Perhaps you’re having a relaxing morning with a hot cup of tea. Or maybe you’re attempting to hurry the kids out the door and onto the school bus. Without warning, you hear a deafening crack! Sounds like an explosion! Even though you don’t know what broke, you know it can’t be good.
After a few moments of frantic searching, you find it; the thick spring above your garage door is in two pieces. Since you don’t know what to do, you decide to deal with it later. It doesn’t need to be fixed right away, does it?
A damaged garage door can be quite dangerous. If you didn’t know, rest assured that you’re not alone. The spring system plays a central role in the operation of your garage door. It acts as a counterweight. With its lifting power, a spring system makes your garage door easier to open and shut. Depending on its size and what it’s made of, a garage door can weigh anywhere from 125 to 300 lb. And elements like windows can make them even heavier.
In this blog post, let’s examine why it’s so hazardous to repair a garage door spring yourself.
Are all garage door spring systems alike?
While comparable, there are two styles of springs.
Torsion: This type of spring is installed directly above the garage door. It is housed in a tube, which protects us from harm if it ever breaks.
Extension: Composed of two springs, extension systems are located above the door’s horizontal tracks. Extension systems have safety cables inserted in the springs. If a spring breaks, the cable will hold it in place. Luckily, it’s rare for both extension springs to break at the same time.
Both styles of spring systems offset the weight of the door. It makes a garage door feel like it weighs about 10 lb.
How long will my spring system last?
The lifespan of your spring system is provided in operation cycles. One full cycle means your garage door has been opened and closed once. Standard spring systems are safe for 10,000 operation cycles. This could last you for five, seven, even ten years. It all depends how often you use your garage door. Certain high-quality garage doors come with double-life springs, which are safe for 20,000 operation cycles.
Why is it hazardous to repair my garage door myself?
The majority of homeowners have little experience with garage doors. With a torsion system, for example, the spring is stretched inside its tube, and is secured to the drum. The drum coils the lifting cables until they are tight, then connect them to the brackets. Extension systems are built in a similar fashion, but have two springs instead of one. Extension springs are not contained in a tube, but come equipped with a safety cable instead.
Before attempting repairs, it’s vital to know how these lifting systems function. With such dangerous components, we believe repairs are best left to professionals.
If I have a broken spring, can I still use my garage door opener?
If your garage door has a damaged spring, you should stop using your door immediately. Use your door opener only if it’s an emergency situation. Openers are able to raise heavy garage doors. With a ½ or ¾ horsepower motor, the opener can pull more than 250 lbs. But if your door isn’t counterweighted properly, the opener will need to push that heavy weight when it lowers your garage door. This makes using your door opener unsafe – and safety systems may not work properly in this situation.
What should I do next?
If your door is wide open, use your opener to close it if it is safe to do so, then unplug the door opener. Contact us and we’ll send a technician for emergency repair service. Our experts will fix your broken spring promptly. It will then be safe for you and your family to use your garage door once again.
Can I prevent my spring system from breaking?
Annual preventive maintenance can avert potential problems. We recommend maintaining your garage door each fall and spring, as winter is hardest on your door.
Carefully inspect your garage door and accessories. You should watch for traces of wear or rust. If every component is in good condition, proceed to the next step: lubricating your door. Rub a little metal lubricant on each spring, hinge and roller.
Do you offer maintenance plans?
Of course we do! At DSI Door Services North Shore, we offer an annual maintenance package for residential garage doors. This package consists of an inspection, an adjustment and lubrication. In the course of our inspection, if we see a component that is damaged and must be replaced, we will consult with you before completing any extra work. We will provide you with a written estimate, as well as a report to summarize the state of your door.
Does your garage door need to be repaired? Please complete our easy service form or call us directly at 978-741-1600 to make an appointment. To learn more about all of our garage doors, visit our online Design Center, where you can see what our doors look like on your home!