How to Determine If Your Garage Door Springs Are Faulty

Most people use their Gilbert garage doors multiple times on a daily basis, even more than they use their expensive front doors. While these durable, heavy garage doors are built for repetitive use, the endless cycles of moving up and down eventually takes its toll on the springs. At that point, not much can be done except professional Gilbert garage door repair services.

There are many components to a garage door, including panels, tracks, hinges, rollers, pulleys, cables, and locks that all experience some degree of stress every time the garage door opens and closes. However, the real stress is on the springs, as they are under constant tension and only designed for a limited amount of use.

Peter Brown, owner and technician at Same Day Garage Door Services, performs some repairs while inspecting if garage door spring are faulty

How Do the Springs Work?

Many people do not know there are different types of garage door springs, or may not have even realized their garage door even has springs. Springs exist in garage door setups solely for the purpose of counterbalancing the force of gravity as the door opens and shuts. When preloaded with the correct amount of tension, the springs will ensure your door is perfectly balanced and works smoothly. When the door is open, the tension is tighter and more intense. When the door is closed, the springs are more relaxed, though still holding a smaller amount of tension.

There are 3 main types of springs used in the majority of garage doors, and can be identified by inspecting the tracks above a closed garage door.

1.- Extension Springs – Extension springs are the most common type, typically found on older Mesa garage door installations. These are easy to spot, as they run parallel to your garage door tracks, and are attached to a fixed anchor point on one side and a pulley combination on the other side. Using a similar principle to elastic bands, the extension springs are stretched as the garage door lowers to close, and store energy to pull the door back up when the button is pushed.

2.- Torsion Springs – Many of the more modern types of garage doors use torsion springs because they are clean, efficient, and more reliable than extension springs. Torsion springs work by coiling around a shaft and winding while the garage door lowers to close. They will then store energy that is released when the garage door is opened. You can identify torsion springs by looking at the horizontal bar attached to the wall above your closed garage door – when the door is open, the bar is hidden.

3.- TorqueMaster Springs – As a specific design and actual registered brand name, this type of spring is actually a highly advanced variation of torsion springs. There is no exposed metal springs; rather, the TorqueMaster design features an enclosed, centralized spring that offers a clean look with very little exposure and maintenance.

While each of these types of springs have their positive and negative aspects, all will eventually wear out from consistent, repetitive use. Fortunately, by knowing the signs of wear and tear on your garage door springs, you will be able to extend their longevity and avoid the need for emergency Mesa same day garage door service.

What Are the Signs of Faulty Garage Door Springs?

When your springs are starting to need Gilbert garage repair, you may notice one of the obvious signs such as your garage door getting stuck halfway up or down, moving slowly or jerkily, or simply refusing to budge at all. If you have determined that your springs need to be replaced, call a professional Gilbert garage door repair service right away.

It is important to note that if your springs need maintenance, repair, or to be replaced, it is not something that should be attempted as a DIY project. Garage door springs are energized and contain a huge amount of tension that can cause great damage to an unprepared and unsuspecting person. People have been seriously injured or killed from springs releasing their energy, or have suffered from broken fingers, hands, and wrists. Additionally, damage to the eyes, head, or face are extremely common. It is highly recommended to let a trained professional with the appropriate tools, knowledge, and protection handle the issue.

Here are a few signs to look for that indicate your springs need repair:

1.- When Your Garage Door Opens Slowly or Partially

You may notice your garage door beginning to work much more slowly than normal, or only opening partway. When this happens, it is likely you have one broken spring. Because it is a two-spring system, removing one spring from the equation results in 50% reduced lifting power, leading to a partially opened garage door.

When one spring breaks, the other is not far behind. If both springs break, your garage door will not move at all, since there is no tension lifting it upwards. Experts recommend replacing both springs at the same time, even if only one is currently broken.

2.- You Spot a Gap in the Garage Door Spring

Spring gaps only happen in the torsion variety of garage door springs. If a torsion spring breaks, it unwinds and begins to separate right at the breaking point, which ultimately shows as a small gap somewhere along the torsion spring. If you see a gap, it means the spring cannot store energy to lift the garage door, and the opposite spring must do all the work. Eventually the remaining spring will snap from the excess stress.

3.- The Door Closes Too Fast or Opens in a Jerky Fashion

When garage doors work appropriately with even spring tension, they will open and close smoothly. Well-tuned spring will ensure the energy is evenly distributed throughout the entire opening or closing process.

Anytime your garage door begins opening with a jerk or closes very quickly, it is highly likely there is one broken spring and the other is soon to follow. This is especially true with the TorqueMaster variety, as any tension loss results in faulty operation. Energy from the one good spring is utilized in spurts as there is very little resistance to slow it down, meaning the door will close very quickly. The same is true when the door opens with a jerk, as energy is reclaimed in spurts.

4.- The Top Door Panels are Bent or Crooked

If you notice one day that your top garage door panels have begun to look damaged, bent, or crooked, it is extremely likely that your springs have gone bad. In fact, this is usually a sign that the springs have been fault for quite some time. The panels become bent when a broken spring causes the door to become misaligned. The force from the spring is wrongly applied to the tracks and rollers, and ultimately onto the panels themselves which causes them to bend and become crooked.

Doors made from lighter material such as steel or aluminum typically show these signs of damage much more quickly than heavier garage doors. Once the panels are bent, repairs are much more expensive since you will need to replace both the broken springs and the broken panels. This is why it is recommended to routinely check your springs to ensure they are in good working order.

5.- You Hear a Loud Banging Sound

Often, homeowners know their garage door spring is broken when they hear a loud “bang” sound come from the garage. Remember that these springs hold a tremendous amount of tension, especially when the door is lowered. If it suddenly snaps and goes flying across the garage, you will hear an unmistakable loud “bang”.

Be cautious when you go to check out the sound, and do not attempt to open your garage door, as this can cause the other spring to fail and let loose. Remember that these springs are loaded with tension and can cause great damage to people (and property) when they break loose. If you are certain the “bang” sound was a door spring breaking, call a professional same day garage door service in Mesa to replace them both immediately. A broken spring is nothing to mess around with, and should always be replaced by a trained professional.

The best way to prevent a broken garage door spring is by performing routine checks on all the working parts of your garage door. Anticipate when they may be close to the end of their lifespan, and be aware of the various reasons that garage door springs fail. These include:

– Normal daily use
– Extreme temperatures
– Rust
– Improper installation or wrong spring size
– Poorly preset tension
– Misaligned door components
– Low quality parts
– Heavy garage door
– Garage door damage
– Lack of lubrication
– Lack of maintenance

Be proactive and do routine maintenance on your garage door springs to help ensure they will not fail when you least expect it. If a spring does break, call a professional immediately.

Hire a Professional

Same Day Garage Door Services specializes in all types of garage door repairs, maintenance, and replacements. If you have discovered a failing or broken spring on your garage door, call us right to schedule a service call or to request an estimate for replacement. Our repairmen are highly trained, and are insured in case of injury. We will replace your broken springs safely, quickly, and affordably, and will ensure that the correct size and tension are used. To schedule a service call or a free estimate, call us today at (480) 725-1327!

Published By:
Same Day Garage Door Services, LLC

2594 E Thornton Ct
Gilbert, AZ 85297

Office: 480-239-9478