If you own your own home, you probably put most of your effort into keeping up the interior. But if you have a garage, it deserves attention too — especially if you have automatic garage doors. Here’s a basic guide to one of the most important and also most overlooked aspect of garage doors: springs. These are the questions you need to be asking, along with their answers.
What Kind of Springs Do Garage Doors Use?
There are basically two types of springs that your garage door is likely to use. They have the same function: to control your garage door’s opening and closing.
- Garage Torsion Springs
Garage torsion springs look more like rods than traditional springs, and are installed right above the door (look for it when your door is closed). These work by twisting, and are generally used for heavier garage doors.
- Garage Extension Springs
If you have a lighter garage door, it may use a set of extension springs, instead. These are mounted in pairs on either side of a door and look like more traditional coiled springs.
How Long Do Those Springs Tend to Last?
The lifespan of springs are generally rated by cycles. A rating of 10,000 would indicate 10,000 openings and closings; 25,000 would indicate 25,000 openings and closings; 50,000 would indicate 50,000 openings and closings; and so on. With no external factors, that means that your garage door’s springs could last a decade or longer, even if you come in and out of your garage multiple times a day. But factors such as rust can cause springs to deteriorate more rapidly, especially if you live in adverse conditions or your garage door uses older parts. For that reason, it’s a good idea to perform annual or semi-annual visual inspections of your springs to make sure everything is in order.
How Can I Replace a Broken Spring?
Regardless of whether you’re dealing with garage torsion springs or more general extension springs, the reality is that replacing a worn or broken one can actually be quite dangerous. Remember, those springs are what keep your garage door from crashing down too quickly and seriously injuring you or another person. So while it is possible to buy garage door replacement parts online or over the phone, this probably isn’t the best project to start your DIY experience on. Especially since springs don’t need to be changed very often, you’ll probably be better off putting your time into learning some more basic maintenance-type tasks you’ll use far more frequently.
What other questions do you have about garage door springs? Ask or share your own experience in the comments.