Here at our Welby Garage Door Repair shop we often get calls about faulty garage door springs. Many of these are not spring problems at all. There are so many components to a complete garage door package that sometimes it is hard to tell whether you are having spring issues, or if something else is wrong. What if the problem is your opener or your safety sensors? Can you really tell without having to call a professional? Yes you can! We’ve taken the liberty of listing the main indicators of garage door spring issues. While our Welby, CO garage door repair pros don’t recommend that you attempt to fix them on your own, it does help to be able to recognize real spring problems when you have them.
The function of your springs
If you ask 10 people on the street what opens their garage door, most will say that their opener does. Opener systems get the credit, but the real hard work is done by tightly coiled, highly pressurized, metal springs. These come in two forms; torsion and extension springs. If you have torsion garage door springs they are mounted over the top of your garage door, on the inside. If your springs are on either side, they are the older extension variety. Both work, but they differ in life cycles. A spring life cycle is counted as one open, and one close. This is a more accurate way of measuring their longevity (as opposed to counting in years) as each person uses their springs in a different manner and with varying frequency. Torsion springs cost a little more, but last longer. They are usually good for between 10,000 and 20,000 cycles. They tend to be a bit safer than extension spring, too. Those tend to last between 5,000 and 10, 000 cycles. As a rule, when you repair or replace one spring, you should have the other done as well. This is because garage door springs tend to fail at the same rate, so you might as well save yourself time and money and have them serviced together. Cycles are not the only factor in how long a garage door spring lasts; others include maintenance, humidity, amount of usage, and weight of garage door.
Do it yourself spring service
If you are tempted to try repairing or replacing your own garage door springs; think again! This is highly specialized work that requires skill, patience and “know-how” that you probably don’t have. Spring repair is risky and many people are injured every year in the attempt to service their own torsion or extension springs. The intentions are good; they are trying to save money by not having to call a local Welby, CO garage door repair specialist. Possible injury is not the only problem. If done wrong, you also run the risk of wasted time, warranty voidance, and endless frustration when you could have simply had the service done by professionals quickly and at a reasonable price. Garage door springs; especially the extension ones are powerful and give off explosive power when they snap. They have been known to fly through windshields and even drywall, so it’s best to leave their repair and overall service up to the experts that do it for a living.
Do this simple check
You CAN do this simple check for spring damage. With your garage door in the lowered position, pull down on the emergency release cord. It’s the one with the red knob at the end. This will disconnect your garage door from the opener system. Don’t worry – you can’t hurt anything. In fact, if you need help doing this, you can always check your owner’s manual or watch any number of free online videos that can show you how. With this done, try manually lifting and lowering your garage door. Note if the movement is smooth and easy or choppy and difficult. The first results indicate that your springs are fine and most likely something else is the problem. The second results indicate damaged springs that are either worn, broken or at least, off balance.
More symptoms of possible spring damage
Did your garage door start to rise, slowly at first, but then continue on its way up quite rapidly?
Did your home or business garage door start to go up but then suddenly come crashing back down again?
Did your garage door rise to about 10 or so and then suddenly stop?
Did you hear a loud bang or pop sound when trying to operate your garage door? Or, did you hear sounds like these when you weren’t even using your garage door? Did you notice later that the door was not working as it should?
Have you noticed that your garage door looks lopsided when lowered or raised? This is almost always a sign that one of the springs has snapped and the other is doing all the work.
Did your garage door look jerky or choppy as it lifted? This is a sign that one spring is damaged and the other is trying to compensate for it.
Did you attempt to lower your garage door but instead of it going down at the usual normal rate, it fell down rapidly?
Look up at your torsion spring (if you have on one or two) and see if you notice a gap about 2 inches or so wide. This indicates that one spring has snapped and the gap has formed from the recoiled metal.
Have you noticed that the top portion of your garage door looks bent? This may be due to your opener unit trying to lift your heavy garage door on its own since at least one of the springs is too damaged to lift it.
Time to call a pro!
If you are experiencing spring issues of any kind, call our shop or your favorite Welby, CO garage door repair location, and get them serviced by professionals. Don’t wait too long; spring repair can quickly turn into spring replacement!