When a garage door breaks, it is often due to one of the two springs that are a key part of your door opening and closing. The springs counteract all the tension and weight of the door, which means they work very hard to open and close reliably. When these springs become worn or corroded, they can snap with very little warning, leaving you stranded in your own driveway! Here is general information on identifying when you need garage door spring repair, what causes them to break, common mistakes made, and how to prevent them from breaking in the future.
Types of Garage Door Springs
Garage door springs are an integral part of a residential garage door, allowing the homeowner to open and close their door easily. Since each type and size of garage door is different, two main types of springs have been developed: torsion springs and extension springs.
Extension spring systems provide a powerful yet safe way to open and close a garage door easily. By suspending these heavy springs from the two sides of the track, they allow for smooth movement as your door rises and falls. The extension springs respond to the door’s motion by pulling on garage door cables connected to pulleys that open and close it.
Torsion spring systems are common in garage doors, allowing them to open and close quickly and safely. They typically contain one or two tightly wound springs located horizontally on a steel shaft and accompanied by cable drums at both ends. This system is mounted above the door and consists of three parts – an upper bearing plate, center plate, and lower bearing plate – providing additional stability. An incredible amount of tension holds the door open once it has reached its desired position.
What Causes Springs to Break
Here are the main 3 causes of broken garage springs:
Wear and Tear
Excess wear and tear is one of the most common reasons for a malfunctioning garage door spring. Typically, these springs are designed to withstand up to 10,000 opening and closing cycles — in other words, 1 cycle equals the door opening and then closing. It may not seem like much, considering the average homeowner opens and closes their garage door 3-5 times per day, which is 1500 cycles a year.
It is important to take care of any spring system because rust can be very damaging. Rust on a spring causes an increase in friction which makes the system less efficient. Even worse, it corrodes the coils, reducing their strength and making them more likely to fail earlier than expected.
With proper garage door maintenance, you can significantly extend the life of these spring components. Keeping the spring lubricated with white lithium grease at least twice a year should sufficiently reduce stress on it. To further check on their performance, you should inspect the garage door balance at least once a season, especially during winter – when most springs experience stiffness due to the cold.
Signs Your Springs Need Repaired
If your garage door isn’t moving as it should, you may need to check for damaged or worn-out springs. Here are signs that there may be a problem with your springs:
- Garage door doesn’t open all the way.
- Door slams down quickly after opening a few inches.
- Springs appear worn, separated, stretched out or elongated.
- Door won’t stay open or is difficult to open when opened manually.
- Door jams.
- Balance issues, when the door is hard to open and close but does move.
- Squeaking noises.
- Door jerks as it goes up and down.
You should call your local, professional garage door spring repair guys if you notice any of these signs.
Most Common Mistakes Owners Make
Generally, homeowners don’t give much thought to their garage door springs. Unfortunately, that often results in some common mishaps occurring when they try to work with them:
- Ignoring the strange sounds coming from your garage door, such as thumping, squeaking, screeching, and scraping.
- Not replacing springs immediately when signs are prevalent.
- Not replacing all the springs when one goes out. Like with tire replacement on your car, you should replace all of them, not just the damaged one, because the others may be on their way out too.
- DIY spring repairs. Garage door technicians should do it.
How to Prevent Garage Door Spring Damage
Avoiding the expense and hassle of replacing a garage door spring does not require much effort. A small amount of spray lubricant just twice a year is all it takes to help keep your springs safe from unnecessary harm. Additionally, buying high-quality springs can possibly decrease the need for replacements due to premature damage that occurs with inferior products. Finally, even light, regular inspections will help you become aware of any structural issues before they cause too much damage. Taking these preventative steps helps ensure you won’t face the cost and inconvenience of replacing your garage door spring more than every 7 years.
Leave Broken Spring Repairs to the Garage Door Professionals
A functioning garage door is crucial for any home, but it’s easy to forget once there’s a problem. Your garage door springs are essential to keep it running smoothly, but different types of springs are designed for particular models and require specialized installation. Without the proper assistance, your spring could be installed incorrectly. At Hung Rite Garage Door, we don’t just sell springs – our garage door experts can also identify which types of springs are most suitable for your model, diagnose any existing problems, and get them fixed safely. So contact us today, and let our garage door company do the hard work for you.
Here are the related garage services we provide:
- Emergency garage door repairs
- Garage door installation
- Garage door opener repairs
- Commercial garage door services
Visit our About Us page for more information about our company!