Not all spring breaks are fun. The one we’re talking about is likely to produce a sudden loud noise, similar to a gunshot at the most inconvenient time. After your heart stops pounding, you take a peak around but nothing stands out as the source. However, the next time you try to operate your garage door, things don’t seem to be working right, and for the first time, you hear a strange, irregular noise. Raising your eyes upward, you discover that your garage door spring has broken.
What in the world caused this to happen? Did you miss some warning signs?
Two different kinds of spring systems
This kind of spring is placed in a steel tube over the head of the garage door and is solidly attached to the wall as all the weight of the door is transferred to the anchor plate at the center of the door. If the headroom over your door is insufficient, the plate may need to be placed at the end of the horizontal tracks. In this case, this is called a low headroom or double horizontal track system.
These springs, located on each side of the door, are placed over the horizontal tracks. As their name suggests, their coiled form “extends” to lift or lower the garage door. By the way, any good garage door professional will always install safety cables with extension springs. Should the spring break, this cable will stop the spring from hitting something else in the garage or falling onto your car, both are potentially dangerous and expensive.
Another important piece of information you should know is that the spring system functions as a counterweight for the total weight of the door. Take, for example a 9 x 7-foot door with a row of windows. Its total weight, what we call deadweight, should be in the neighborhood of 135 pounds. In order to lift this door with only one hand its weight must be counterbalanced and that’s where the spring system comes into play. A properly balanced garage door should weigh between 8 and 10 pounds, not more, even with a Garage Door Opener, a Garage Door Opener is only meant to take the place of manual effort.
What causes a spring to break?
The most common reason is wear. Whether torsion or extension, a spring’s lifespan is between 5 and 7 years depending on how often the garage door is opened. Most springs have a 10,000 cycle life. A cycle is defined as one opening and closing of the door. If your garage door is used two to four times a day, this represents around 1500 cycles a year. If you use your garage door more than 5 times a day, the life of your spring will be shorter. Now days many people don't use their front door at all as the garage door is the main entrance to the house and when you have teenagers that drive, the garage door is used even more.
Broken springs happen with every garage door, they are a common repair but often break at the most inconvenient times. If you would like to have your garage door spring inspected, and perhaps avoid a future inconvenience, give us a call, we will gladly examine your spring with an overall garage door tune-up.
Remember, Lake Woodlands Garage Door is a name you can trust!