Garage door springs wear out over time. If you consider that they do all the hard work of opening and closing the garage door, this is normal. But since the springs ensure the smooth operation of your garage door, their sudden failure or breakage is pretty annoying. There are two usual garage door spring problems, which are often unavoidable. But before you end up late to your appointment because your car can’t get out of the garage, here’s some valuable information you should know.
Here you’ll learn about garage door springs and why they are essential. You’ll also know the reasons why some problems happen – the very ones that make you run to book garage door spring repair or replacement.
Types of garage door springs
To understand how garage door springs become damaged, we’ll discuss the two main types of springs below. These types both play an essential role in the smooth operation of your garage door.
- Torsion spring– Depending on the size of your garage door, you may need one or two tightly wound springs. You can find it placed horizontally on a steel shaft, and both ends have cable drums. Also, this spring is attached to the header wall on top of the garage door. Usually, it has a three-pronged support system with two ends and one center bearing plate.
- Extension spring– Both sides of the garage door tracks have extension springs. Garage door cables and pulleys allow this spring to extend and contract when the door moves.
These springs wear out every time the garage door opens or closes. The springs become more strained when the garage door is lowered. The tension is relieved when you raise the garage door, and the spring helps you lift it. So, always remember not to walk under a garage door operating.
Garage door spring damages
The most common garage door spring problems? The springs snap and fail. Check their causes and their possible fixes below:
1. Garage door spring breaks
First, a garage door spring breaks when you use it for a long time. You can hear an alarming noise similar to a shotgun from your garage once the spring breaks. Once you hear this kind of sound from your garage, ask a professional to verify the cause of the problem immediately. Delaying repair or replacement of springs can cause you more trouble.
Below are some of the reasons why springs break:
- Regular wear and tear- Regular wear and tear is the primary culprit behind garage door springs breaking. Most residential springs can only last for 10,000 cycles, which indicates a cycle of opening and closing a garage door. 10,000 seems a lot if you only perform two cycles daily. But, what if you go out frequently, like taking your kids to school? Or, going on errands, or when your kids open and close the garage for some reason? Some homeowners also use their garage door as their alternative front door. As a result, the lifespan of their springs becomes shorter than average. If you also use your garage door frequently, consider using torsion springs with an extended lifespan of 20,000 or more average cycles.
- Improper maintenance– Doing maintenance the wrong way can reduce the lifespan of your garage door spring. On the other hand, doing it correctly will allow you to determine any issues or if it’s about to fail. Proper garage door maintenance can help prevent springs from breaking. Aside from that, you’ll escape the hassle of facing a stuck garage door the moment you have to get your car out. Apply some white lithium grease to your springs a few times annually for lubrication. Also, check if the garage door is balanced every season, particularly during winter, which is the time when spring failure is common.
Here’s how to check the balance of your garage door:
• Pull the red handle on your garage door, also called the emergency release cord. It will set the garage door in manual mode.
• Raise the door halfway, then let go. The garage door will stay still if the springs are in good condition. Otherwise, the door falls or sags slightly, indicating that the springs are starting to fail.
- Rust- The presence of rust is another cause of spring breakage. Rust escalates friction on coils, weakening the spring when the garage door goes back and forth. The corrosion on the spring becomes worse by the day, leading to premature garage door spring breakage. Applying a silicone-based lubricant three to four times yearly can help to prevent corrosion and extend your spring’s life span.
A spring’s average lifespan is between seven and 12 years. Since it experiences stress due to usage, it needs replacement from a garage door service provider. To reduce the risk of a broken garage door spring, apply a tiny amount of spray lubricant twice yearly. Ask an expert to replace your broken springs if you don’t have the knowledge and experience to do so. That’s the best thing to do for safety reasons alone.
2. Garage door spring failing
Springs also fail. And they usually do so due to tension loss. This may be an easier fix than replacing a broken spring, but will still require the expertise of a trained pro. Don’t forget that the springs are tense – hence, dangerous, even if their tension is loose. A tech will know how to fix that and properly balance the garage door.
If your garage door is not operating as smoothly as before, inspect it, particularly the springs. It’s also best to ask a reputable garage door company for spring repair or replacement to avoid further problems.
Overall, the springs are only some of the many components that can affect the performance of your garage door. But some of the most crucial ones. Knowing how to recognize their problems is a good thing not only for convenience but also – and mainly, for safety reasons. Who would want it otherwise if it came to the tense springs? Don’t you agree?