A garage door comprises of a number of components, including springs, cables, hinges, brackets, and levers, so it is not one single part that is completely responsible for raising and lowering the heavy garage door. If you have not had any preventative maintenance done on your overhead garage door yet, you should start doing so as it is surprisingly important. Garage door springs are one of the most important components in a garage door. Since they bear massive pressure (stored energy), they go through a lot of wear and tear. If you want to extend the life of your door, it is very important to make sure that all moving parts are lubricated including the garage door springs. Just like we add oil to our cars so they run properly, the same applies to the moving parts of a garage door.
If your overhead garage door is making weird noises or isn’t operating smoothly, it could be because of the springs. Door spring lubricant can be applied to the springs to help with the noise and jerky motion, but if the problem persists, they might need replacing. Since applying the lubricant is an easy task and does not involve much risk, you can do it yourself instead of paying a professional to do it.
Torsion springs will break over time due to wear and tear, the average life expectancy is up to 10,000 cycles or 5 to 10 years whichever comes first. (FYI each open and close is considered one door cycle). When / if they do break, they should be replaced by a professional, as they have the correct tools and knowledge to correctly and safely replace them. Doing so yourself could be quite dangerous. Even though you might be a DIYer, it is highly recommended that you not attempt to replace the springs. If your garage door is old or has stopped working smoothly, contact an experienced contractor who will inspect, not only the springs, but also the other parts of your door.
There are two different types of overhead garage door springs, namely torsion springs and extension springs. While torsion springs are located above the closed garage door, extension springs are attached to the upper tracks.
Doors with extension springs have a different mechanism than those with torsion springs. The ones with extension springs come with a safety cable on both sides. It also maximizes safety because if one of the two cables break, the other one can still hold the door. They also control a broken spring. On the other hand, torsion springs work in a clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation. While one direction of the rotation pulls the door up, the other one releases it.
No matter what type of springs your garage door comes with, it will always have a bracket that is located on the bottom of the garage door that has springs attached to it. Just like the springs, the brackets bear considerable load and stored energy as well. These brackets should be attended to by a professional, as it could be very dangerous to handle them.
In closing, the overhead garage door cables, springs and brackets all contain stored energy that allows the garage door to open and close. Because the force of this stored energy is so strong, it is highly recommended that you call in a professional to deal with these three parts to ensure your safety.