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Garage Door Rollers: An Introductory Guide from NationServe

Here at NationServe, we think it is pretty safe to say that the average American homeowner probably hasn’t thought twice about the key components that allow their garage door to function. Most people are not quite sure what a garage door roller looks like, let alone what they do or how they work.  That being said, it definitely pays to learn a little bit about these simple but essential devices since they’re a key part of what keeps your garage door moving.  Having quality rollers that are properly installed and well maintained makes a big difference in how smoothly your garage door functions and how much noise it makes as it opens and closes. In today’s blog, we walk you through the basics of garage door rollers and share some of our best practises and advice to ensure you garage rollers stay in great condition for as long as possible.

garage door rollers

What are garage door rollers and how do they work?

Garage door rollers are the wheels that run along the metal tracks on the sides of your garage door. When you open your garage door, the rollers slide up the track to lift the door until it fully retracts. When you close the door, the process happens in reverse. Each roller is composed of a wheel and a metal rod that’s attached to the frame of the door. If the rollers are not completely in line with the track, or if they’re not well lubricated, they can make it difficult for the door to open without jerking, sticking, and making excessive noise.

Are there different types of garage door rollers available?

Roller types vary in terms of the type of materials used to make their wheels. At NationServe we carry a large variety of garage door parts and accessories to ensure your door is functioning at its best. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of garage door rollers:

  • Plastic rollers. Rollers with plastic wheels are the most affordable option, but they’re not as long lasting as other wheel types. Plastic rollers can only support a limited amount of weight, so they’re best suited for single-panel garage doors on residential homes.
  • Steel rollers. Rollers with steel wheels can support more weight than plastic rollers. Although they can sound louder, steel rollers are a reliable and durable option for most garage doors.
  • Nylon rollers. Many garage door experts recommend investing in rollers with nylon wheels. As the most recent type to become available to consumers, nylon rollers are lightweight like plastic rollers but can support large amounts of weight like steel rollers. These garage door rollers slide along the tracks more fluidly and quietly than other types of rollers.


The quality and cost of garage door rollers also depends on whether their wheels contain ball bearings. These ball bearings are rings of small metal balls that separate the rotating wheel and stationary axle to reduce friction. Plastic rollers don’t have ball bearings, and some steel rollers have them while others don’t. Nylon rollers, which resemble rollerblade or skateboard wheels, always have ball bearings. Rollers without ball bearings will wear out more quickly because there’s nothing to limit the friction between the wheel and the rod. The more balls in the bearing, the longer the roller will last and the more smoothly it will run along the track.

What is the best way to extend the life of my garage door rollers?

Garage door rollers can last for as long as 20 years if you take proper care of them. To keep your garage door in good working order, apply a lithium-based lubricant to the rollers once a year or so. You should also clean out the metal tracks with a damp rag to get rid of any dirt or debris that may have built up over time.

Keep in mind that you need to be very careful when performing maintenance on your garage door. It’s an extremely heavy apparatus held under a great deal of tension, and if something should snap or break, the whole thing could come crashing down on you. It’s a good idea to warn other members of your household if you’re going to be working on your garage door so nobody ends up in harm’s way. Please refer to our garage door maintenance checklist for DIY tips and when it is the right time to call us in for assistance.

How can you tell if there’s a problem with your garage door rollers?

If you notice that your garage door is making more noise than usual when opening and closing, or that it’s lurching and getting stuck on its way up and down, you may have an issue with your rollers. As soon as you suspect a problem, you should book a service appointment with one of our NationServe technicians right away. Given the extent of our garage door expertise, we’ll be able to quickly pinpoint the problem and find a solution. It may be that your rollers weren’t properly installed, are damaged and need to be replaced, or simply require more lubrication. Save yourself the time, money, and worry by getting it done right the first time with NationServe.

Talk to NationServe – America’s Garage Door Specialists – About Replacing your Rollers

At NationServe, we specialize in quality garage doors that move with the times. If you need to have your garage door rollers inspected, repaired, or replaced, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our experienced technicians in Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Cincinnati, Spokane Valley, Tucson, or any one of our locations around the country are happy to help.

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