Getting to Know Garage Door Springs

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A broken spring.

As one of the most common causes of all garage door repairs, garage door springs sometimes get a bad rap. They can seem expensive to replace, especially if your garage door uses two springs, and the temptation is high only to replace the one that seems worn or broken. But to understand why you must replace both springs, an understanding of how they work is in order.

Garage door springs have a familiar and simple design, one that’s used in everything from cars to watches to mattresses, but garage door springs have the intense responsibility of supporting up to 400 pounds of pressure every day for many years. The springs are the backbone of the garage door opener and do most of the opening, which is why a garage door will be stuck closed when a spring breaks.

The lifespan of a typical spring is 10,000 to 15,000 cycles, which translates to about 7-10 years of regular use, and this lifespan can change depending on how frequently you use your garage door opener as well as how heavy your garage door is and if you have the right garage door opener for the job (all of which can be assessed by a professional technician).


Photo credit: EladeManu via Visual hunt / CC BY

The wrong size spring or using only one when you should have two can cost you in the long run by prematurely wearing out your garage door opener and potentially even letting your garage door plummet.

Most garage doors come with all the hardware necessary for installation, and that includes garage door springs. Most modern garage doors require two springs, one on each side of the garage door, which works together to help open and close the door. Many features, such as insulation, windows and outside decoration and paneling, can add weight to a garage door, even tipping it over the 400-pound mark, making it crucial that the right hardware and springs are used.

A professional garage door technician can make sure your set up is correct and will help maintain its excellent condition, which will save you in repairs and services later.

A new spring.

Because most garage door repair companies charge per spring when making a replacement, especially when one spring seems to be just fine, it’s no surprise that homeowners want only to replace one.

However, this can cause some problems. Because garage door springs work together, they also wear together. This means that neither can be saved, even if only one break.

When you do try to install a new garage door spring with a worn garage door spring (even if the worn spring is only a few years old) the new one will have to work extra hard to make up for the wear and tear on the old one. But because the springs are on opposite ends of the garage door the new spring can work so hard it pulls the door off the track. It can also cause the new spring to break much sooner than it would if both were replaced, and chances are the old spring will break within weeks or months, anyway.

replacing your garage door springs

It can also be incredibly dangerous to try replacing your garage door springs, which only seems like a good idea because it looks simple from afar and you could save on labor costs, but the thousands of fingers lost, and emergency room visits that result from this attempt say otherwise. In fact, it’s sometimes impossible to find a company that will sell garage door springs to an unlicensed individual because the danger is so high. Even if you’re able to buy or rent the tensioning tool, getting the right amount of tension takes experience; you could seriously hinder the safety and function of your garage door trying to replace a spring.

Get a Garage door professional

Once most homeowners have a good understanding of how garage door springs work and how dangerous they can be to replace, they usually make the decision to have a professional take care of it. One call to the experts at Canadian Garage Door Repair Surrey will get you a highly qualified garage door spring repair and replacement technician as quickly as possible to get your garage door back on track.

Know When To Call A Professional

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Inspect and tighten your garage door brackets.

There are tons of things you can do around the home to keep it running smoothly, keep parts and appliances lasting as long as possible, and prevent unexpected accidents or major problems. However, there are also some aspects of home ownership especially garage ownership – that should always be attended to by a trained professional, no matter how handy you might be.

Photo credit: Andrew-Benson via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

There are certain distinct projects best left to a professional, like anything you have no experience with, especially if it’s dangerous!
(you can’t just wing it with electricity or plumbing, or you might end up shelling out thousands to clean up a mistake), but other seemingly easy tasks are a lot more tricky or dangerous than you might think.

Garage door Springs

For example, garage door springs are the number one garage door part that looks easy enough to handle but comes with certain risks that many homeowners aren’t aware of (garage door springs are also the number 1 cause of garage door related emergency room visits). A broken garage door spring looks harmless enough, but most springs come in pairs, and the other, intact spring is very dangerous to replace without specialized training. Also, garage door opener motors require a unique skill to repair, or you could end up needing to replace the whole thing. Feel free to inspect the garage door unit, but anytime you get that inkling of maybe, I should call someone it’s better to be safe than sorry and out of a few fingers and a lot of money.

Don’t end up like this guy.

Just about any homeowner, regardless of home improvement handiness or experience, can do things like garage door maintenance procedures and should do so regularly to make sure you’re not wearing down your garage door parts.

If this is something you’ve never done before or is uncomfortable doing, call a professional garage door repair company to perform your maintenance procedures and check your garage door for wear. You can follow the technician and ask questions to familiarize yourself with the process and then tackle it yourself the next time with more confidence. Any certified garage door technician should be happy to help you and answer any questions you have.