There are times when it seems the opening and closing of your garage door is never-ending. We open them not just for driving our cars in and out, but we open them each time we need a gardening tool or piece of sports equipment or any of the other items we keep inside. We also take for granted that it’s always going to work. Then one day, it doesn’t. But there’s no need to worry. Most homeowners don’t know where to start when this sort of thing happens. The reasonable thing to do is to call a professional and they can get to the root of the problem.
If your garage door is not working properly or is not working at all, there could be a few reasons. The most likely reason is that you have a broken spring. There are a few ways to determine if one of the springs is the issue. If you’re wondering why you need to know whether or not the problem is a garage door spring, knowing may help you determine who to call, and it may save you some time and money.
Let’s Talk About Garage Door Springs
If you’re wondering what type of springs are present in your automatic garage door system, there are extension springs and torsion springs. If you have extension springs, they will be located at each end of the door and expand to help to raise and lower the door easily and evenly. If you have torsion springs. It will be the long spring located inside the garage, along the top of the door and mounted to the wall. It turns rather than expands, which provides a controlled motion when raising or lowering the door.
Garage door springs were built to be durable and should last seven to ten years. Getting your door serviced from time to time should help the door, the springs and other components last 15 years or longer. But garage doors are heavy, which is why the springs are needed. The springs are there to help carry the heavy load. And like everything else you own, they’re capable of breaking.
Subtle Signs That You Have Spring Issues
One sign that you have an issue with the spring is that it’s squeaking. It’s normal for garage doors to make some noise. However, new noises, especially louder noises, are a sign there is an issue. Oiling the spring may help, but if you still hear noises, calling a professional should be your next step since lubricating the spring didn’t solve the problem.
If your garage door springs are broken, there’s a good chance you’ll notice the break. Sometimes, it might be hard to find if the break isn’t clean, or you could have the issue of a stretched spring, which you may not notice immediately.
Obvious Signs a Spring is Broken
An obvious sign that you have a broken extension spring is that the door is out of balance as it’s trying to open. It may even get stuck as the door is trying to open or close. Signs that you have an issue with an extension spring other than the obvious look of it being out of balance could be a new squeaking sound or that it simply won’t open. If the spring isn’t broken but there is a balance issue, if not taken care of soon, the spring will snap. When an extension spring snaps, it can be dangerous because they can “fly” through the garage. This airborne spring could cause damage to your garage windows, your car, or even hurt someone if they are in the path of the broken spring.
Clear signs that your torsion spring is damaged or broken is the door looks crooked or off track, the cables attached to the spring are loose or unattached, the door becomes “dead weight” when you try to open it, or the door opens and slams shut after it has only opened a few inches.
If you happen to be home when a torsion spring breaks, there’s not much chance that you won’t notice. When the torsion spring snaps, it will make a loud noise, which some people have described as sounding like a gunshot. That’s how much pressure is built up in a torsion spring.
Reasons Springs Fail
The most common reason that springs fail is usage. Most of these springs are designed to last roughly seven years or more. When you think about how often you open and close your garage door, you can imagine how the constant winding and unwinding can put stress on the springs.
Rust and corrosion are another reason for springs to break down. If routine maintenance is performed on the springs and other parts of your automatic system, rust can be stopped from corroding the springs. We all know that rust can weaken metal.
One last reason for your springs to break is simply improper maintenance. Regular maintenance and inspection can give longer life to your springs, but more importantly, let you know if there’s an issue to address. Fixing an issue as soon as it’s found is the best way to prevent injury and property damage.
Steps to Take Should a Spring Break
Diagnosing what is causing your door to malfunction won’t be difficult. There aren’t many parts to the system, but the one most likely to break is a spring. So, if your garage door is acting up, the first you might do is check the spring. Then call a professional to come in and do the job right.
If you need to open and close your door before it can be repaired, there is a certain way you need to do so. Operating your garage door manually can be dangerous. If the door is stuck open, something strong should be placed in the path of door next to the tracks. This is in case the door should fall, which is a possibility. The full weight of the door slamming shut would be very dangerous if a pet, a child, or an adult were to be in the way of the door coming down. It would also prove to be damaging to your car should it be in its path.
If your door is closed when the spring decides to fail, keep it closed until a professional can look at the door and determine what needs to be done to repair it. If you need to get your car out of your garage, do not override the automatic opener. It’s best to have two, three or even four strong people to lift the door to keep it from falling on the car.
Don’t Repair the Door on Your Own
The internet is flooded with information on how to fix just about anything. There are even tutorials on how to fix your garage door. However, it’s not a good idea to handle this repair on your own. You could get it wrong and that may lead to other issues.
First of all, there’s a chance you could make a mistake deciding what is broken on the garage door. Not only is a misdiagnosis going to waste time and money, but should you not fix what’s really broken, the unfixed door is now a hazard.
Second, springs can harm you or cause death. There is great tension on these springs when the garage door is closed. If something goes wrong during the repair or if there is a sudden failure, the extension springs could snap with great force, which could put you in a serious situation. If a torsion spring fails while the door is up, whatever is below it will be crushed. If it’s a car, there will be hundreds if not a couple of thousand dollars worth of damage. Should it be a pet or child, they have no protection from the force of the fall.
In 2019, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported over 2,200 Americans were injured by a garage door in serious crushing accidents. The NEISS also reports over 7,500 people make a trip to the emergency room each year because of a pinching injury from a garage door. In a nutshell, it’s essential to appropriately diagnose what is wrong with your garage door and to have it fixed properly. This isn’t something you should do yourself if you don’t want to become a statistic.
Time to Call the Professionals
If your automatic garage door is no longer working, call Armstrong Garage Door. We’ll have it working like new in no time. And should you decide it’s time to purchase a new door, Armstrong Garage Door can help with selecting and installing a new garage door. We have a good range of doors to choose from. We have traditional and modern styles. We have short panel, long panel, wood, and steel doors. Just as important as having quality installation, it’s crucial to have a great garage door.
Providing quality service and repair in Central Florida is something we take seriously. Our well-trained and experienced team is ready and able to tackle your garage door issues. Let us get your garage door working again.