A garage door is one of those home elements that many of us take for granted, but just like the vehicle you drive, it requires occasional maintenance. Maintenance that is often not provided, until something goes wrong, in a very BIG way.
Truth be told, there are no shortage of components that can malfunction on your garage door, including the garage door springs which just so happen to be the most important. The door will not – and should not – open or close if the springs are broken.
When to Replace Garage Door Springs
Garage door springs have a limited lifespan. This lifespan is measured in cycles, with the door opening completely and closing securely counting as one cycle. Standard garage door springs come with a 10,000 cycle life expectancy.
While more expensive, extended-life or high-cycle garage door springs, generally last four times as long compared to standard. Your garage door spring replacement frequency will be determined by your garage door usage. So if…*
…You use your door 2 times daily, expect them to wear out every 14 years.
…You use your door 4 times daily, expect them to wear out every 7 years.
…You use your door 6 times daily, expect them to wear out every 5 years.
…You use your door 8 times daily, expect them to wear out every 3 years.
Once a garage door spring reaches its lifespan, it may break, release all tension, and no longer assist in counterbalancing the door’s cumbersome weight. The spring typically fails while it is in the down position due to having the most tension while in this position.
This, however, is not to say that the spring could not fail while the door is in a raised position or while it is in operation. This is just one of the reasons why you should NEVER walk under a garage door while it is in motion.
Common Signs to Watch For
Garage door springs – regardless of type, maintain the equilibrium of your garage door so that the door functions properly, thus ensuring your safety and security. Therefore it is essential that you know what signs to look for.
It is relatively easy to tell when you need to replace your garage door springs. Here are some of the more common signs that your garage door springs are broken. If you notice any of these signs, then you need a new spring.
- The garage door won’t open.
- The garage door feels heavy.
- The garage door appears crooked.
- There is a visible separation in the spring.
- The door unexpectedly stops during operation.
Two Types of Garage Door Springs
There are two types of garage door springs: Torsion springs are located above the door. The spring is wound under immense tension. It is the tension in the torsion springs that lifts the weight of the garage door. Torsion springs can be installed either singularly or as pairs.
Extension springs are located on each side of the door’s tracks. Made of steel, extension springs act like a big rubber band, stretching as the door is lowered. Extension springs are typically only installed as pairs.
Broken Garage Door Spring Replacement
Before we move forward, do-it-yourselfers should know that the broken garage door spring replacement is a complex task, as the tension in these springs is immense. This type of repair is best handled by a professional garage door repair company.
Without a great deal of expertise, property can be damaged – or scarier still, you or your loved ones can suffer personal injury. Replacing it yourself is simply not worth the risk! Always contact a professional who provides prompt quality repairs.
Replace Both Springs
You will want to replace both springs at the same time. Why? Because, chances are high that the springs were both installed at the same time, which means they have both undergone similar aging and weathering.
One broken garage door spring is often an indication that the other is about to break as well. Having a new and old spring on your door can also throw the door’s balance off. Save yourself money by replacing both at the same time.