The Dangers of Garage Door Spring Repair and Replacement

Did you know that depending on its thickness, size, and the materials used to make it, a typical garage door weighs between 130 and 400 pounds? Opening even the most lightweight garage door takes a fair bit of force. Luckily for us, garage door springs counterbalance the weight of your door and do all of the heavy lifting for you.  Each time you open and close your garage door, its entire weight is transferred onto the spring system. For this reason, it can be extremely dangerous when a spring breaks, and it’s considered highly risky for homeowners to attempt to replace or repair springs themselves.

At Creative Door, we put your safety first and believe it’s important to pass on information that can help prevent injuries and accidents. Keep reading to get the facts about garage door spring systems, how you can safely identify a problem, and the associated dangers of DIY repair and why we strong discourage it.

garage door spring cutting in our warehouse

Where is the spring system on my garage door?

The location of your spring system depends on the type of spring configuration your garage door has. You will either have a torsion spring or you can have two extension springs.

 The torsion spring is a very large spring located just above the garage door. Extension springs, on the other hand, are two to four feet long (depending on whether they’re relaxed or compressed) and are located above the upper tracks on either side. Typically, new garage door models have a torsion spring. Torsion springs are preferable to extension springs as they’re sturdier, longer lasting, and considered much safer.

What causes springs to break?

Most of the time springs break due to simple wear and tear over time. However, if your garage is especially humid, rust may form on the spring system and decrease its lifespan (unless you have galvanized springs, which are protected from corrosion).

How long do garage door springs last?

Springs are rated for a specific number of cycles. Each time your garage door opens and closes counts as one cycle. The average spring will last 10,000 cycles, or between six and 10 years. As homes continue to be built with attached garages, many homeowners are using the garage to gain entry into their homes and increasing the number of cycles their garage door experiences. Exceeding the cycle rating of your garage door springs can cause tiny cracks in the spring and decrease its lifespan.

What happens when springs break?

Springs are wound tight which means that there is a lot of energy stored up in a garage door spring and why we advise that only a professional garage door technician should ever repair a broken spring. Many accidents, including lacerations, broken wrists or fingers, and head injuries have occurred when proper training or incorrect tools weren't used for the job.

 If your garage door uses a two-spring system and one of the springs breaks, the other spring will still be under considerable tension. A malfunctioning spring can also cause your garage door to slam shut unexpectedly, which is why it’s important to never walk directly underneath your garage door. Here are some additional safety tips you should be aware of to keep you and your family safe.

Can I replace my garage door spring system myself?

No. Only a professionally trained garage door technician should replace/repair garage door springs, and you should never try to replace a torsion spring or extension spring. Given the extreme tension these spring systems are under, there are serious dangers involved in undertaking a repair or replacement without the proper knowledge, tools, experience, and technique. Please leave this job to a professional.

The service technicians at Creative Door have extensive training in safe spring repair and replacement. You can count on us to do the job safely and effectively every time. Request a service call today!

garage repair technician repairing a spring in a residential garage

How do I spot a broken torsion spring?

Sometimes you can tell that your torsion spring is broken just by its appearance. For instance, you might notice a visible two-inch gap in the spring indicating the spot where the break occurred. Alternatively, there can be various problems with your garage door’s functioning. Indicators that you have a broken torsion spring include:

  • The door won’t open
  • The door closes more forcefully than usual
  • The door looks crooked when it’s closing
  • The door opens only a couple of inches and then closes again

 For more ways to spot a broken torsion spring, read our full article. 

How do I spot broken extension springs?

A visual check might reveal a broken extension spring and you may see gaps in the coils. Additionally, the same type of garage door problems mentioned above may indicate a broken extension spring. Furthermore, you should pay attention to your garage door’s alignment. If one of the springs has given out, the garage door won’t open well on that side and will likely hang aslant.

How do I prevent my springs from breaking?

The best thing you can do to keep your spring system in good condition is to get your garage door inspected and maintained annually. Those in colder climates should have their door inspected and maintained twice a year for optimal performance. A service professional will be able to spot problems with the spring system and may also apply oil or lubricant as needed.  The technicians at Creative Door Services are expertly qualified to handle your garage door spring repair and to perform ongoing maintenance of your garage door system. Contact one of our service professionals to learn more about our planned maintenance services.

one of our garage door technicians inspecting and fixing a spring

Put Safety First and Contact a Qualified Technician from Creative Door Services

If your springs are old, or if you suspect they’re broken, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Contact us today or call us directly at 1 800 621 DOOR (3667) to schedule a repair or maintenance call.

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