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Is It Safe for Me to Repair My Own Garage Door Spring?

DIY Garage Door Spring Replacement

It’s an unmistakable sound – the snap of a spring or the crash of a door. It’s the sound you least want to hear as you get ready to leave the house. If you haven’t heard it, consider yourself lucky.

No, it’s not a cheap horror movie trick. It’s a metal garage door spring snapping under tension. You’ll know it’s broken completely when you go to open your door and find that it’s struggling to lift itself up.

You may think you can repair this yourself. It’s a spring. How hard can it be? It turns out that replacing a garage door spring on your own can be extremely dangerous. It could even end up costing you more in the long run. There are several things to consider before attempting to fix a broken garage door.

Types of Springs

Regardless of style or design, there are only two types of springs in modern overhead doors. Knowing what type of spring you have is the first step for anyone attempting to repair a broken spring.

Torsion Springs are responsible for the getting your garage door up when you open it. This single spring is mounted at the top of a garage door and covered in a tube. The tube is there to prevent further damage to your door or spring system if a break should occur. When these fail, you will hear a loud bang that sounds like a firecracker and see an immediate failure to open the garage door. This spring twists itself in order to gain enough power to lift the door. This spring will be relatively thick and directly above your door opening.

Extension Springs are found in an extension spring system. They essentially do the same thing as tension springs, but the process to get your garage door opened and closed is slightly different. Extension springs stretch or elongate in order to gain enough power to lift the door. These two springs will be relatively thin and run parallel to each door track.

Both of these types of springs build up tension when your garage door is closed. The energy stored up should then allow the garage door to open with ease. This isn’t the case when a spring breaks. Instead of building up energy, a snapped spring loses all of the stored energy it needs to lift the heavy door. Both springs still have a level of tension that could be potentially dangerous if worked on by someone unfamiliar with spring systems and garage door repair.

How Often Do Springs Break?

Extension and torsion springs can only be used for a limited number of open/close cycles. The cycles range anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 opens (up to 10 years with proper maintenance) depending on the quality of your door.

Because of how long they last, it’s unlikely that a DIY homeowner has any experience with spring repair or replacement in residential garage doors. Luckily, we have plenty of experience!

How Dangerous Can It Be?

When an inexperienced person tries to work with loaded springs and a weighted door, chances are that they haven’t considered everything that could go wrong. If the springs have any tension left in them and are handled improperly, they could snap and cause bodily harm.

In addition to the possible physical injuries, improper handling of springs could lead to further property damage or permanent damage to your garage door and its spring system.

Extension springs are considered to be slightly safer to work with because you don’t actually have to deal with the spring tension. However, this doesn’t mean the problems cannot still happen. It’s best to call a certified technician when working with extension springs to make sure there are no issues with the repair.

Torsion springs are extremely dangerous to work with if you don’t have much experience with them. There are many steps to replace a torsion spring, meaning that there are many opportunities for issues to come up. We recommend that you always call for professional service if you have torsion springs because of how tough they are to work with.

If you aren’t sure what type of spring you have, we can help you figure it out!

Should I Open My Door Manually or Use a Garage Door Opener When a Spring is Broken?

In short, we recommend that you do not open your door at all when a spring breaks. This prevents any damage to the door, you or anything else.

However, we know that leaving your car or other possessions in a garage door that won’t open isn’t ideal. It won’t work for everyone. If you must open it, carefully open your door manually and make sure that it is secure at the top of your garage before pulling out. You will then have to slowly close the door manually from the outside – this is the most dangerous part, and we do not recommend it. Unless you know for certain that the safety cable is still in working order, you should not try this.

In these cases, we recommend you call us for emergency service to get your garage in working order on the same day. This guarantees that you get a certified and qualified technician from Garage Doors of Indianapolis and prevents any harm to you or your property.

Your security is our priority. The longer your garage door remains stuck or out of your control due to broken springs, the more you are inconvenienced. We want to make sure you get all of your garage door issues solved in a timely manner.

We are available 24 hours a day for emergency commercial and residential service whenever anything malfunctions with your garage door.

Can I Prevent My Springs Breaking?

You absolutely can! The best way to prevent your spring system from breaking is to schedule regular garage door service and maintenance with the certified technicians at Garage Doors of Indianapolis.

Regular maintenance ensures that your springs are always inspected and replaced before they break.

How Often Should I Have My Garage Door Checked?

You should have your garage door checked at least once a year, ideally before the cold weather hits. This is a technical job that should be conducted by experts who have the tools and training to do the job safely. That’s where we come in!

At Garage Doors of Indianapolis, we work to not only extend the life of your garage door but also ensure that you are always able to enter and exit freely at all times.

No one wants to be ready to leave the house and hear the unmistakable sound of a spring snapping and breaking. Call today to have a technician come to check your spring system before it becomes an inconvenience at 317-316-0423.

Garage Door with Snow

Ways To Winterize Your Garage Door

As we run to and from the car this winter, you might think of a garage as nothing more than a middle ground that protects you from the harsh outdoors and it’s unforgiving elements. However, we can’t forget the good times of pulling out the pool floaties and grabbing a cold drink from the cooler on a hot day.

Our garages are a vital part of our homes year round and can be a real inconvenience when something with the garage door goes wrong. It’s important to maintain these systems in order for them to last through the winter and continue to operate efficiently as the warm weather returns, but they need our help to do it.

Preparation

Changing – Remote garage door buttons and external keypads are vital tools and gateways to warmth. Ensure you don’t get stuck out in the snow by checking their batteries and even consider keeping a spare set of batteries nearby.

Organizing – This is the season for bad weather. Locate any snow blowers, shovels, salt bags, ice scrapers, or tools you may need to battle the winter and keep them at the ready. Check the weather frequently so you’re not surprised by changes that could affect your routine.

Closing – It’s cold out! Keeping your garage door closed is better for the door’s lifespan and your heating bills overall. It prevents excess moisture and brisk air from making a home in the welcoming warmth of your garage and causing damage during its stay.

Maintenance

Cleaning – The tracks and sensors should be cleared of any debris in order for them to continue to run smoothly. Even the door itself could probably use a wipe down as dirt can make its way into places it shouldn’t and cause more problems than it should. Also check for any rust spots, water damage, or warping that may have occurred since it’s last check-up.

Lubricating – Working pieces such as ball bearings, rollers, springs, hinges, and any other metal parts that move should be sprayed regularly. This is crucial in the winter months as these components are more prone to sticking, causing excessive tension and possibly costly damage.

Balancing – To keep all parts running smoothly, the tracks and metal framing need to a be aligned and a quick balance check should do the trick. Have a professional check these regularly to ensure all is operating correctly.

Inspection

Cracking – Weather stripping, sensors, and window panes can become victims to the winter weather as well. These components are less durable than their previously mentioned metal counterparts, but can easily be maintained. However, metal springs are typically the ones that we see the most problems with in the cold. Checking for any cracking in these parts can be a quick, vital fix.

Contracting – Much like we wish we could do with our body’s extremities, metal contracts in cold temperatures. When this happens, certain nuts and bolts can become loose, may even fall out of place, and will need to be tightened and replaced.

Adjusting – Even if the sensors don’t have visual cracks, they may need to be realigned instead. These safety features can become askew over time and adjusting them back into place is an important aspect of their usefulness.

Consultation

Continued regular maintenance should be on the calendar in order for your faithful garage door to be able to continue its mission. If you see anything out of place, contact the experts at Garage Doors of Indianapolis to come out and inspect and repair it today!