Garage Door Springs

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What are Garage Door Springs?

Garage door springs are crucial components of the garage door system  that counterbalance the weight of the garage door, making it easier to open and close. They store mechanical energy and release it when the door is operated. There are two main types of garage door springs:

Torsion Springs

Torsion Springs

 Located above the garage door opening, these springs are wound up and create torque, which helps in lifting the door. Torsion springs are considered more durable and offer better balance compared to extension springs.

Extension Springs

Extension Springs

These are mounted on either side of the door and extend when the door is closed, storing energy. When the door is opened, the energy is released, assisting in lifting the door. They are generally more affordable but can be less durable and require more maintenance.

How Do Garage Door Springs Work?

Garage door springs work by using the principle of counterbalance. They provide the force necessary to make the door light enough to be lifted manually or by a garage door opener. The springs do most of the heavy lifting, which is why a properly balanced door should be easy to lift by hand.

Lifespan of Garage Door Springs

The lifespan of garage door springs depends on their quality, the weight of the door, and how often the door is used. On average:

  • Torsion springs can last between 15,000 to 20,000 cycles (a cycle is one opening and closing of the door).
  • Extension springs typically last for about 10,000 cycles.


Signs of a Failing Garage Door Spring

  • Difficulty opening the garage door.
  • A loud bang from the garage (often a sign of a torsion spring breaking).
  • The door closes too quickly or unevenly.
  • The door is crooked when it moves.
  • Gaps in the torsion spring.
broken Garage Door spring

Safety Precautions and Replacement

Garage door spring replacement can be dangerous due to the high tension these parts are under. It is strongly recommended to hire a professional for this task. Mishandling of springs can lead to serious injury.

Maintenance of Garage Door Springs

Regular maintenance can extend the life of your garage door springs:

  • Lubrication: Apply a garage door lubricant to the springs annually.
  • Regular Inspection: Check for signs of wear or rust.
  • Balance Test: Periodically test the balance of the door to ensure that the springs are functioning properly.

Upgrading Garage Door Springs

If you’re replacing your garage door springs, consider upgrading to a higher-quality spring, especially if your door is heavy or used frequently. Higher-quality springs can offer a longer lifespan and better performance.

Garage Door Springs and Energy Efficiency

Properly functioning springs contribute to the overall energy efficiency of your garage door. A well-balanced door ensures a good seal at the bottom and around the edges, preventing air leaks.

Are Garage Door Springs Necessary?

Absolutely, garage door springs are essential for the proper functioning of a garage door. They serve several critical functions:

  • Weight Counterbalance: Springs make the heavy door manageable to lift, either manually or by a garage door opener.
  • Smooth Operation: They ensure the door opens and closes smoothly.
  • Safety Mechanism: Springs act as a safety mechanism to prevent the door from slamming shut.

Without garage door springs, the door would be extremely heavy and dangerous to operate, posing a significant risk of injury and damage.

Can I Replace Garage Door Spring Myself?

Replacing a garage door spring is not recommended for most DIY enthusiasts due to the high level of risk involved. Here’s why professional assistance is usually necessary:

  • High Tension: Springs are under high tension and can cause serious injury if not handled correctly.
  • Specialized Tools: The job requires specific tools and a thorough understanding of garage door mechanics.
  • Correct Springs: Choosing the correct type and size of spring is crucial for the balance and functionality of the door.
  • Risk of Improper Installation: Incorrect installation can lead to damage to the door, the garage, or injury.

If you have experience and the necessary tools, it’s still advisable to proceed with extreme caution. However, for most people, hiring a professional is the safest option.

Garage Door Springs - superior garage door repair

Longevity Tips for Garage Door Springs

To extend the life of your garage door springs:

  • Regular Lubrication: Keep the springs lubricated to reduce friction.
  • Avoid Overloading: Don’t hang heavy objects on the door, as this can strain the springs.
  • Climate Considerations: In colder climates, springs can become brittle and break more easily, so extra attention is needed.

Advanced Types of Garage Door Springs

In addition to standard torsion and extension springs, there are more advanced types like:

  • Enclosed Torsion Springs: These are safer as they are contained within a metal tube, reducing the risk if they break.
  • Galvanized Springs: These are treated to resist rust and corrosion, making them last longer, especially in humid environments.

Customizing Springs for Your Garage Door

When replacing springs, consider:

  • Door Weight: Heavier doors require stronger springs.
  • Usage Frequency: High-cycle springs are available for doors that are used very frequently.

Emergency Release and Garage Door Springs

Most garage doors have an emergency release mechanism. Understanding how to use it in case of spring failure is important for safety.

Garage Door Springs and Home Security

Well-functioning springs also contribute to home security. A door that closes securely without gaps prevents easy break-ins.

Environmental Impact of Garage Door Springs

Opting for durable, long-lasting springs reduces waste and the frequency of replacements, contributing to environmental conservation.

Educating Yourself About Garage Door Springs

Understanding the basics of garage door springs can help you communicate more effectively with professionals and make informed decisions about maintenance and replacements.


In summary, garage door springs are a vital component of your garage door system, providing safety, balance, and ease of operation. While DIY replacement is possible, it carries significant risk. Regular maintenance, understanding the variety of springs available, and recognizing the importance of professional installation are key aspects of managing your garage door springs effectively. Understanding the different types of springs, recognizing signs of wear, and adhering to safety and maintenance guidelines are key to ensuring a functional and long-lasting garage door system.

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