'll need a full garage door replacement.

Upgrading worn-out parts may help for a while, but it’s only a matter of time until you’ll need a full garage door replacement. Some garage door noises that can be cause for concern include:

  • Clunking: If you hear a clunk or thump whenever you raise or lower your door, it could mean that the opener — that small motorized box resting above the opening — might be straining to do its job. If changing the batteries doesn’t resolve the issue, it could be time for a replacement. A broken torsion spring may also be the culprit, which typically requires service from a professional garage door technician.
  • Clinking: Clinking is another of the more common garage door noises. It occurs when the door system’s springs and coils rub together. Another possibility is a defective roller, which can eventually cause the door to malfunction.
  • Banging: If your garage door makes a banging noise when opening, this means you need to either replace the garage door panels or have a professional set the garage door back on its tracks.
  • Straining: If you find that your door is struggling to close or open, it may mean you need to replace its motor or that your garage doesn’t have sufficient power.
  • Scraping: Take scraping sounds seriously, as it could mean the door is scraping against your home, signaling an imbalance in the garage door placement.
  • Rumbling: Rumbling noises could indicate coil tension or a loosened spring. If you suspect your tension springs need tightening, contact a professional garage door technician.
  • Rubbing: If your tracks are bent or too tight, they may produce rubbing noises. A garage door professional will need to adjust your garage door’s alignment to solve this issue.
  • Popping: Popping noises often signal a snapped torsion spring, which requires professional assistance.

What Causes Strange Garage Door Noises?

What Causes Strange Garage Door Noises?

If your garage door is making strange noises, several common reasons could explain it. These include:

  • Your door is old: As a garage door ages, it makes more noise. These noises are generally caused by old rollers in need of additional lubricant.
  • Your door is unbalanced: If your garage door has slid off the tracks, it will make more noise than usual when opening and closing. Contact a garage door professional to correct your door’s alignment.
  • Your opener needs servicing: If your door is making rattling noises, your garage door opener may be to blame. Chain-drive openers are noisier than belt-drive ones, but if the belt or chain is loose, you’ll need to contact your garage door manufacturer for a repair or replacement.
  • The rollers are worn: As metal garage door openers age, they begin to rust and make noise. Nylon rollers are less noisy than steel rollers as they age.
  • There are loose nuts and bolts: If your nuts and bolts are loose, your garage door will make a screeching sound as it opens and closes.
  • Rollers and hinges need lubricating: A garage door’s moving parts require regular lubrication to work properly. Lubricate the pieces of your metal garage door until it stops making noise.

Tips for Decreasing Noise From Your Garage Door

If your garage door is noisy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to upgrade to a quieter model. In many cases, a little maintenance will do the trick. Here are some useful maintenance tips on how to reduce garage door opener noise:

1. Tighten the Nuts and Bolts

If your garage door is noisy, the first thing you want to do is tighten the nuts and bolts on both the track and the door itself. Ensure that everything is tight but avoid tightening them too much.

2. Lubricate Moving Parts

Garage doors contain many moving parts that require maintenance. Spray the tops of the springs with lubricants, and make sure you use enough lubricant or oil so that it flows down to the springs’ base. You should also spray each track’s inside as well as around the metal rollers. If you have a chain assembly, make sure the chain is lubricated. Observe the chain to see if it’s able to slide easily around the gears. Spray all the hinges between the panels, as any moving component can cause vibration.

By lubricating your moving parts several times annually, you’ll be able to minimize your garage door noise. When spraying lubricants, be generous.

3. Inspect Your Garage Door’s Rollers 

If your door has metal rollers and moves along metal tracks, this can be noisy. Nylon rollers operate much more quietly, do not need lubrication and require considerably less maintenance than their metal roller counterparts. They don’t cost much more than metal rollers, and the noise reduction may be worth the higher investment. 

If you’re replacing your garage door’s rollers, replace all of them at once. Installing nylon rollers is simple, and you can easily do it yourself, although hiring a professional will save you a lot of time.

4. Use Rubber Pieces as Buffers

If you use rubber pieces to serve as buffers for your garage door and garage door opener, this will reduce your noise significantly:

  1. Before you start work on the door and opener, unplug your door opener’s motor.
  2. Put a strong ladder under your door and rest your door on your ladder.
  3. Remove the motor for your door opener, take it out of its mounting bracket and gently place it on your workbench or the floor.
  4. Take out the bolts in your garage door that hold the tracks to it.
  5. Slide a small rubber piece between the bolts and the door.
  6. Tighten the bolts.
  7. Remove the bolts that hold the door to the support frame.
  8. With thick rubber, cut out two rectangular pieces, then drill two holes and bolt one end to the end of the garage door opener’s frame.
  9. Hang your motor from the opener’s mountain straps with rubber pieces.
  10. Suspend your opener from the frame by the rubber pieces.

The rubber will help absorb vibrations before they cause the support frame to shudder. Test your opener and garage door to confirm they’re still working properly.

5. Readjust the Locks

After working on the gaskets and bolts, you might need to readjust the locks on your garage door.

After working on the gaskets and bolts, you might need to readjust the locks on your garage door. Confirm that your locking bars are adequately aligned. Watch for your lock bar hitting the track, making sounds and not catching. When the door opens and closes, a misalignment can cause a grinding noise.

Locate the leader brackets, which are L-shaped and connected to the door. Take out the screws and tap your guide up or down, depending on how the alignment is off, then tighten the screws and bolts and repeat on the other side.

6. Replace the Insulation Strip

Another reason for a noisy garage door is that the insulation strip under your garage door is missing, damaged or worn out. If your insulation strip is missing, you’ll start to feel wet and cold coming into your garage and may hear a banging noise when your door closes. You can easily replace this strip by taking out the old one and buying a rubber insulation roll from a garage door or local lumber store.

Worn insulation strips may be:

  • Warped or misaligned
  • Missing pieces
  • Torn
  • Flattened thin
  • Cracked

You’ll also know it’s time to replace insulation strips if daylight is visible around the closed door or there’s significant water leakage after rain. To replace the insulation strip, slide the old, worn strip out and slide the new rubber through the door’s tracks. Watch closely as you do it, and be careful not to cut your strip of insulation too short. A strip that’s too long is fine, as you can make adjustments later on. You should also be aware that rubber insulation shrinks, so don’t cut it so that it fits your door exactly. Allow a few extra inches to accommodate shrinkage.

7. Have Your Springs Fixed

Another cause of noise is when your garage door hits the floor too hard. If this is the case, your springs may be to blame. Working on springs can be dangerous and will fail if they’re not properly installed or repaired. Incorrect spring sizes or types could cause the door to malfunction or stop working. We recommend leaving this job to a professional.

8. Listen to Your Garage Door Opener

Listen closely to noises coming from your garage door opener. If your opener is automatic, it will need to be tweaked often. If you hear a noise coming from either the opener or close to the garage’s roof, hire a specialist to repair it. If you don’t deal with the noises coming from your garage door opener, your door will likely break down sooner or later, banging to a close. Fortunately, most tweaks of this kind are easy and fast.

While the garage door specialist is there, ask them to examine your garage door and ask for maintenance tips to prevent future noise. They can help you determine the best repair and maintenance timeline for your garage door and opener to avoid costly replacements.

Schedule Service With Quality Overhead Door if You Hear Unusual Garage Door Noises

Schedule Service With Quality Overhead Door if You Hear Unusual Garage Door Noises

If you live in the Toledo, Ohio, area and are experiencing strange garage door noises, don’t try to diagnose the issue yourself. Quality Overhead Door can perform a comprehensive tune-up to detect and troubleshoot the source of the problem.

During more than 35 years in business, we’ve heard all the common garage door noises — and we know what causes them. We’ll recommend the best course of action, whether a simple adjustment, extensive repair or complete garage door replacement. Our skilled technicians will handle the job with speed and efficiency.

Contact us to schedule a service with our skilled technicians. If you’d like to learn more about our services, reach out to us using our contact form, and we’ll be happy to provide you with any information you need.

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