Typically, residential overhead garage door springs can last anywhere from 7 to 9 years. Yet, with most people using their garage doors as their front doors, they can be worn in as little as 4 to 6. If you’ve gone outside these timelines and know how often you use your garage door, you should look at getting your garage door evaluated as soon as possible.
While most repairs on garage doors can be relatively easy to fix, replacing the spring can be extremely dangerous. 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. There are 2 types of commonly used garage door springs, torsion and extension. 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.
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.
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. Always disengage the opener with the door in the closed position, broken or worn springs can cause the door to fall. 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 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.
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.
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