How to Tell When You Need to Replace Garage Door Springs

We open and close our garage doors without thinking, but have you ever considered how they work? 

Your garage door springs are why your garage door opens and closes. With proper maintenance, your mighty springs can last for 12 years or more, depending on the type. 

But do you know anything about garage door spring repair? 

When springs have too much tension, they can break and leave you with an unbalanced and potentially dangerous garage door. 

Find out the top reasons why you should replace garage door springs here.  

What Does a Garage Door Spring Do?

Garage door springs do the heavy lifting. They make it easy for garage doors to be lifted by counteracting the force of gravity on the door. Springs also act as safety mechanisms to stop garage doors from suddenly falling. 

Garage door springs fall into two major categories: extension springs and torsion springs. 

Garage door extension spring

Extension Springs

An extension spring system is mounted on either side of the garage door track. They are around two to four feet long. Extension springs store energy by extending when the door is moved. 

There are three types of extension springs: 

  1. Open-looped extension spring
  2. Double-looped extension spring
  3. Clipped-end extension spring 

Extension springs can result in a jerking motion and can move at erratic speeds depending on the level of force used during the opening. 

When an extension spring breaks, it will snap off and hit something or someone at a considerable force. Snapping extension springs have been known to cause severe injury and even death. 

Torsion Springs

Torsion spring replacement

Torsion springs are mounted on a torsion pole and located parallel to the garage door, directly above its opening. Depending on its size, it can have one to four torsion springs. 

Both torsion and extension springs work similarly. They use weight and gravity to gain and release tension when you open and close your garage door. 

The only difference is that torsion springs twist when the door closes. When the door opens, they release energy by twisting in the other direction. 

Torsion springs are considered the better option as they are sturdier and last longer. Although they are more expensive, torsion springs allow for more controlled motion and less wear on your operator. 

How Do You Know Your Spring Is Broken

Broken garage door spring
Broken Garage Door Spring

The two most common signs of a problem with your garage door spring are balance issues and excessive squeaking. 

Let’s take a look at both. 

Balance Issues 

An unbalanced garage door usually means the springs aren’t providing enough tension to counterbalance the door’s weight. Or the springs are exerting too much tension. 

You can identify an unbalanced door by the following: 

  • The garage door is uneven when opening and closing
  • The garage door makes strange sounds when opening and closing 
  • The garage door takes longer to open and close 
  • The garage door won’t open 

An unbalanced door puts extra strain on the opener. If you leave the problem for too long, the opener can fail, or the spring will snap. When the spring breaks, the door can come crashing down. 

Excessive Squeaking 

Excessive squeaking is a tell-tale sign that something is wrong with your springs. While squeaking now and then is normal, excessive squeaking can point to a bigger problem. 

Applying lubricant might solve the problem, but your springs may be worn out or broken if the noise persists. At this point, you will need to replace the springs. 

While replacing a garage door spring yourself is possible, it’s best left to the professionals. Not only do you require knowledge of the type of springs you have, but you must also be aware of the dangers associated. 

Why You Should Replace Garage Door Springs 

Once a garage door spring breaks, it cannot function effectively. You may not be able to use your garage door at all. When your spring is beyond function, it’s time to consider getting a garage door spring replacement. 

Many garage door specialists will recommend that it’s better to replace than repair a garage door spring. Most companies will also recommend replacing both garage door springs to prevent further damage, inconvenience, and additional charges. 

Here are the top reasons why you should replace garage door springs. 

Safety

The number one reason why you should replace garage door springs is safety. While you may not realize it, a broken garage door spring is a serious safety hazard. 

This is especially true if you have extension springs. When an extension spring suddenly fails, it can fly off, break apart, and cause serious damage and injury. When a torsion spring breaks, you may hear a loud bang or pop, but the spring stays put. 

Without the proper safety measures in place, a suddenly broken spring can cause damage to any vehicle inside or any person(s) standing close by. 

A broken spring can also cause the garage door to shut unexpectedly. If you’re standing underneath the door, you know that it isn’t going to end well. The violent slam may also damage your garage door. 

Now, you’re dealing with the costs associated with spring and garage door replacement and possible hospital bills. 

Longer Lifespan and Better Long-Term Investment

Most garage door springs are designed to open and close 10,000 cycles or between 7 to 10 years. This will vary depending on which type of spring system you have and how well they are maintained. 

While it sounds like many cycles, once you consider how many times you go through the garage, it adds up faster than you think. 

If you use your garage door as a front door, which many people do, you might be wise to consider getting high cycle torsion springs.

Torsion springs are rated by cycle life. A 10,000-cycle torsion spring will have, you guessed, around 10,000 cycles. Higher cycle springs, including those that last 25,000 and 50,000 cycles, will triple your spring life from 14 to 20 years. 

Spring repair won’t extend the life of the springs; it will only help them reach their life expectancy. Spring replacement, however, will provide you with a longer lifespan and a better long-term investment. 

Reduces Your Time and Maintenance Costs

When one spring breaks, the chances that the other spring will break increases. Before you know it, you’re back on the phone scheduling another appointment. 

Most companies will replace both springs to avoid inconvenience and reduce call-out fees when the other one breaks. 

As with many things, the newer your garage door springs are, the less time and money you need to invest in them to keep them properly maintained.

While a spring repair will fix the current problem, it’s hard to determine how long this will last. And you never know what problem is waiting around the corner. 

With replacement garage door springs, you’ll spend less time worrying about potential problems and safety hazards and more time enjoying your garage. 

Benefits of Professional Garage Door Spring Repair

Unless you have the skills and experience to repair or replace a garage door spring, your best bet is to leave it to the pros. Fixing garage doors can be extremely dangerous and lead to nasty accidents. 

If that doesn’t sway you, here are five reasons why you should hire a professional garage door repair company. 

1. Saves Time and Money

Many people fail to realize that paying for a professional will actually save you time and money. They have the knowledge and skills to identify the problem and fix any issues quickly and efficiently. By the time you determine the problem, they’ve already packed up and headed onto their next job! 

2. Minimizes Risk of Injury

You should never try to replace or repair a garage door spring if you don’t have the tools or the know-how. Given the pressure these spring systems are under, extreme dangers are involved. A professional garage crew has experience handling garage doors and can reduce the risk of injury. 

3. The Right Tools

Professional garage door specialists have the right tools for the job. Repairing garage door springs isn’t a job for you if your toolkit comprises a hammer and a packet of crisps. 

Without the proper tools, you cannot repair the problem effectively, and it is likely to break again. Professional garage repair companies invest money in quality equipment because it’s what they do for a living.

4. Warranty

Most repair companies offer a warranty for their services or parts used. You cannot get this if you try to do the repairs yourself.

Having a warranty gives you peace of mind in case an issue arises. If it does, they can fix the issue without any extra out-of-pocket expense on your behalf. 

5. Convenience

Have you ever tried to repair something with the help of a semi-helpful YouTube video? By the end of the video, you’re usually more confused than before you hit the play button. 

Hiring a professional repair service will ensure your garage door issues are diagnosed and solved with little involvement from your end. You don’t need to wait for parts to come in the mail or drive to different hardware stores. 

All you need to do is open your door and point to the problem. The rest is history. 

Why Garage Door Springs Break

Have you ever arrived home from a long day at work only to find out your garage door won’t open? You’re left scratching your head, but the problem is most likely due to the spring breaking. 

There are many reasons why springs can break; some are even preventable.

Wear and Tear

The most common reason your garage door springs break is wear and tear. When properly installed, your springs can last approximately 10,000 cycles. One cycle includes both the opening and closing of the door. 

Technically speaking, your springs should last between 7 to 10 years. However, this depends on how often you use your garage door. 

Many people use their garage as a front door. This will shorten that lifespan considerably. 

Rust

Rusted garage door spring

When rust forms on the garage door springs, it can cause them to break and shorten their life cycle. While small amounts of rust can be scrubbed off, if your springs have considerable rust to the point of corrosion, you should opt to have them replaced instead. 

To prolong your springs’ life expectancy, ensure you lubricate them around 3 to 4 times per year. 

Improper Maintenance

While you can’t always avoid wear and tear, you can take steps to practice proper maintenance and prolong the spring’s life. As well as regular lubrication, you should check your garage door balance every season. 

Cold weather can cause your garage door springs to become brittle and break easily, especially if used for several years. So, checking it more frequently during the cooler months is recommended. 

Door Jams

Door jams are caused by accumulating dirt and debris in the door track. When it reaches a critical level, it can block the roller and cause the door to jam.

When the door is jammed, the spring is left in limbo. It can’t release its energy, nor can it store more energy.

Left unaddressed, your springs will eventually lose their ability to charge energy. At this point, you may need to have your springs repaired or replaced entirely. 

Need Garage Door Spring Repair? Choose OGD™

Springs are a crucial element to the smooth operation of your garage door. Without them, you would just have a visually appealing door

When your garage door springs break, they can create a significant safety hazard for the people and property in its vicinity. When this occurs, it’s best to leave the garage door spring repair to the professionals. 

At OGD™, we are your garage door repair specialists. We can help repair both torsion and extension spring systems. Our garage door spring repair costs are affordable and completed efficiently and timely. 

To prevent further damage to your springs or operating system, reach out to us as soon as possible. 

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