Garage Door Finishing 101

Rattling Garage Door? Try These Easy Solutions

Does your garage door make an obnoxious noise every time it opens or closes? The rattling is more than just an annoyance. It's a sign that something is wrong with the door, and if you continue to ignore the rattling, additional mechanisms and parts inside the door may jiggle themselves loose, making matters worse.

Sometimes, you may end up needing to have a garage door repair professional come fix your garage door. However, there are a few things you can try yourself before making that call.

Tighten the Bolts and Screws

There is a chance that a bolt in the garage door tracks, or perhaps elsewhere in the opening mechanism, has just become a bit loose. This may be causing parts to bang against each other when the door moves. Grab your wrench or screwdriver and check each bolt in the door assembly. Make sure they are all tight and snug. Then, open and close the door a few times to see if the tightening fixed the problem. You might have a bolt that continues to work itself loose periodically. But once you know which bolt that is, you can proactively tighten it before the rattling gets too bad.

Lubricate the Tracks

If the tracks are not well lubricated, the garage door might get stuck at certain spots, causing a rattling noise. There are specialized garage door track lubricants that you can purchase. If you cannot find one of these, you can just use a product like WD40, though it will be a bit messier. Apply the lubricant all of the way along the track. Open and close the door a few times to work the lubricant in, keeping in mind that the rattling may not subside until the door has gone up and down the tracks a few times. 

Check the Tracks

You can actually do this one while you are lubricating the tracks. Check to see if you see any areas where the tracks are bent. Even a tiny bend in the track can cause the door to bang about as it opens and closes. If you do find a bent spot, use some pliers to bend the track back into place. Open and close the door, and see if the problem is resolved. Bend the door track again, and then open the door again. Repeat several times until you're sure you have the bent track totally straight again.

Lubricate the Chain

The chain that pulls your garage door up and down also needs to be lubricated and can lead to some banging if it is not. Lubricating the chain is a bit messy, so put on clothes you do not care about before tackling this task. Hold an old cloth behind the chain, and spray it with the lubricant. Move the cloth up and down along the chain, distributing the lubricant as evenly as you can. Even if the door still rattles after you lubricate the chain, this is necessary maintenance—so you don't have to feel like you wasted your time.

If you try all of the quick fixes above and your garage door still rattles, then you need to call a repair technician. Rattling can be caused by problems with the tension springs in your garage door. These springs are under a lot of tension, and if one breaks or becomes unattached, it can cause serious injury and possibly even death. So, never attempt to repair or adjust a tension spring on your own, even if you are confident that is what the problem is. The good news is that this is an inexpensive repair to have done.