Have you noticed how one problem leads to another in the blink of an eye? This is true for garage door springs too. A noise today might become your nightmare tomorrow. When it comes to extension and torsion spring garage door systems, one would think that the only think they need is replacement when they snap. And although this is true, there are so much you can do to avoid surprises and why not, prevent springs from snapping prematurely.
What you should know about garage door springs
What’s important to keep in mind when talking about torsion and extension springs for garage doors is the following:
- Extension springs work in a slightly different way than torsion springs.
- Springs are made of steel.
- They consist of several components.
- They are responsible for the proper balance of garage doors.
- They are under a lot of tension – even when they are broken.
Why should such garage door spring facts interest you?
- Steel is subject to rust. And so the springs might corrode. This won’t happen overnight but it is unavoidable especially if the weather is humid. The solution is lubrication. Lubes protect steel from getting rusty. The concern with rusty springs is not just the loud noise. When steel corrodes, it becomes weak and so the springs might break.
- The components of springs might corrode or break too. We are talking about brackets, pulleys, cones, or even the shaft of the torsion spring. Garage door cables might be considered different parts, but they are still connected to the spring system. And sometimes, the problems of one part will affect the condition of the other part. So if you replace extension garage door springs or the torsion spring, check if the cables are frayed and thus ready to snap too and replace them.
- Garage door balance should interest you because it might affect your safety. When the door is out of balance, it’s an indication that there is a problem with the springs. And their problem is related to their tension. If they are too tensed, the overhead garage door will fly open. If they are weak, the door will be too heavy to open. In either case, strain is put on the garage door opener and the other parts. Gears & sprockets might break. And garage door parts will wear or break much faster.
Torsion spring vs extension springs
This brings us to the interesting subject of how springs work. First of all, one of their main jobs is to balance the garage door. And then lift or lower it. But they do it in a different way. The torsion spring provides the counter balance and transfers its force to the cable drums via the shaft. Then the drums pull the cables, which take turn to open the door. The extension springs, on the other hand, are connected to the cables via a pulley system while the other side of the springs is attached on an angle iron over the garage door tracks.
Since extension springs don’t have the shaft to keep them in place, they fly in the garage if they break. That’s a major problem and one of the reasons why many people convert their extension spring system to a torsion spring system. Alternatively, you can install safety cables. They run through the extension springs and so keep them in place in case they snap.
As you can see, garage door spring replacement is not the only solution to problems. There are things you can do to avoid problems or accidents but never forget that spring repairs are not recommended even to the most DIY-enthusiasts.