One of the main reasons your garage door stops working properly is when the spring breaks and needs to be replaced. Garage door repair in Charleston, IL, is difficult to do without the proper tools and experience, and replacing the spring is perhaps the most difficult and dangerous task of all garage door repairs. That’s why there are some things you need to know before attempting to replace the spring yourself.
Role of the Spring
Garage doors weigh a lot, usually at least 100 pounds. Opening and closing the door at a measured rate is essential for keeping the door from crashing down and hurting someone or damaging property. The garage door spring is responsible for allowing the door to move easily, whether you have an automatic opener or not. The springs counteract the weight of the door and do most of the lifting. Regardless of the type of spring your garage door has, there’s an extreme amount of tension that allows the door to be lifted multiple times a day, year after year. There are a couple of main types of springs that most garage doors use.
Types of Springs
Extension springs are the first main type of garage door spring. They’re located perpendicular to the door above the door tracks near the ceiling. They’re long springs that create tension with cables and pulleys that stretch them out. They’re suspended between two brackets and usually have a safety cable that goes through the spring. Torsion springs are the more common type of garage door spring. They’re mounted to a rod that is located above and parallel to the door. Unlike extension springs that are tensioned with stretching, a torsion spring twists to create tension. There are cables attached to the bottom corners of the door that pull on pulleys on the rod that the spring mounts to. These pulleys turn the rod, creating tension through a twisting motion. The door opens when the springs unwind and release tension. Torsion springs are more common, not necessarily because they’re able to lift the door better, but because they’re more stable and have a smoother motion than extension springs. That’s why many garage door technicians recommend replacing extension springs with a torsion spring when you need garage door spring repair.
Signs of a Failing Spring
It’s important to recognize signs that your spring is wearing out because the spring provides lift and balance to help take the pressure off the tracks and other components of your garage door. A good test to determine the condition of your spring is a balance test. Move the door to the open position and then release the automatic opener. It shouldn’t move once you release the mechanism. If it starts to close, it’s likely your spring is no longer strong enough to hold the weight of the door. Another test is to open the door partway and try moving the door manually. If it’s difficult to move, the spring probably needs to be replaced. Other signs of failing springs include signs of straining when your opener is opening or shutting the door.
Dangers of DIY Replacements
Because of the enormous amount of tension in a garage door spring, it’s not recommended that you replace it yourself. The spring can cause serious damage to property and injury when it’s handled improperly, so it’s best to avoid the time commitment and cost of medical help or additional repairs. Contact Midstate Overhead Doors today to schedule your garage door spring replacement in Charleston, IL.