Hearing loud grinding or screeching sounds when your garage doors move? It could be caused by any number of things, but one component you may want to check is your garage door rollers. They are a small component of the entire garage door, but unreliable garage door rollers can be a big problem.
What do garage door rollers do?
Rollers are those rod-and-wheel mechanisms that connect the door to a set of tracks. They allow the door to open and close in a smooth motion. The constant opening and closing of the garage doors will require hard work from the rollers, and they will get damaged through years of regular use. Some cheaper quality rollers might even wear out after just one or two years!
Therefore, they will require periodic maintenance and replacement. Here is some vital info you need to know about garage door rollers:
What are the signs of worn-out garage door rollers?
Even if there’s an average lifespan for rollers, they could get prematurely worn out. Therefore, it’s important to check them periodically and see how they look. You may also want to observe these signs:
- Try to observe if your garage doors have sudden, jerky movements. Rollers that are loose, worn out, or bent in some way are more likely to strain your garage door opener and create irregular movements.
- Another sign is if the garage doors get jammed midway. This is a big nuisance if you’re parking your car or leaving the garage! Sometimes, these broken or cracked rollers will prevent the doors from closing entirely. In addition, jammed garage doors will make your property more vulnerable to the elements and potential intruders.
- Of course, look for visible signs of wear and tear. Anything bent or loose (e.g. rod and wheel are getting loose, broken seals) should inform you that it needs replacing right away.
How do I know when to replace the rollers?
If you’ve been experiencing the above mentioned signs, it’s time to call a garage door repair team to check the rollers. If you keep on using worn-out rollers, chances are the opener could get damaged as well. The tracks might also be compromised due to the constant irregular movements. In short, neglecting garage door roller replacement means you’re also ignoring the upkeep of other garage door components – which will end up costing you a lot more in the long run. It’s best to replace bent or damaged rollers right away to avoid more extensive and more costly repairs.
What is the standard lifespan of rollers?
You could check the manual of your garage door system to find out the lifespan of the components, including the rollers. As with other garage door components, like the springs, garage door rollers have cycle ratings that give an approximate number of cycles they can last.
For nylon rollers, for instance, the typical duration is 10,000 cycles. On average, a residential garage door is operated three to five times per day, which counts at around 1,500 cycles per year. So your good-quality nylon rollers should last you about six to seven years, barring any significant damage.
Again, if your rollers look worse for wear and you’re already experiencing issues with the movement of the garage door, it’s time to replace them.
Does material type affect garage door rollers?
The material can affect how resistant the rollers are to the elements, the noise level they create during cycles, and how much weight of the garage door they can lift. These all have to be considered, along with the price! Each material has its own set of pros and cons, and as a homeowner you’ll have to weigh them against your priorities and necessities.
There are substantial differences in longevity, quality, and price among the different garage door materials in the market. These include:
- Plastic rollers – these are the most basic and affordable type of roller available. Relatively cheaper, but they will wear out quickly, usually in only a few years.
- Steel rollers with ball bearings – these sturdy garage door rollers will last you a good 10 to 15 years. However, one disadvantage is that they are pretty noisy compared to other rollers.
- Steel rollers without ball bearings – though made of steel, these will perform much like plastic rollers and should only last a couple of years. But the key is that it’s not going to be as noisy as rollers with ball bearings.
- Nylon rollers – these rollers are the best quality-wise, but they are also the most expensive option. These should last about 12 to 20 years and are also smooth and quiet during cycles. Again, they are more costly than all the other materials mentioned.
How do I replace garage door rollers?
Garage door roller repair or replacement is a professional’s job – garage doors are sturdy mechanisms, but one wrong move and it could cause further damage or a freak accident. After all, garage doors are heavy, intricate units.
We suggest that you contact a professional, like Alpine Garage Door Repair. Our garage door service techs can perform regular maintenance, do thorough inspections, lubricate all the rollers, or replace them if they’re too worn out.
If your garage door rollers are old and damaged, get qualified professionals to get the job done correctly.
How can I maintain my current rollers?
Plastic rollers have little maintenance requirement; they have a shorter lifespan than steel ones. But for steel rollers with ball bearings, you could put lubrication regularly. This will help extend the lifespan and keep the rollers moving smoothly per garage door cycle.
Make sure that if you will put lubrication that you disengage the garage door opener. Sudden door movements while you’re doing even minor maintenance work might cause an accident!
As for lubrication, too many homeowners use WD-40 for this job. Get a lithium-based or silicone-based lubricant to use on the garage door rollers. WD-40 may be popular, but this type of lube is a no-no as it is a degreaser, and what you want is to add more grease on your rollers! Make sure to wipe any excess drips so as not to stain your floors.
Get Garage Door Maintenance Here
If you don’t have the time or the expertise to lubricate the rollers, call our garage door repair professionals to do the job for you. DIY repairs can result in expensive mistakes, or worse, cause harm to you and your property. If you need new rollers, we have a team of experts to advise which high-quality product can serve you for many years. We also perform routine garage door maintenance and emergency 24/7 service if you need them immediately.
Talk to us today about your garage door repair concerns – we’d love to hear from you!