A garage doors is only as good as its hinges. With the exception of a few garage door models that feature a solid panel, garage doors feature hinged panels. These hinges allow the panels to maneuver along the curved rails of the garage door. The hinges allow the panels to bend, but hinges can wear out over time. If you notice that your garage door is squeakier and more jerky that it used to be, chances are you have a problem with your hinges that you need to take care of.
How Hinges Wear out Over Time
Friction and the lubricants inside hinges do not co-habitate well. Constant friction can wear out lubricants. Furthermore, hinges are exposed to moisture from outside during the normal operation of a garage door. Over time, the lubricants can break down and then the friction of metal on metal can cause the components of the hinge to break down and fail. The damage to a hinge depends on how little lubricant is in the hinge and/or how long it has gone without lubricant.
How to Repair a Hinge that Is Low on Lubricant
You cannot simply spread some lubricant on the outside of a hinge and hope that it will be able to get inside to the inner surfaces of the hinge. Instead, you need to find a lubricant that will be able to work its way down inside the hinge. Penetrating oils are designed to work down into hard to reach places. Spraying a good penetrating oil over hinges that are simply low on lubricant should be enough to protect them and give them new life.
How to Repair a Hinge that Is Out of Lubricant
Once a hinge's lubricant runs out, friction will begin to wear down the metal that makes up the hinge. If the damage to the hinge is bad enough, you have no choice but to replace the hinge. As long as you are not replacing the bottom hinge on your door, you should be able to take care of the repairs on your own. The bottom hinge, however, is connected to the high-pressure springs that assist the motor in opening and closing the door. Removing these hinges can put a person at risk, so they are best left to professionals such as Girard's Garage Door Services.
Hinges are integral to the proper functioning of a garage door. Taking time to lube the hinges will help forestall repairs, and when repairs are needed, they can prolong the life and improve the function of an older door.