Published on December 8, 2023
A broken garage door spring can happen suddenly and cause major inconvenience if you can’t open or close your garage door. Understanding the top causes of broken springs and the mistakes to avoid can help you prevent breakages and know what to do when a spring breaks.
If you experience a broken spring, contact a garage door repair specialist, like Active Door, for assistance. Hamilton’s Best Garage Doors Team: Since 1985, Active Door is proud to celebrate over 35 years in business, installing various beautiful garage door products and providing repair services.
Overworking the Garage Door Springs
One of the top reasons garage door springs break is overuse. Opening and closing the heavy garage door repeatedly strains the door springs. The springs are made of coiled metal and designed to stretch and recoil many times. However, repeatedly exceeding the recommended lifespan of around 10,000 open/close cycles will eventually lead to metal fatigue. The spring becomes brittle and may snap suddenly under tension.
Avoid overworking your garage door springs by:
- Not operating the door more than necessary
- Having an automatic garage door opener takes some of the lifting strain
- Replacing old springs preventively is nearing the end of their lifespan
Failing to maintain the garage door properly and springs can also lead to premature breakage. If the hardware that holds the spring system together loosens over time from vibration and use, the strain on the springs increases. The hardware and springs should be periodically inspected for signs of wear or damage so broken springs can be replaced before snapping unexpectedly.
Prevent broken springs with good maintenance like:
- Checking for loose screws, worn parts, and rust
- Lubricating rollers and hinges
- Replacing worn or damaged parts before they fail
Exposing coil springs to high heat and cold cycles can also lead them to crack and break over time. The coil insides rub against themselves during expansion and contraction in temperature swings. In extremely cold climates, freezing water can enter the smallest cracks inside coils and expand as it turns back into ice, gradually widening cracks with each freeze/thaw cycle until the spring snaps.
Reduce spring wear from temperature changes by:
- Insulating garage doors against extreme exterior temperatures
- Regularly lubricating springs to protect internal coils
- Replacing damaged springs before additional wear worsens cracks
Improper Spring Design or Installation
Using the wrong springs for your garage door system or installing them improperly also frequently causes premature breakage. Springs come in different sizes and torque capabilities for lighter and heavier doors. If a spring is undersized, over-stretched or twisted wrong during installation, stresses in the coil build up, eventually causing cracks and failure.
Avoid garage door spring breakages by:
- Having the correct door counterbalance system with properly sized springs
- Using an experienced professional spring installer
- Never adjust springs yourself since specialized winding bars and knowledge are needed to set spring tension correctly
Attempting to Repair a Broken Spring Yourself
When spring does break unexpectedly, avoid the mistake of trying to repair it yourself. Contact a professional garage door repair company like Active instead. The wound tension in a broken spring can cause it to twist rapidly and potentially cause serious injury. Garage door springs also require special winding bars and specialty hardware to install, making them difficult and hazardous to replace without training and the proper tools.
For safety when you have a broken spring:
- Isolate it from use so no one operates the door
- Call a certified repair professional like Active Door
- Do not step under the door until it is repaired
Replacing worn springs preventively and avoiding overuse of your garage door opener can help you avoid broken springs. But if one does snap, take precautions and let an experienced garage door technician, like those at Active Door, handle the repair.
Investing in professional installation and maintenance goes a long way toward extending the life of your springs and preventing dangerous door failures.