Your garage door is a large moving contraption. In fact it is probably the largest moving thing in your home. An integral part of your garage door system is the springs that help hold everything in place. The springs are important and knowing more about them can help you keep them in good working order. A lot of garage door maintenance problems begin with your springs.
Why are garage door springs so important?
The springs counterbalance the weight of the garage door. As a result it is easy to open and close your garage door. The strength of the spring is based on the weight of the garage door. Over time springs wear as your door opens and closes repeatedly.
Garage door springs do break down over time. They each have a specific lifespan counted in the number of times they can help a door open and close before they wear out. As they fatigue they can be responsible for many common garage door problems. If you have an older garage door that is giving you grief have a professional inspect the springs.
Can I replace my own garage door springs?
Replacing a garage door spring yourself is very dangerous because of the tension in the springs. The springs are tightly wound and can do a lot of damage if you don’t know how to handle them. If springs are broken call in a professional.
The brackets that springs are attached to can also come loose as they are under a lot of tension. They should be maintained and repaired by a professional because they can also be dangerous for DIYers to work with. Newer versions will have barriers to prevent untrained individuals from tampering with them.
What is happening to my garage door springs?
Springs can be the noisiest part of your garage door. If they are louder than normal it can be very annoying and can be a sign of problems. You can try to lubricate the springs to see if that helps make them quieter. The springs will require a specific type of lubricant so check with manufacturer recommendations.
A common spring problem is for springs to get out of balance. You can tell it is out of balance if you detach the opener and manually move your garage door to the halfway position. It should just hang there. If it falls or rises your springs could be out of balance.
What garage door springs do I have and what do I need?
There are two types of garage door springs: torsion springs and extension springs. They are used for a variety of reasons and come in a number of different designs. Torsion springs and extension springs are based on different design concepts and work differently. You should be able to tell which type you have if you don’t already know.
Torsion springs help balance the door. A shaft above the door will be attached to them. They can either go through the middle or end of the shaft or just be attached to it. The springs twist or torque to balance the garage door. They will be attached to a drum and cable that is attached to the bottom of the garage door. The spring will rotate in response to the door opening or closing. Torsion springs will have a weight that is suited to them and will also tell you how many times the garage door can open and close before they will break.
As the name suggests extension springs extend or retract as the door is opened. They are usually placed on the side of the garage door or above it. Most doors have two extension springs but some will have more. There should be a safety cable attached to the springs.