As of 2017, 63% of all houses have a garage or carport. Garages, especially ones attached to the home, offer homeowners convenience, safety, and security when leaving and returning home.
But what good is your garage if the door springs have gone bad? Without proper maintenance, your garage loses all its glamour and glory.
Not sure how to tell if your garage door springs need replacing? You’ve come to the right place. We have the most popular signs it’s time to replace your garage door springs – check it out below.
Types of Garage Door Springs
If you’re new to learning about garage doors, you may not know there is more than one type of spring. You’ll need to know about both to determine which kind you have and the signs each one needs replacing.
Made with tightly wound coils of metal (also known as torque springs), torsion springs are the most common type of garage door springs. These springs cause the torque which lifts the garage doors up.
There are two main ways to tell if you need to replace your torsion springs. The first is to disconnect your garage door opener and manually raise the door. If the door doesn’t stay in an upright position by itself, your torsion springs aren’t doing their job.
While your garage door opener is disconnected, move the door to a mid-level position – this is halfway between fully open and fully closed. If the door stays in this position, you don’t need to worry about replacing the torsion springs yet.
But if the door begins to lower on its own or feels heavy, it’s a sign the springs are starting to break. In contrast, if the door feels unusually light, you might need to check the sizing of your torsion springs for your garage door.
Torsion springs last anywhere from four to nine years. This depends on how often you use your garage door, though.
Extension springs are the most common residential garage door spring. Two extension springs, which are attached to the garage door tracks, run perpendicular to the door. Although most extension springs come in pairs, some garage door openers have one single spring between the tracks.
When your garage door opens or closes, the springs expand and contract. As the springs expand, they absorb energy. Once the door closes, they “charge”, releasing the energy when the door opens again.
You can test to see if your extension springs need replacing in almost the same way you test torsion springs, though there are ways to see if your springs have already broken.
The first way is to look at the physical springs – are there any gaps in the coils? If so, this is a sign the steel the springs are made from has given out. This means they can’t create the tension they need to open or close the garage door.
You can also check to see if both sides of your garage door are still aligned. If one side appears higher or lower than the other, one of the extension springs have given out and can’t open or close that side of the door anymore.
In addition to the specific signs for each spring mentioned above, there are a few more worth mentioning. If you notice:
Rust or Corrosion
If you don’t regularly maintain your garage doors, there’s a good chance corrosion and rust have weakened the garage door springs. Once this has set in, your springs needing replacement aren’t far behind.
This is easily avoidable with regular checkups and garage door maintenance.
Loss of Elasticity
Think about how often you use your garage doors. Do open and close the door every morning and night when you leave and return for work? Or is it mostly used for storage with the occasional opening?
Depending on how often you open and close your doors will determine how stretched your springs get. If you use your garage door on a daily basis, those springs are getting more and more stretched every day.
Over time, those springs will lose their elasticity – just like a stretched rubber band. If you’ve had our garage door springs for a while, it’s a good idea to check how their elasticity is doing.
You can do this by disconnecting the garage door opener and manually open the door. As we mentioned earlier with torsion springs, if the door can’t stay open by itself, they’ve probably lost their elasticity.
Unusual Noises During Operation
Do you hear loud and unusual noises when you try to open and close your garage door? Anything making noises which have you questioning their performance is worth checking out.
Garage door springs shouldn’t make any moaning or grinding noises. Although you can remedy this with by lubricating them, it will only fix the problem temporarily. It’s likely you’re springs are damaged and need immediate replacing.
We mentioned the alignment of your garage door earlier in the article. Take some time to watch your garage door open and close. Does one side move faster than the other?
If so, one spring has already checked out with the other not far behind. Any uneven opening or closing is a clear sign you need to replace your garage door springs.
When to Replace Garage Door Springs
Having a garage door opening is one of the most convenient parts of owning a home. It makes for safe comings and goings, plus protects your car or personal belongings from outside weather.
But if your garage doors stop working, it’s likely due to your garage door springs needing replacement. Luckily there are plenty of signs to tell in advance if you need to replace the springs, most of which we covered in the content above!
Want to join the automatic garage door community or think you need service on your garage doors? Make sure to check out our residential services and see how we can help!