The health of your garage door springs will make or break its function, so knowing when they need to be replaced is crucial. Garage door springs traditionally last for years, but eventually time will do a number on them. Ideally, you want to replace a damaged spring before it breaks. Repairing, replacing, or worse, getting hurt by a damaged spring, isn’t worth the delay.
Garage Door Springs Basics
A garage door spring works as a counterforce to the weight of the door. The springs create leverage that makes the lifting of the door easier by the opener. There are two types of springs: extension and torsion. However, extension springs aren’t used as much nowadays as torsion springs are considered far more efficient.
There are 3 things that lead to a spring having issues. These are:
- Normal wear and tear
- Rust or corrosion
- Lack of maintenance
The Lifespan of a Spring
A spring will traditionally last you about 10,000 to 20,000 cycles, depending on the type. A cycle is considered to be one instance of the door opening and closing. How many cycles the spring will last will depend on your particular usage, but in most cases, springs will last for years, sometimes close to a decade. For example, if you used your door twice a day for a year, that would be about 13.5 years of life for the spring; while using it 4x a day would be about 7 years.
7 Signs Your Springs Need to Be Changed
The door slams closed
If your door suddenly slams shut when being closed, that might indicate that the springs are broken.
The door feels heavy
If you try to open the door manually and it feels far heavier than usual, that too, could indicate that the springs need to be repaired.
The door looks unbalanced
If your door looks crooked or is not opening or closing up evenly, that could be a sign that one of the springs is damaged or it has lost tension.
You hear a popping sound or squeaky sound
Popping or squeaking can also indicate the springs or cables snapped, though squeaking alone usually just means your springs need more lubrication.
The door won’t open
If your door isn’t opening at all, or if you heard a popping sound when trying to open it, this most likely means that the springs are broken.
The door opens slowly
If your door is opening slowly, that could mean the tension of your springs is off, and they need to be tightened or replaced.
The door won’t stay up during a balance test
A balance test consists of closing your door and disconnecting the opener, then trying to open it to about 3 feet above the ground and letting go. If the door won’t stay in place, that usually means there’s something wrong with your springs.
How to Keep your Springs in Great Condition
It’s actually fairly easy to do the proper maintenance for springs.
Lubricating your springs with an industrial non-silicone lubricant is a good way to start, as well as cleaning any grease spots. You should clean and lube your springs at least twice a year.
If you see that your door is unbalanced due to a lack of tension in one of your springs, contact an expert that can help tighten the springs again.
You can easily clean and lube up the components on your own, but anything else would require professional assistance due to the dangers that attempting to tighten or repair the spring on your own could bring.
Costs of Replacing a Garage Door Spring
It depends on the type of springs that you have. Replacing a garage door spring will run you around $150 to $300. You might be able to do it for less if you replace it on your own, but that’s strongly advised against. Replacing the springs alone can be very dangerous due to the high tension they are under. If they break, it could easily lead to a nasty injury.
If you see any of these signs, or realize that your springs are damaged or broken, you should contact a specialist with years of experience, like Shepherd Shoreline. When it comes to spring repairs, we know what we’re doing. Reach us by dialing (231) 780-2847 or send us a message.