Your garage door is one of the hardest working components in your home. Just think about how often you raise and lower it. For many homeowners, it serves as a veritable front door.
But all that heavy lifting inevitably brings wear and tear to your garage door. Some of its many moving parts are bound to break down eventually, and there’s a good chance your springs will be the first parts to go.
Now, what’s so important to understand is that garage door springs can be extremely dangerous when they break. The reason for this is that as the door is opened and closed, it’s stretched out or uncoiled, which places stress on the springs. If the springs are old or damaged, any vulnerability could cause them to break — and then they will go flying at full force, potentially damaging property and even injuring anybody who’s in the vicinity.
It should be clear that this is a scenario you want to avoid at all cost. The only way to do so is to know the signs that your garage door springs are getting worn down. Here’s a look at how to know your springs are going out, so you can anticipate the need for broken garage door spring repair and avoid any sort of emergency situation.
Types of Garage Door Springs
Before you can start learning how to recognize that your springs are going out, you need to identify what type of springs your garage door is using. There are two main types: torsion springs and extension springs. Each work in their own distinct way, so you need to have a basic understanding of their mechanisms to recognize any signs of wear and tear.
Torsion Garage Door Springs
Torsion garage door springs are most common. They use torque springs, which are tightly wound coils of metal, to generate the torque that’s needed to lift the garage door up when you open it. Because of this, they’re characterized by the turning motion you see when the garage door is raising or lowering. Torsion springs come in sets of between one and four, depending on the weight and size of the door. They require fewer parts and are more durable and less dangerous when they break than extension springs.
There are several different types of torsion garage door springs:
- Standard garage door torsion springs: These types of springs are among the most affordable and are often used on residential garage doors. They’re mounted above the garage door opening with a metal shaft running in the middle to support the spring. Lighter doors typically have only one spring while heavier doors use two.
- Steel rolling door torsion springs: This type of garage door spring is more often used in commercial construction. The torsion barrel supports a rolling door, and multiple springs are located inside the torsion barrel.
- Early set torsion spring: This type of spring is often used for residential garage doors. The spring is nested in the center of the torsion shaft.
- Torque master torsion spring: Based on a two-spring system, this is the safest type of garage door spring because the springs are situated inside the shaft.
Extension Garage Door Springs
Extension springs expand and contract when your garage door is lowered or raised by motor or by hand. There are generally two of them that are attached to the garage door tracks that run along the ceiling on each side of the door. It’s important to know that they can behave volatilely upon breaking. This is why they’re always used along with safety cables — and why it’s extra important to know when you need extension garage door spring repair.
Because extension garage door springs are relatively affordable, they’re the most common type of garage door spring for residential use. There are three types of extension garage door springs:
- Clipped ends: Because this type of spring has clips on the end, less stress is placed on the spring itself. This makes them the most durable kind of extension garage door spring.
- Open looped: An open looped spring has a looped wire at the end, which makes them easy to change — yet a little more expensive to replace.
- Double looped: Because this type of spring has two coils, it’s much stronger than an open loop spring. However, it’s more challenging to replace in the event that it breaks.
Torsion Springs: Signs They’re Going Out
So how do you know if you’re going to need torsion garage door spring repair? There are two ways to test this. The first way is to disengage your automatic garage door opener and raise the door manually. The door should stay in the up position with very little movement and without you needing to hold it up.
The second way is to move the door to the mid-level position, halfway between fully raised and fully lowered. Again, the door should stay up on its own. If your door feels heavy, the springs may be close to breaking. If your door feels light for some reason, you may have springs that are improperly sized for your door.
You can expect anywhere from four to nine years of use out of torsion springs, depending on how often you use your garage door.
Extension Springs: Signs They’re Going Out
Signs of failure for extension springs are similar to those of torsion springs, but there are also some additional signs that your extension springs have already failed.
First, do a visual check for any gaps in the coils. Gaps signal that the steel the springs are made from has given out, and the spring can’t produce the tension needed to move the garage door.
Another thing to look out for is whether the left and right sides of your garage door don’t appear to be correctly aligned anymore. This issue usually means that one of the springs has given out and can’t lift or close that side of the door anymore.
Finally, you should check for signs of wear and tear on the springs, including on the clips and loops. If any of these give out, the spring won’t be able to function anymore.
What to Do Next: Garage Door Spring Repair
Replacing your garage door springs is not a do-it-yourself project. As we’ve seen, these springs are under a great deal of tension. They can cause damage to property or serious bodily harm to you and your loved ones if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to have a trusted source for garage door repair services in your area — someone you can call on at any time to deliver professional support for all your garage door needs.
At Quality Overhead Door, we are that source of professional support for home and business owners in the Greater Toledo area. Since 1982, we’ve been providing the best in customer service, as well as a wide range of new and replacement garage doors, garage door openers and other components.
When you experience a spring that’s quickly going out, or when you have a spring that’s already given out at your home, we respond quickly to safely remedy the situation and get your household moving forward at full speed again.
Don’t let broken extension springs or torsion springs slow you down. Get in touch with Quality Overhead Door for the garage door spring repair you need.
Contact us today about garage door spring repair at your home!
Additional Resources on Garage Door Tips & Tricks:
- 7 Signs You Need A New Garage Door
- How to Increase Garage Door Security
- How to Check Garage Door Balance
- Important Safety Features of Garage Doors and Openers
- How to Clean Your Garage Door