Knowing When It Is Time to Replace Your Garage Door Springs
What Are Garage Door Springs?
Garage door springs are the component that makes your garage door light enough for you to lift on your own. They act as a counterweight by having a high torque that offsets the heavy weight of a garage door. They are calibrated based on the weight of the door and there are 2 types of garage door springs. Torsion (the type that twist) or Extension (the type that stretch).
The first kind is the torsion spring and you should be able to see it on the wall above the garage doors. These are most common with heavy garage doors.
Extension springs are the other type of spring. They are either on the sides of a one-piece garage door or above the horizontal tracks that the pulleys run on.
What Does a Failing Spring Look Like?
It may not look much different than a perfectly working spring. You will often discover the springs are failing because they cause stress on other components, causing them to break down. Look at the hardware – pulleys, cables and rollers. Do you see signs of wear?
Clear signs of spring problems are when there is a separation in the spring. If the spring looks stretched out or elongated, it may have lost the calibrated tension and needs to be repaired or replaced. Compare the springs against each other to see they look the same.
What Happens if They Start to Fail?
Springs are tightly wound and calibrated for the weight of the door they are being used by to make the doors lighter. Using a weakened spring makes it likely they will fail completely. A garage door that has a failure with their torsion springs will fall down with no countering resistance and can crush and cause injury. They will also be very hard to lift, as you would be lifting the full weight of the door without a torsion spring to help out.
The garage door opener would have the same problems with a failing or faulty door spring. The opener would have to work harder and be more likely to malfunction as well.
Can you manually open the garage door by disconnecting the automatic opener and raising and lowering it yourself? The whole point of the spring system is to take the weight of the door and make this easy. If you’re having difficulty, call us out to inspect it.
If everything is working properly, you should be able to lift it and have it remain open. If it starts to fall and won’t remain open, it may be an issue with the springs that should be addressed.
Never attempt to repair or replace your garage door springs on your own. The energy stored by a wound spring is sufficient, in an uncontrolled release, to break things, hurt you, and possibly even kill you. Call Alliance Garage and Gates today!
How Long Do They Last?
Life expectancy is based on how many “cycles” the spring is stretched and contracted, wound or unwound. Higher cycle springs are designed to last up to 60 years- but really it is down to how much they are used. A reasonable average life span is 7 to 10 years for residential garage doors.