Steps a Professional Door Installer Takes to Maintain or Replace Your Garage Door Rollers

A man showing how to lubricate garage door rollers

There’s nothing more annoying than hearing squeaking noises every time your garage door opens. If this is a concern for you, it’s probably an important sign your rollers need to be lubricated or replaced.

Every time your garage door moves, the rollers support the weight of the entire door. This constant pressure over time can cause them to weaken and be put under strain.

Image from a video > Through the course of its life a garage door opens & closes 20,000 times

Did you know? A garage door cycle means 1 opening + 1 closing.

Image from a video> 20,000 opening and 20,000 closing of a garage door is the equivalent of travalling up and down the Everest 5 times

Your garage door performs a lot of hard work. Don’t believe us? Watch this video. We measured your garage door’s everyday challenges.

To keep you and your family safe, and get rid of any annoying, ear-piercing noises your garage door makes, you need to take good care of it. If you don’t look after it over time, it’ll wear out much quicker.

In this blog article, a professional garage door technician will explain the basic steps taken to maintain garage door rollers, when to know it’s time to replace them, and when that time comes, how to replace them.

First – What Kind of Garage Door Rollers Do You Have on Your Garage Door?

The 3 most common types are:

  • Black Rubber: Recommended for doors under 10 feet in width, these rollers have no ball bearings.
  • Steel: With ball bearings. Ask for rollers with at least 10 ball bearings.
  • Nylon: 12 ball bearings, these rollers are quiet and are good for single or double doors.

2-inch Nylon rollers for residential overhead garage door

99% of residential doors come with 2-inch diameter rollers.

Before Starting to Work, Always Cut Off the Power!

A yellow sign saying Safety First

Always remember that before starting any kind of maintenance or work on your garage door, you need to:

  • Cut the power!!!
  • Unplug the garage door opener

Please be aware that working on a garage door that is connected to power is seriously risky. To stay safe, never forget to take the time to cut the power before you start your maintenance.

How to Lubricate Your Garage Door Rollers?

No matter if your garage door rollers are Nylon, Steel, or Rubber, NEVER, EVER USE OIL LUBRICANTS!!!

Despite having the word lubricant in the name, steer well clear of oil lubricants. Why? Because they’re actually degreasers! Oil lubricants will make your garage doors even more squeaky.

Image of lubricant recommended for tracks, hinges, springs, and rollers

What you should use is a silicone-based lubricant for all garage door rollers except for steel rollers.

  • Steel Rollers: Apply lubricant directly to the ball-bearings on the rollers’innermost part.
  • Nylon Rollers with Exposed Bearings: On the outside where the shaft meets the rollers, apply silicone-based lubricant.
  • Nylon Rollers with Sealed Ball Bearings: These are amazing! Why? No lubricant needed! These rollers will last the life of your garage door.

Some useful tips:

  • Always use the straw that comes with your lubricant
  • Apply lubricant in thin coats
  • Wipe away excess lubricate IMMEDIATELY with a clean cloth.
  • Remember rollers must roll, not slide, in the track
  • Maintenance every 6 months is recommended

If you have the lubricant out, why not knock out some other maintenance. Lubricate:

  • Hinges: at the place where they close and open
  • Locks
  • Arm Bars
  • Bearing Plates
  • Springs: Springs also need lubricant; however, they’re under extremely high tension. Because of this, HOMEOWNERS SHOULD NEVER ATTEMPT THIS THEMSELVES! Self-maintenance on springs is highly dangerous. This part of your garage door maintenance should only ever be left to a professional.

Should You Go with Nylon or Steel?

When replacing garage door rollers, which is better, nylon or steel rollers 🤔?

Nylon garage door rollers are pricier, but they are also significantly quieter and tougher. Not to mention the lifespan. They can last MORE THAN 10 YEARS.

According to Tim, from GarageTransformed, steel rollers are:

  • Noisy
  • Easily corrode and rust
  • Require regular upkeep and maintenance
  • Only have a 3-to-5-year life

How to Replace Garage Door Rollers in 5 Steps

Warning sign

Safety Disclaimer: Garage door roller replacement is a very dangerous job. You should NOT attempt this yourself.

NEVER loosen the bolts that secure the bottom fixture to the garage door or remove the cable from the bottom fixture.

Please be aware, by not following these precautions, you could cause THE SPRING TO SNAP, which will cause the door to fall or to jam. Snapping springs can cause property damage and/or personal injury or death.

The dangers that come with replacing garage doors rollers and hinges are due to:

  • The weight of the garage door
  • The tension in the springs

Replacing the rollers probably means you should also service other parts of your garage door. We strongly advise that you consider contacting your local garage door & opener technician for any and all aspects of garage door maintenance and replacement.

Step 1 – Unplug your garage door opener

Your garage door should never be at risk of accidental activation while you are working.

Step 2 – Unwind the springs with a winding bar

Hinges and rollers are best replaced with the door in the "down" position, this is a safety precaution. Be aware that springs need to be unwound beforehand.

To lock the cable in place, add vice grips to the springs shaft.

Step 3 – Remove garage door rollers

  • Loosen all screws holding the roller to the hinge
  • Use a hammer to tap and release the hinge
  • BEWARE – Always replace one hinge and roller before starting work on removing another. The hinges and rollers are the only things holding the door.
  • Remove old rollers

Step 4 – Replace with your new garage door roller

  • Slide the roller into the correct position
  • Tip the roller back into the track
  • Position the hinge directly over the bolt holes
  • Use bigger screws or Loctites for better security and hold
  • Tap the bolts back from the outside through the hinge holes before tightening the nut

Repeat each of these steps individually until all of your rollers have been replaced.

Step 5 – Wind the springs back to their original tension

  • You can adjust the tension if necessary
  • Lastly, remove the vice grip from the shaft

You Want Professionals Handling Your Garage Door Rollers Replacement and Your Garage Door Maintenance?

Going with a professional is a good choice.

Maybe you thought you would give it a go yourself but didn’t know how dangerous the springs can be. Replacing and maintaining a garage door takes skill and training, which is why it’s best to go with a professional.

Contact us at 905-569-9133.

We’re experts in garage doors and openers.

Our skilled repairmen are always available to help with your garage door.

We offer tune-up services, as well as answering all your questions about garage doors and openers. You can also learn more about our services and repairs.

Already know what you need? We can offer you a free email quote!

Do you think it might be time to replace your garage door?

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