Why Do Garage Door Springs Break?

Why Do Garage Door Springs Break?

A garage door is a wide door that can accommodate vehicles usually of the 4-wheeled type. It can be made out of steel, glass, aluminum, wood or copper. It may be constructed as a single panel, sectional or a roller panel door. There are differences in the features of each door type but a common factor for all is the usage of a torsion spring which is a steel wire with a stationary cone at one end and a winding cone at the other end.

Garage doors are manufactured with torsion springs that allow for a minimum of 10,000 to 15,000 cycles and may last from three to seven years. Like all mechanical devices, garage doors undergo a wear and tear process. A frequently asked question among owners is about damages in door springs. The following are possible reasons:

Adding weight to garage doors


Springs are designed to carry manufacturer’s prescribed limits and any additional weight is disadvantageous. The weight of a garage door is increased by adding glass, insulation or several coats of paint. These greatly affect the weight bearing capacity of torsion springs.


Torsion springs are made from wires and exposure to highly humid environments will cause it to rust and this increases friction on the coil which eventually weakens the spring. Corrosive cracking causes a shorter cycle life. This is highly evident in homes near coastal areas because of their humid environment.

Incorrect springs

There is a specific spring designed for each type of door. Its length and wire size are considered for it to operate properly. Using a wrong type of spring may cause tension and will likely to break.

Wear and tear

This is the most common reason for spring failure. Springs get worn-out with at least two cycles per day for a period of years. The ideal frame for it to perform optimally is a maximum of ten thousand cycles.

Poor maintenance

Owners often make a mistake of applying grease to garage door tracks. This is not advisable because the grease makes the wheels slide in the tract instead of turning on their bearings. It is more appropriate to use lubricants as these are specifically made for springs, bearings and hinges. All unmaintained or poorly-maintained garage doors, regardless of its build-up, will easily get damaged. Unmindful handling will also result to damages to the spring and perhaps even to the garage door itself.

So, what is the proper maintenance for garage door springs?

The age of your garage door springs is considered a good indicator of their condition. Its regular and frequent use may shorten its span and this is a very good gauge for your routine spring check-up. Regular maintenance is the key in keeping the good quality of your garage door springs. Grease application every three months will keep rusts at bay and will make the springs move smoothly. Include cleaning doors and garage door springs in your spring cleaning to-do list. Check for out of balance springs. It is emphasised that rebalancing should be done two years after being installed.

Have in mind that for homes in colder places, you must replace door springs sooner compared to houses in warmer climates. Check for the balance of the springs by pulling the cord attached to the arm connection of the rail trolley system. If the door is difficult to operate, the problem probably lies in unbalanced springs. Failing to fix it as soon as possible will escalate your problem and will cause you to spend more. Door insulations add to the overall weight of the door and for this, springs need to be replaced every four years.

Although simple maintenance can be a do-it-yourself job, repair is a whole new affair. In the event that repairs are required, no matter how easy it may seem, calling a trained repair professional who is well-versed with garage door spring problems or when it comes to break-in door repair is the better choice

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