The screeching, shaking, and clattering of a noisy garage door opener is annoying. It also won’t win you any friends in your neighborhood.
I once had a neighbor whose garage door was so loud that it would startle me awake every morning he left for work. I never asked for a 4:30 wake-up call, thank you very much!
We’ve researched the most common causes of loud garage door openers, and how to fix each of them. With a little bit of work and maintenance, you (and your neighbors) can enjoy a much quieter garage door.
Inspect Your Garage Door Opener First
A garage door opener is a simple mechanical system, having components and moving parts that can become out of tune with each other over time.
Getting familiar with the system and inspecting each part can help you pinpoint the source of the noise more easily.
Some fixes are easy and you can do them yourself, while for others you may want to hire a professional to replace or upgrade certain parts of your opener system.
How to Make a Garage Door Quieter
Taming your beastly garage door opener might seem difficult, but you’ll find there are simple actions you can take to get it running smoothly again.
Caution: Please consult a professional if you have any concerns about your opener. Don’t risk it if you are uncomfortable doing maintenance.
1. Check for Loose Fasteners
Your initial tasks will involve inspecting the main components of the opener system. The first thing to do is check and ensure all the screws, bolts, nuts are tight and secure.
Garage doors are heavy and loose fasteners in the system cause shaking, vibration, and eventually lots of noise from wear and tear.
Focus on the track and supporting brackets, and snug up any fasteners with the appropriate wrenches, sockets, and screwdrivers.
2. Check the Track & Rollers
Inspect the entire length of both tracks for signs of wear and damage. A bent track can cause the garage door to loudly shake and shudder as it is being lifted or lowered along the track. The opener’s motor will have to work extra hard (more noise) to overcome the misalignment.
The same goes for the rollers. Bent rollers wobble, and fight the garage door opener from smoothly rolling up the door on the tracks. Any damaged or rusted rollers should be replaced, preferably with some quiet running nylon rollers mentioned below.
3. Lube the Main Mechanical Components
Rollers, springs, and hinges can all keep up a racket if they’re not lubricated properly. Lubrication not only reduces and even eliminates noise but also allows your garage door’s mechanical components to move in a smooth, fluid fashion. Lubricants also provide a well-needed layer of protection against rust and/or corrosion, which should help these components last longer.[amazon box=”B001E5DLVO” template=”horizontal” button_detail=”https://fave.co/3elb0EZ” button_detail_text=”Home Depot”]
Apply white lithium grease, silicone spray, or another suitable lubricant on each metal component, including the hinges and springs. Don’t be afraid to use liberal amounts of lubricant, but don’t forget to wipe up any excess oil with a clean cloth.
If you have a chain-driven garage door, don’t forget to lubricate the chain as well with heavy grease or similar lubricant.
PRO TIP: Refrain from lubricating the garage door tracks, as doing so not only traps dirt and debris but also makes it harder for the rollers to freely move along the track.
4) Adjust the Opener Chain Tension
A loose chain will make the opener jerky and loud.
With the garage door closed, pull the red release rope down/back to disconnect the door from the opener while making this adjustment.
Locate the threaded rod and jam nuts connecting the chain near the middle of the garage. By adjusting the inner and outer nuts, you can increase tension and take out some of the slack in the chain.
For a T-rail system, adjust the nuts until there is a ½” gap between the chain at its midpoint. A square rail should be adjusted until the chain is ¼” above the base of the rail.
Fun Fact: I once got dinged on a home inspection for having a droopy opener chain, causing noise and the door to shake upon opening. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix.
5. Replace Worn Weather Seals
Weather seals do more than just keep inclement weather and unwanted critters out of your garage. They also provide some well-needed sound cushioning as your door closes.
Weather seals that are torn-up, missing, or just plain worn-out can prevent the garage door from sealing itself properly. More noticeably, worn weather seals can lead to those booming and slamming noises whenever you close the door.[amazon box=”B0006VAM1K” template=”horizontal” button_detail=”https://fave.co/3mfJPQ2″ button_detail_text=”Home Depot”]
Replace any and all worn or damaged weather seals around the garage door. Also, make sure every weather seal sits level with the garage door. New weather seals will give your door more cushion to close on.
6. Upgrade to Nylon Rollers
While they’re long-lasting, steel rollers are also quite noisy even when properly lubricated. Replacing this style of roller with one made from nylon can help significantly reduce noise. Nylon rollers are slightly more expensive than their steel counterparts, but the noise reduction benefits are definitely worth it.[amazon box=”B078PV5KBX” template=”horizontal” button_detail=”https://fave.co/3yInX4P” button_detail_text=”Home Depot”]
As an added bonus, nylon rollers don’t need lubrication. As a result, these rollers require less maintenance.
NOTE: When switching to nylon rollers, make sure you do them all at once. Don’t forget to check the wear on your old rollers to see if adjustments need to be made to the track prior to installation.
7. Add Rubber Isolators to Motor Mount
Garage door openers can transmit noise and vibration during operation. These vibrations can travel throughout the rest of your garage, amplifying existing noises. Adding rubber anti-vibration pads can help isolate unwanted vibrations, which in turn cuts down on garage door noise.[amazon box=”B089GX4788″ template=”horizontal”]
Install anti-vibration pads between the garage door opener’s mounting bracket and the ceiling. You can also place round isolators between the opener and the bracket. Keep in mind that you’ll need longer lag screws to account for the small increase in thickness.
8. Upgrade to Torsion Springs
Some garage doors use an extension spring system to help open and close the door. It’s a relatively simple and affordable system, but also one that tends to make a lot of noise under operation. Extension springs can become even noisier with wear or neglect.
You can replace your existing extension spring system with a torsion conversion. Torsion springs are not only quieter, but they also use fewer moving parts and offer the more controlled movement of your garage door.
Torsion springs also last longer than their extension spring counterparts. Whereas the average extension spring lasts for 10,000 cycles, torsion springs usually last for double the cycles or more.
9. Insulate the Garage Door
Insulation is yet another option for silencing noisy garage doors. Many newer doors come with built-in insulation, but numerous kits exist to retrofit standard doors with insulating panels. These panels can help cut down on the shuddering and booming noises made as your garage door opens and closes.[amazon box=”B008OPLHVE” template=”horizontal” button_detail=”https://fave.co/3p8zV4P” button_detail_text=”Home Depot”]
Insulating your garage door has a number of benefits outside reducing unwanted noise. The right insulation can also block out excessive heat and cold, making your garage a bit more comfortable to work in year-round. After all, who doesn’t want a nice place to work on their car or home projects?
10. Upgrade to a Quiet Belt Drive Opener
Most quiet garage door openers do not rely on a metal chain to pull garage doors open and shut. Chains tend to make a terrible racket. If lubrication or chain replacement does nothing to get rid of unwanted noise, upgrading to a belt drive opener may be your best bet.
A steel-reinforced belt offers a quieter operation when compared to steel chains. They also don’t need as much maintenance, and they’re easier to replace. A belt drive opener can also lift garage doors faster than its chain-driven brethren.[amazon box=”B09B2MZVVP” template=”horizontal” button_detail=”https://fave.co/3mjxp9R” button_detail_text=”Home Depot”]
There are two ways you can approach a belt drive upgrade. You can replace the chain drive garage door opener entirely for a belt drive unit or retrofit a belt to an existing chain drive opener. If you’re interested in the latter, check with a professional to see if your current opener is upgradeable.
Quieting a noisy garage door is much easier than you think! You can do many of the above-mentioned fixes yourself using some basic tools and a little know-how.
Of course, you can always have professional garage installers take care of these projects if you don’t feel comfortable doing them yourself.