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Every product has a fixed lifespan. So do your garage doors and their rollers. Of course, you can maintain the rollers and get them repaired or fixed when there are any issues. But, besides that, it is also vital that you recognize when they need to be replaced.

What are garage door rollers?

While the garage doors are always the essential part you see, the rollers are necessary for the door to open and close smoothly. These rollers basically form a rod-and-wheel system attached to the door and connected to a track. But this also means every time you open or close your garage door, the rollers are used to move the heavy door. So, these wear out over a period and need to be replaced.

Why replace and not repair?

Of course, you can try to maintain the rollers and repair them once or twice. However, if it keeps getting faulty, you must change the rollers. Over time, these rollers get damaged in multiple ways. They can either wear out or loosen or bend. Any such damages will lead to the garage door opening in a jerky manner.

Eventually, if you don’t get the rollers replaced, the damage will also affect the garage door and the door opening system. You might end up having to change the entire system. In addition, the damage could be worse if the rollers fall off the tracks. It could then affect other personal properties around. Therefore, replacing the damaged rollers as soon as possible is best to avoid additional expenses.

How to find that the garage door needs new rollers?

Here are some signs.

A jam

This is one of the obvious signs you need to tend to. When a garage door roller gets damaged in a way that it has a crack or is broken, the entire door will get jammed. So, you might not be able to open or close the door. This is the most significant and visible sign you could get to change the rollers because you might not be able to keep your car safe, or sometimes it will become difficult to enter or leave your garage with the car.


As we already discussed, every garage door roller has a fixed lifespan, similar to all products. So, it is best to replace the rollers when their cycle ends. Based on the type of your garage door roller, its lifespan could vary from anywhere between a few years to two decades.

So, when we talk about the cycle of a garage roller, it refers to the number of times the roller is used to open and close the door. One cycle refers to opening and closing the garage door once. On average, garage door rollers have a cycle of 1500 times a year. So, based on how much your roller can function, you will have to replace it. Suppose your rollers’ average cycle rating is 10,000 times. So, you might have to replace it in the next six or seven years from the date of purchase. What are the other rollers available in the market?

While there are several varieties, the most common ones are plastic, nylon, and steel. Their lifespans are:

Plastic rollers – Plastic rollers are the basic type of rollers and work for up to a few years.
Steel rollers without ball bearings – These are builder-grade rollers that last only a few years, like plastic rollers.
Steel rollers with ball bearings – Steel rollers with ball bearings are better than the ones without bearings, but it needs to be well maintained. They can easily last for 10 to 15 years if they are cared for. But it has a problem — it is the noisiest roller option.
Nylon rollers – Nylon rollers are the best in the lot. Depending on the quality level of the nylon used and how it is maintained, they can easily last from 12 to 20 years. While nylon rollers are the quietest of the four, are long-lasting, and perform the best, they are also the most expensive ones.

Other signs

While it is essential you know about the kind of roller you use and calculate its lifespan, sometimes the rollers might quickly wear out and would need your immediate attention. It is best to get them replaced during such situations. Some of the significant signs include the following:
● Visible damage of wear and tear
● The garage door vibrates like crazy
● The garage door isn’t aligned properly or falls off the rail, or looks crooked
● Cracking or chipping of the roller
● Roller is bent
● Roller has loose components, like a loose connection between the rod and the wheel
● In the case of rollers with ball bearings, check if there are any broken seals
● The garage doors open more slowly than usual
● The garage doors do not open and close swiftly; it’s jerky or gets stuck
● Irregular operation
● There is noise, such as squeaking or grinding, when opening or closing the garage door

While most of the issues mentioned earlier can be solved by repairing them, the others might lead to significant problems with the garage door. So, it is always best to look for these signs and contact a professional as soon as you find any faults or damages. The professional will inspect it and tell you if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

But the right maintenance and regular inspection can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your rollers.

An average residential garage door can easily weigh 80-200 pounds, and the rollers do all the heavy lifting. Since these small rollers are quintessential for the smooth running of heavy doors, proper maintenance is the key to extending the lifespan of the rollers. This includes removing unnecessary particles, dust, and others accumulated in the tracks of the roller. If you have bearings, you should also opt for lubrication a minimum of two times a year to maintain them effectively.

Similarly, if you opt to replace the old rollers with new ones, you should look at modern and quality options. Again, you can consult a qualified garage professional to check for replacement and product options.

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