Spring breaks aren’t always a good time. In this case, we mean a spring breaking in your garage, setting off a noise like a gunshot or a firework that can be heard anywhere near the garage.
Once you calm down and start looking for the noise source, you might not even find it. It won’t be until you use the garage door that you notice something is amiss. It might make an irregular noise and be more challenging to operate than usual.
Your eyes move up to see what could be wrong and find out that the lifting spring has gone from a single component into two separate pieces.
So, what could cause this kind of issue? You might wonder if you missed a sign of something going wrong. Don’t worry. Take a minute or two to read this blog and find out what can cause this kind of breakage and why it happens.
Be aware of how important the spring system is
Before you get started, you need a bit of information on how the spring system is used. When we’re talking about residential doors, two systems exist:
1. TORSION SPRING
With this system, it’s placed inside a steel tube over the door's head that is solidly attached to the wall. The anchor plate found in the center of the door is where all the weight is transferred.
If the headroom over your door is insufficient, the plate might instead be located toward the end of the horizontal tracks.
If this is required, it’s referred to as a double horizontal track or low headroom system.
2. EXTENSION SPRING
Extension springs are different. They are located on each side of the door and are placed over the horizontal tracks.
As the name spells out, their coiled form “extends” to lift or lower the garage door. Keep in mind that an expert garage door professional will make sure to install safety cables with extension springs.
If the spring does end up breaking, the cable is what stops it from hitting something in the garage or smacking down on your car, both of which can be expensive and dangerous situations.
You should also be aware that the spring system functions as a counterweight for the door's total weight.
Imagine for a moment, a garage door with a row of windows that measures nine by seven feet. Its full weight, which is also called deadweight, might be around 135 pounds.
Still, you can easily lift the door using a single hand. Why? The weight must be counterbalanced, which is precisely what the spring system is there for.
When a door is balanced correctly, it will only feel as if it weighs around eight to 10 pounds. This is the case even if you use an electric garage door opener!
Door openers are created to be convenient so that you don’t have to put in manual effort, but they can also carry weights of up to 200 pounds.
For the sake of safety, remember that since a door opener can lift up to 200 pounds, it can also push just as much force down toward the ground. So, make sure you don’t end up in its path when it’s descending.
Why your lifting spring could malfunction and break.
There are many causes for a lifting spring to break, but some are more common than others. These include:
1. Excessive wear over time
It doesn’t matter whether you have an extension or torsion spring; it’s built to last about five to seven years.
The good news is that most of the major garage door manufacturers offer 10,000-cycle spring systems. One cycle is defined as both opening and closing the door once.
Most people use their door two to four times each day, which averages 1,500 cycles in a year.
Do you use your garage door more frequently than that? If so, you might want to consider a spring with 20 to 25,000 cycles, something that is becoming more common among manufacturers.
2. Defects from the manufacturing process
You never know when a defect will occur, although it is rare. For extension springs, it’s most often caused by the spring’s end ring breaking. For torsion springs, it would be low-quality galvanizing against rust that could cause the problem.
3. Using improper spring calibration
Sometimes, the wrong spring system will be installed. While the door will still open and close, more stress can be placed on the spring, door, and opener. The springs are calibrated so that they can operate well within a 5% variation. That means a spring made to lift 100 pounds is fine with a 105-pound door but not one that’s 125 pounds in weight.
4. Situations caused by the outside environment
A garage that isn’t heated and has no insulation is going to be both humid and cold.
Having insulation and heating is good, but springs are often near the exterior walls and remain cold and damp. Even with 30 to 40% protection through galvanization for the spring, rust is still going to reach the metal. When it gets exceptionally cold, the coiled metal can get overly dry and break.
5. Lack of maintenance by the homeowner
Every garage door and its lifting system needs some level of upkeep.
We recommend twice-yearly lubrication of metal parts that come into contact with other ones. It’s best to do this once when the temperatures start to drop and again when the temperatures begin to rise again.
Boost Your Spring System’s Lifespan Easily
Lubricate Once Each Year or when needed.
It’s easy, all you need to do is use a non-drip lithium base oil. Use a cloth or spray carefully and apply it completely around the coils.
Wipe off the excess and that’s all there is to it. Lubrication keeps the springs in better shape and can help to eliminate clinking noises in springs.
After few years the lubricant might pick up some dust, you can easily wipe it off and replace the lubricant.
Check with your garage door dealer to get the lubricants you’ll need.
Can someone else handle the work instead of me?
Sure! If you don’t have the time or knowledge to handle maintenance, a Garaga dealer in the area may offer a “ Garage Door Tune-up ” program that takes care of the essentials while you focus on other things important to you.
You think it takes a professional to take care of those springs?
Don’t wait any longer. Contact us now.
- Mississauga: 905-569-9133
- Georgetown: 905-873-4848
We have knowledge about garage doors and garage door openers that others do not. We can offer you advice and help you choose the best options to meet your needs without going over your budget. We’ll also send out a quotation by email.
Those who are thinking about a brand new garage door can use our mobile-friendly Design Centre to look at various doors that match your home. Add a photo of your home to really get immersive with your decisions.
We also have a Residential Garage Door Gallery where you can get all sorts of ideas.