All You Need to Know About Garage Door Springs

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Garage door springs are an essential component of any garage door system. They are responsible for lifting and lowering the door smoothly and efficiently. However, many homeowners overlook the importance of their garage door springs until they break down and cause inconvenience or even danger. Understanding the different types of garage door springs, their lifespan, and signs of wear and tear can help you take necessary maintenance steps and prevent accidents. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about garage door springs, including the different types, how they work, common issues, and more.

Types of Garage Door Springs

Garage doors play an important role in our homes, providing security, protection, and aesthetic value. But, have you ever wondered how these doors open and close? Well, the answer lies in the garage door springs.

Garage door springs are responsible for lifting and lowering the heavy garage door. They work by storing and releasing energy, which enables the door to move up and down smoothly. However, there are two different types of garage door springs, and it’s essential to know them to ensure that your garage door functions correctly.

Torsion Springs

Garage door torsion springs are tightly coiled springs that are attached to a metal shaft above the garage door. When the door is closed, the springs are in a state of tension, storing mechanical energy that will be used to lift the door when it is opened.

When you press the button on your garage door opener, it sends a signal to the motor that activates the mechanism to release the tension stored in the springs. As the springs unwind, they generate a significant amount of force that is transferred to the garage door through a system of cables and pulleys. This force is enough to overcome the weight of the door and lift it open smoothly.

Extension Springs

In addition to torsion springs, the second type of spring used in garage doors is the extension spring. Unlike torsion springs, extension springs are mounted on either side of the garage door, parallel to the horizontal tracks. When the door is closed, the springs are in a state of tension, storing mechanical energy that will be used to lift the door when it is opened.

When you activate the garage door opener, it releases the tension in the extension springs. As the springs expand, they generate force that is transferred to the garage door through a system of pulleys and cables. This force is enough to overcome the weight of the door and lift it open smoothly.

However, extension springs are not as durable as torsion springs and are more prone to wear and tear. They are also more dangerous to work with, as they are under a significant amount of tension and can cause serious injury if they break or snap.

Garage Door Springs Cycles

In the context of garage doors, a cycle refers to the opening and closing of the garage door. A full cycle is completed when the garage door is opened and closed once. The lifespan of a garage door spring is often measured in cycles, with each cycle representing one fully open and close operation of the door.

The number of cycles that a garage door spring can handle depends on a few factors, including the type and quality of the spring, the weight of the garage door, and how often the door is used. Torsion springs typically have a longer lifespan than extension springs and can handle a higher number of cycles.

On average, torsion springs are rated for 10,000 to 20,000 cycles, while extension springs are rated for 5,000 to 10,000 cycles. However, the actual lifespan of a garage door spring can vary depending on various factors, and springs may need to be replaced before they reach their rated cycle limit if they show signs of wear or damage. It’s important to have garage door springs inspected regularly by a professional to ensure they are in good working condition and to avoid unexpected failure.

Common Issues with Garage Door Springs

Garage door springs are an essential component of your garage door system, and they are responsible for lifting the heavy door smoothly and efficiently. However, they are also one of the most common causes of garage door problems. Here are some of the most common issues with garage door springs:

  • Wear and tear: Over time, garage door springs can wear out or break due to the stress of frequent use. This can cause the door to become heavy or difficult to lift or prevent it from opening at all.
  • Rust and corrosion: Rust and corrosion can weaken garage door springs and cause them to break prematurely. This is especially common in areas with high levels of humidity or exposure to salt.
  • Improper installation: If garage door springs are not installed properly, they can cause the door to operate incorrectly or even damage other components of the system.
  • Lack of maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as lubrication and inspections, is important to keep garage door springs in good working order. Neglecting maintenance can lead to premature wear and damage.
  • Counterbalance issues: If the garage door springs are not properly balanced with the weight of the door, it can cause the door to operate unevenly and put additional stress on the springs.
  • Safety concerns: Garage door springs are under a significant amount of tension and can cause serious injury or property damage if they break or snap. It is important to seek professional help if you notice any signs of wear or damage to your garage door springs.

If you experience any issues with your garage door springs, it is important to address them promptly to prevent further damage or safety concerns. Regular maintenance and inspections by a professional garage door technician can help prevent many common issues with garage door springs.

Signs Of Near-Broken/Broken Garage Door Springs 

Garage door springs are an important component of a garage door system. They help in counterbalancing the weight of the door and assist in lifting and lowering it. When garage door springs near the end of their lifespan or break completely, there are several signs that indicate that garage door springs may be near breaking or need to be replaced:

  • Difficulty opening or closing the garage door: If the garage door is becoming harder to open or close, it could be a sign that the springs are losing their tension.
  • Loud or unusual noises: If the garage door makes loud creaking or snapping sounds when opening or closing, it could indicate that the springs are worn or damaged.
  • Sagging or uneven door: If the garage door appears to be sagging or uneven, it could be a sign that one or more springs are broken or not functioning properly.
  • Rust or corrosion: If there is rust or corrosion on the springs, it can weaken them and cause them to break more easily.
  • Age of the springs: Garage door springs typically last between 7 and 12 years depending on usage, so if the springs are older than this, they may be nearing the end of their lifespan.

It’s important to address any issues with garage door springs promptly to prevent further damage to the door or injury to people or pets. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to call a professional garage door repair company to inspect and replace the springs as needed.

Replacing Garage Door Springs

Replacing garage door springs can be a dangerous task, so it’s important to exercise caution and follow proper safety procedures. Here’s a brief overview of the steps involved in replacing garage door springs:

How To Replace Torsion Springs

  1. Gather necessary tools: You’ll need safety glasses, gloves, a winding bar, a socket set, and replacement torsion springs that are the correct size and weight for your garage door.
  1. Release tension on old springs: Use a winding bar to turn the torsion spring until the tension is released. This is typically done by inserting the winding bar into one of the holes in the winding cone and slowly turning it until the tension is released.
  1. Remove old springs: Once the tension is released, carefully remove the old spring and any brackets or hardware that are attached to it. Make sure to follow proper safety procedures, such as wearing safety glasses and gloves.
  1. Install new springs: Attach the new springs to the center bracket and torsion tube, and then wind them to the appropriate tension. This is typically done by inserting the winding bar into the holes on the winding cone and slowly turning it until the spring is properly tensioned. Make sure the spring is properly seated in the bracket and is centered on the tube.
  1. Reconnect the opener: Once the new springs are installed and properly tensioned, reconnect the garage door opener to the door. Test the door to ensure it opens and closes smoothly.

How To Replace Extension Springs

  • Gather necessary tools: You’ll need safety glasses, gloves, a socket set, pliers, a ladder, and replacement extension springs that are the correct size and weight for your garage door.
  • Disable the garage door opener: Pull the emergency release cord to disengage the opener from the door, and unplug the opener from the power source.
  • Remove the old extension springs: Using pliers, carefully remove the safety cables from the old springs. Then, using a socket set, loosen the bolts that hold the springs in place. Carefully remove the old springs from the brackets, one at a time. If the springs are still under tension, use caution and keep your face and body clear.
  • Install new extension springs: Install the new springs into the brackets, making sure they are securely in place. Thread the safety cables through the new springs, making sure they are properly attached to the brackets. Use a socket set to tighten the bolts that hold the springs in place.
  • Reconnect the garage door opener: Plug the opener back in and re-engage it with the door. Test the door to ensure it opens and closes smoothly.

It’s important to note that extension springs are under tension and can be dangerous to work with. If you’re not experienced with garage door repair or have any doubts about your ability to do it safely, it’s best to call a professional garage door repair company. Also, it’s important to replace both extension springs at the same time, even if only one appears to be broken or worn, to ensure proper balance and function of the garage door.

Maintenance Tips For Garage Door Springs

While garage door springs are designed to last for many years, they still require proper maintenance to ensure their longevity and safe operation. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your garage door springs in top condition:

  • Inspect the springs regularly: Check the condition of your garage door springs every few months to ensure they are not showing signs of wear or damage. Look for signs of rust, corrosion, or cracks in the metal, as these can weaken the springs over time.
  • Lubricate the springs: Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the springs every six months to reduce friction and prevent corrosion. Avoid using oil-based lubricants, as these can attract dirt and debris that can clog the springs.
  • Test the balance of the door: Check the balance of your garage door by disconnecting the opener and manually lifting the door. If the door feels heavy or difficult to lift, the springs may be out of balance and require adjustment.
  • Seek professional help: If you notice any signs of wear or damage to the springs, or if you are unsure how to perform maintenance on your garage door, seek the help of a professional garage door technician.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can ensure that your garage door springs remain in top condition for years to come. Regular maintenance can also help prevent costly repairs and ensure the safety of your family and property. Note that these maintenance tips are applicable to both extension and torsion springs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, garage door springs are essential components of the garage door system, and their proper functioning is vital to the smooth operation of the door. When it comes to garage door springs, it’s essential to seek professional help for inspection, repair, and replacement, as they can be dangerous to handle without adequate expertise. 

At Armour Garage Doors & Gates, we have a team of experts who can provide you with high-quality garage door spring repair and replacement services. We offer a wide range of spring options that are designed to handle different door weights, ensuring that we have the perfect solution for your specific needs. We understand that a malfunctioning garage door spring can disrupt your daily routine, which is why we provide prompt and reliable services to ensure that your garage door operates smoothly and safely. Contact us today!

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