Automatic garage doors are features that are added to many homes across the United States, whether the door is used to secure cars during the winter or it is utilized as one of the main entrances into your home. Your garage door will have many different moving parts that need to be taken care of properly, and sometimes parts will need to be replaced. You have the option of replacing things like rollers, tracks, and the door itself if you want to do so by yourself. However, if the garage door springs start to go bad, you may injure yourself by trying to replace them on your own. You should instead look for signs that the springs may be failing and contact a professional to replace them for you. Keep reading to learn about a few of these signs.
Your Springs Are Old
If your initial garage door investment was a sound one, then your door was installed with good quality torsion springs. These springs are the ones that sit above the garage door itself. Two springs will be installed on a single door, and a metal spindle or dowel will sit in the middle of the springs. These springs and the dowel will be attached to two spring anchor brackets secured just outside the garage door. Pressure is placed on these springs when the garage door motor is activated. The springs hold a great deal of tension, and this helps to force the garage door upward.
Understanding Usage Numbers
Your springs will wear out over time though, and most hardware is rated for a certain number of uses or cycles. Typically, the use number is around 10,000. If you open your garage door four times a day, then the springs will likely go through around 1,460 cycles a year. This means that the springs will likely remain in good shape for maybe seven or eight years. However, if your garage door is made from a heavy wood or steel material, then they may not last this long. This means that you should have your springs changed if they are seven years old or older. If the garage door is heavy, then a replacement every five years may be best.
You Did Not Invest in a Spring Rebalancing
Garage door torsion springs help to force your garage door open, and they also help to provide counterbalance. This counterbalance makes sure that the weight and stress on the right and left sides of the garage door are equal. This helps to reduce the ability of the door to become too heavy on one side, resulting in the overworking of the garage door motor. Not only will the garage door motor become stressed when the torsion springs are unbalanced, but one torsion spring will be stressed more as well. This can result in a break, and you may see springs bending, cracking, or coming unwound to some degree before a full break occurs.
Usually, your garage door installation expert will inform you to set up an appointment within one or two years of the initial installation to have the garage door rebalanced. This will help to make sure that the torsion springs are secured in the right place and they are working effectively.
Once the rebalancing is completed, you should check to see if your garage door is balanced about once a year. You also should do this immediately if you never invested in the initial rebalancing. Checking the balance means moving the garage door by hand, so pull the cord attached to the garage door motor that releases the automatic motor mechanism from the door. Lift the door to about waist level and let the door go. If the torsion springs are in good condition, then they will hold the weight of the door in place. If the door slams shut though, then the springs are not balanced properly or they are weak. A professional should be called right away to balance or replace the springs.
For more information, contact a local garage door repair company like Door Doctor Inc.