Garage Door Spring Failures
Many of us pay no attention to our garage doors until something goes wrong. Garage doors do a lot for our homes, helping to retain heat in the winter, keep cool in the summer, and provide storage and an extra layer of safety, just to name a few. For this reason, we want to keep them working well.
One major reason for your garage door to suddenly malfunction may be a broken spring. Your garage door springs are responsible for the heavy lifting, and when the door is lowered, the springs take on tension. This is why when your garage door springs break, it is often when your garage door is lowered. Occasionally, springs may break when your garage door is open, and this could cause your door to come crashing down.
There are two types of springs for your garage. These springs are the extension spring and the torsion spring.
- Extension Spring: These systems are mounted on both sides of the garage door track. They will contract and extend as the door is opened and closed with the help of cables and pulleys.
- Torsion Spring: These systems usually consist of one or two tightly wound springs. They can be found horizontally on a steel shaft with cable drums at both ends. The torsion spring will be mounted on the header wall above the opening of the garage door.
The big question now is “why do garage door springs break?" Well, there can be many reasons. Today we are going to address a few.
Maintenance Issues: If your overhead garage door springs aren't properly cared for, they will malfunction sooner than properly cared for springs. By simply having your springs sprayed with lubricant a few times a year and your garage door balance checked every season, you can add years of life to your door. Living in Southeastern Wisconsin, it has been found that most doors fail in the winter, so you may want to have your door checked more often during the harsh winter months. By having your garage door springs checked, you can also be alerted to potential upcoming issues or failures.
Wear and Tear: This is the most common reason your garage door springs will fail. Most springs are rated for around 10,000 cycles (a cycle being your garage door opening & closing). Now, this may seem like a lot, but on average you use two cycles almost everyday just by leaving your house and coming back home (that's around 700 in just a year). Some of us use more cycles than that, especially if we have a two car garage! Now add kids or pets (or both) into the mix and that number may sky rocket. Also, if your garage door also acts as a sort of “front door,” it may be a good idea to upgrade those springs to an extended life torsion spring (they are good for around 20,000 cycles).
Rust: Living in the Midwest, we get all kinds of precipitation thrown at us like rain, ice, snow, and hail. This moisture often leads to rust. Well, when rust develops on your garage door springs, it greatly reduces its lifespan. Rust leads to higher friction of the coils when they move back and forth, and the corrosion from this leads to your springs breaking down and weakening faster. This is another reason maintenance is especially important!
Incorrect Springs: If your garage door was installed with the wrong spring length or wire size, this can also lead to your door malfunctioning sooner rather than later. A well maintained door will have two torsion springs, one for each side. This is so the springs can share the weight of your garage door.
While broken springs are common and cannot be completely avoided, our team at Overhead Door Company of Metro Milwaukee™ can help to extend the life of your springs and your garage door. We can help with regular maintenance or repair if needed. Our service area covers all of southern Wisconsin and beyond, including the counties of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Lafayette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha. Call us today to set up your next appointment!