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What Happens When a Garage Door Spring Breaks?
Your garage door spring is a small but instrumental part responsible for ensuring your garage door opens smoothly. As garage doors are exposed to moisture, force and cold, they can weaken and may cause your garage door to sag or fall completely. It’s essential to get your springs fixed as quickly as possible to keep your garage door functioning smoothly and safely for years to come.
When your garage door spring breaks, it’s time to call a professional. At R&R Garage Doors, we work with torsion garage door systems.
How Does a Garage Door Spring Break?
Out of all parts of your garage door, its springs experience the greatest stress and are the most prone to breaking. There are several reasons your garage door springs may break:
- Improper maintenance: Many garage door springs break due to a lack of proper maintenance. To increase the life span of your garage door springs, you should lubricate your springs with white lithium grease seasonally and check the balance of your garage door every season. When testing your garage door balance, lift the door halfway up and let it go. Springs that are still in good working order will keep the door still and level, while springs that soon need replacement will start to sag. Since springs are most likely to break in the winter, keeping them lubricated is even more important during those months.
- Rust: Rust dramatically shortens the life span of garage door springs and is a significant threat to garage door owners living in areas with rainy, humid or coastal climates. Any amount of rust can quickly cause the spring quality to degrade. Spray down your springs with a silicone-based lubricant every season to prevent rust from developing on your springs.
- Wear and tear: Most garage door springs begin to break within 10,000 cycles, no matter how great your springs are. If you use your garage door as your front door and use it multiple times a day, your springs may wear out even faster. While wear and tear is an inevitable part of life, there are fortunately ways to extend the life of your garage door.
Dangers of Broken Garage Door Springs
Garage doors springs are responsible for lifting hundreds of pounds and ensuring the door opens and shuts smoothly. Due to the heavy weight of garage doors, broken or damaged springs can cause a great amount of danger and require immediate repair by a professional. You cannot open a garage door without working springs.
When a garage door spring breaks, the energy stored by the garage door spring comes undone and can cause damage to your door, property stored within your garage and even your body. It’s essential to never walk directly under a broken garage door since a malfunctioning spring can cause it to fall unexpectedly.
You can keep your family safe from a broken garage door with the following rules:
- Test your garage door: It’s essential that you regularly test your garage door springs to ensure they’re up to the challenge of lifting your garage door. Always be sure to stand outside of your garage before testing your springs to prevent injury. To test your garage door, open your garage door until it is halfway up. Once the door has reached halfway, stop the mechanism and examine whether the door is sagging. If your door begins drooping when it partially open, your garage door springs should be replaced soon.
- Leave your garage door closed: Since garage doors can weigh hundreds of pounds, you must keep the garage doors shut when the springs are damaged. This helps keep your home safe and secure and ensures that your garage door cannot fall and damage your vehicle or cause injury.
- Keep kids away from the door: You should always keep your children away from your garage door and stress that it is not for playing with. Tell your children never to race under the garage door and not to treat it as a toy.
Since damaged or broken garage door springs can be dangerous, you should always call a professional before attempting to fix your garage door.
What to Do if Your Garage Door Spring Breaks
When your garage door springs break, you have to choose between replacing your own and calling a professional. If you have little experience with mechanical repairs, it’s best to leave garage door spring replacements to the professionals. You can replace your garage door springs by doing the following:
- Identify your garage door springs: Even if you plan on calling a professional, it’s a good idea to know what type of garage door spring that you have. You likely have one of two primary types of garage door springs. Extension springs are the most common type of spring and have a much looser coil than torsion springs.
- Replacing torsion springs: Torsion springs are more difficult and dangerous to work with than extension springs due to the amount of energy they contain. Unless you have extensive experience in repairing garage doors, we recommend you leave this to professionals. Always keep your garage door 100% closed when replacing your torsion springs. You’ll need a winding board to twist and untwist the springs to replace your torsion springs. Place the winding bar at the end of the torsion spring and slowly release the pressure from the spring.
- Replacing extension springs: Extension springs are the easier and safer opinion to replace since they start compressed and resist the forces that stretch them. Keep your door open while replacing your extension springs to release tension from the springs before securing them with clamps to ensure they do not fall on you. To replace extension springs, disconnect the springs from the brackets, pulley and cable before attaching the new spring to the safety cable and pulley.
Contact R&R Doors to Replace Your Garage Door Springs
When you’re having problems with your garage door springs, reach out to the experts at R&R Garage Door. R&R Garage Doors has been providing customers with quality garage door spring replacements for more than half a century. We’re active members of our community and are dedicated to your satisfaction.