A Comprehensive Guide on Garage Door Springs

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The garage door spring is a critical piece of a garage roller door. But it’s also the most dangerous.

Having a rudimentary understanding of the garage door spring is essential for its safe operation and maintenance. At a minimum, you need to know what it does, why it breaks, and what to do when it snaps. And we’re going to cover exactly that in this comprehensive guide.

What Does a Garage Door Spring Do?

The garage door spring is designed to support the majority of the weight of the door. A standard double garage door usually weighs around 100KG, which is far too heavy for a small motor to open. The springs stretch out against the direction of the motor to “hold” the door through tension, typically taking on around 80% of the weight.

Think about it this way. It’s easy to manually open a garage door even though it weighs 100 KG, which is because the springs are holding most of 

the weight.

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What Happens When A Garage Door Spring Breaks?

The springs can suddenly snap, causing the heavy garage door to come crashing down to the ground (if it’s open). And if any person or thing happened to be underneath at the time, they’d be seriously injured/crushed by the weight.

Garage door springs usually snap when the door is being opened because this is when they’re applying the most tension. You’ll know when this happens because the door will suddenly slam shut.

However, the springs sometimes snap when the door is stationary, either open or closed. In either case, the springs will make a loud ‘bang’ sound.

What Causes A Spring to Break?

Several factors can degrade the integrity of the spring, causing it to become weaker over time and eventually break.

Consider the following causes and solutions to minimise the need for garage door repairs.

  • Rust: Rust is a common factor, which gradually weakens the coil because it creates extra friction. Spray the springs periodically with WD40 to protect them from rust.
  • Improper maintenance: Aside from applying WD40, you should check the balance of your garage door every 12 months. Lift up the door around halfway and let it go again. If it remains firmly in place, your springs are in good shape. If the door sags a bit, the springs are weak and need replacement.
  • Poor quality springs: Buying cheap parts may save you money in the short term, but it will eventually cost more as the springs need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Wear and tear: The simple act of opening and closing your door puts an immense amount of tension on the springs. Most springs last around 10,000 cycles, which equates to seven to nine years at four cycles per day.
  • Cold weather: Freezing temperatures cause your springs to contract, which makes them more brittle. For this reason, most springs snap during winter.

What Should I Do When My Garage Door Spring Snaps Or Has Become Weakened?

Broken or weakened springs should be replaced immediately. Don’t go near the door until it’s been properly repaired.

Although it may be tempting to save some money by replacing the springs yourself, the task is extremely dangerous and best left to a qualified technician. Replacing a garage door spring is a complex task that requires in-depth training. And should the mechanic make one wrong move, the spring could snap violently. Scores of home DIY folks have been critically injured while trying to replace their springs, so it’s just not worth the risk.

Who Can Fix My Garage Door?

If you’re looking for roller door repairs in Adelaide, then get in touch with the pros at AllStyle Garage Doors & Window Shutters today. With almost 50 years’ experience in serving the region, the professional team will get the job done right the first time at a reasonable price.

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