Garage doors are heavy, and they require a delicate balance of springs and chains to open and close correctly. Over time, the springs can become worn and fatigued. If your garage door is unbalanced, the springs will wear much faster than if your door is leveled and balanced correctly. You should test the door's balance regularly so that you can tell when those springs have shifted. The sooner you identify a damaged garage door, the less repair you'll have to do later due to added wear and tear. Here are some tips to help you check your garage door.
Checking for Balance
In order to evaluate the balance of your garage door, you'll have to do a balance test by hand. The first step is to disconnect the automatic opener from the door if you have one. Make sure the garage door is closed all the way, because you're going to need the full weight of the door for the test to be accurate.
Stand directly in front of the door handle that's centered on the inside of the door. Lift the handle so that the door is mid-way open. Once the door is open to the halfway mark, let go. It might be best to have someone standing on either end of the garage door too so that the three of you can catch it if it starts to fall. If the door is balanced and the springs are in good shape, the door shouldn't move when you let go.
If the spring tension is too heavy, the door may continue to open. If the springs are too loose or have too little tension, the door will fall. If either of these things happen, it means you need to have the springs maintained.
Evaluating the Torsion Springs
In a two-car or wide garage door design, torsion springs are used to control the door. You'll find torsion springs above the door. These springs are made to sustain the heavy weight of larger garage doors, but over time they are as vulnerable to wear as any other spring. When this happens, the spring can weaken and may not hold the door sufficiently.
If the torsion springs are too loose, you may be able to invest in a spring brace to stiffen the door. Otherwise, you're going to need to have the springs replaced. Torsion springs hold potential energy, so it's important that you call a professional if they need to be replaced. They have the tools to safely disconnect and replace the springs without risking personal injury.
Dealing with Extension Springs
Extension springs are the other common garage door spring that you'll want to be attentive to. Extension springs are usually installed parallel to the track of the garage door. You'll likely also find a pulley on the end of the spring nearest the door. These are usually reserved for lighter, smaller doors, so they're easiest to maintain by yourself.
Open the door completely so that there's no pressure on the spring. Then, adjust the hook on the spring to loosen or tighten it appropriately. Just make sure that you have someone with you to help you support the door if it needs it.
The more attentive you are to your garage door springs, the easier it will be to keep the door balanced and supported. That balance is essential for the door to open and close by hand when needed. Not only can these tips help you to maintain and care for your garage door, but annual inspections with a garage door technician can also help you identify potential problems before they become complete door failures. Work with a company like Jayton Door Corporation to keep your door in good shape.