Your garage door is a simple device overall. It only has a few critical parts that allow it to open and close with ease while remaining safe for those in its proximity. There are several visible components that are part of the standard overhead door assembly, including the door itself, the tracks the door travels, and the opener. Possibly the most important part of any garage door assembly is the tension springs because they're largely responsible for safely raising and lowering the heavy door. Though on the whole garage doors are usually reliable, one of the most common calls to overhead door services pertains to repairing or installing garage door springs in Mattoon, IL.
The springs used to assist in the raising and lowering of garage doors come in two primary types. Those two types are torsion springs and extension springs. Though they achieve the same goal of reducing the perceived force required to move the heavy door while ensuring the safety of those nearby, they go about it in two different ways. When the time comes for garage spring replacement, it's important to know which type of door is best suited for your application. That depends on several factors, one of which is reliability. Keep reading to learn more about the two main types of springs used in garage doors and which is more reliable.
As the name indicates, extension springs generate their applied force by extending, which creates powerful tension that can be harnessed to operate the door. Think of a standard, simple spring, and you'll know what an extension spring looks like and how it functions. When coiled and at rest, it represents potential energy. When stretched, it becomes loaded and can generate a great deal of power. In the context of a garage door, you're likely to find extension springs on the upper horizontal tracks on both sides of the door. When the door is open, these springs are extended to provide a counterbalancing force on the door that prevents it from slamming shut unexpectedly. The more force that's applied to the door, the further the spring extends.
Because the spring is under a great deal of tension when extended, it could be potentially dangerous if it breaks or comes unfastened because it can flail dangerously and cause great harm to anyone nearby. As a result, extension springs are often paired with safety cables that prevent the uncontrolled lashing movement of the spring in the event of a failure. Extension springs are often used when there is little overhead room, a factor that can prevent the function of other types of springs.
Torsion springs are unlike extension springs in that they don't use the tension of an extending spring to generate force. Instead, they use torque generated when the spring twists around a central shaft and compresses as the door opens. They require adequate headspace to allow for rear overhead mounting of the shaft and spring assembly, but they come in a wide range of sizes, lengths, and strengths. Torsion springs are tailored to the exact specifications of your door. The equation for determining the right springs includes factors such as door weight, track radius, and height. Torsion springs are often more expensive than extension springs, though they don't require the added safety cable apparatus to ensure safe operation.
Which Is More Reliable?
Though extension springs may be the less expensive option of the two types, they aren't nearly as reliable as torsion springs. Torsion springs can safely bear twice the weight of an extension spring, and they also last twice as long before requiring replacement when compared to extension springs. Torsion springs also provide more reliability of performance. They offer greater balance, which makes opening and closing the door easier. Torsion springs also aren't as inherently dangerous as extension springs, making them the preferred option in most applications.
Before calling a provider of local garage door repair in Mattoon, IL, take a look at your springs to determine which type you have. By understanding the various spring types, their benefits, and limitations, you can better prepare for future decisions regarding your garage door opening mechanism. To learn more about garage door spring replacement, contact Midstate Overhead Doors at (217) 422-8030.