There’s nothing worse than closing your garage door behind you in the morning only to find it doesn’t want to move. You get out of the car and pull it down manually, you can hear the loud clunking and creaking, but nothing you do makes a difference. Fortunately, you can use the emergency pull cord to release the garage door and secure your property. You know you need to get your garage door sorted, but you’ve no idea what’s wrong with it or how much it will cost. Typically, issues with garage doors come down to broken springs. Throughout this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about garage door springs, including the cost and how to extend their life.
The Function of Garage Door Springs
Garage door springs help fight the forces of gravity and let your door move with ease. Tension builds up in the springs when the garage is closed and is released when it’s opened. As well as helping to open and close your garage door, they act as a fail-safe in the event of automatic opener breakage. If you notice that your springs are on the brink of failure, you should cease use of the automatic function of the garage. Continuing to use the springs in this way can lead to stray springs, which can end up hitting something or someone.
Cost of Replacement
Typically, the cost of replacing a garage door DIY style will set you back around $30-$100 for the parts. If you’re having them professionally installed, you’re looking at paying around $200-$300 to include the cost of labor.
Two Types of Garage Door
Garage door springs are a complex system to the untrained eye. Therefore, it pays to understand the two primary spring categories: torsion and extension.
Torsion springs are responsible for holding the tension of the door. The springs tighten when the door closes and loosen when it opens. The energy stored and released by the spring will help you open and close the door.
Depending on your garage door’s weight and size, you will have one to four torsion springs. They sit directly above the door and are wound to a different torsion depending on their assembly. There are three settings to learn: standard torsion spring, early-set torsion, and torque-master torsion spring.
Extension springs are thinner and more flexible than torsion springs. They lay parallel to the door tracks and move according to the motion of the door. When they contract or expand, they release energy, which helps to open and close the door. Like torsion settings, there are three different types of extension springs to learn about: clipped-end extension spring, open-looped extension spring, and double-looped extension spring.
Spotting a Broken Spring and Common Causes
Knowing when your garage door springs are broken can save you from injuring yourself or causing further damage to your property. If your garage door is doing the following, you should check your springs:
- Emergency cord fails.
- Springs make loud clanging noises when moved.
- The door has more resistance than usual.
- The garage door has no tension when closing.
- Safety mechanism prevents the door from closing.
- You can’t secure the door in the up position.
- Any safety cables are hanging down or looser than usual.
Spotting a broken spring can save you a great deal of money and help prevent further damage to the door. However, understanding the common causes of breakages can allow you to extend the life of your springs. Common causes include:
- Typical wear and tear.
- Cheap springs installed.
- Consistent high or low temperatures.
- Not enough lubrication.
Essential Spring Maintenance
As a general rule, a new garage door spring should last around 15 years. However, the length of time will depend on the regularity of usage and how well you maintain the springs. Your maintenance routine needs to include:
- Regular cleaning of the tracks and springs.
- Using WD-40 will help eliminate debris and grease.
- Lubricate the springs to prevent rusting.
- Add lubrication to the hinges for a smooth range of motion.
- Use the manual opening mechanism from time to time to help you check the balance.
Following the above guidelines will help you get the most out of new springs. However, no matter what you do, you will always need to install new ones eventually. If you don’t feel comfortable carrying out the above tasks, you can always contact a professional to carry out maintenance service.
Garage doors are an important defense for our homes. When they start to fail, the cost of the repair starts to set in, and we worry about the security of our homes. The leading cause of garage door failure is the springs. A new set will cost you under $100 to fix yourself and under $300 to hire a professional. To help avoid regular repairs, make sure you maintain your door regularly.