What To Know About Garage Door Springs And Safety Cables

Posted on: 29 October 2015

Garage doors require a bit of maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Part of that maintenance having the garage door springs and safety cables inspected and repaired when necessary to ensure the door opens and closes smoothly. Check out these three facts to help you understand your garage door springs and safety cables a little better.

There Are Two Types of Garage Door Springs

The two types of garage door springs from which you can choose are torsion springs and extension springs. If you have torsion springs, they're likely attached above the garage door opening, which you can see when the door is closed. They sit parallel to the top of the garage door, wrapped around a rod, one on each side of the center of the garage door. Instead of stretching to help open or close the door, these springs twist to create tension. Torsion springs are stronger and last longer than extension springs, but they are also more expensive.

If you have extension springs, you'll find them located above the upper tracks on each side of your garage door. Instead of twisting to move the door, these springs extend, so you'll actually see the coils pull apart, which you don't see with torsion springs. Extension springs are the less expensive of the two, but they can create a jerking motion when you open or close your garage door because they offer less control than torsion springs.   

DIY Spring Repair Is Dangerous

Whatever type of spring your garage door uses, it's not a good idea to attempt to replace or repair damaged or worn springs yourself. Both types of springs are under enormous pressure, so there is a lot of power behind them. Fiddling with them when you don't know what you're doing can unleash that power, causing springs to fly across the garage and leading to serious injury or severe damage.

There are some safety features to help prevent this from happening. For torsion springs, the rod on which they are coiled helps prevent them from becoming loose. Extension springs typically have safety cables that run through the center of the springs, so if they become loose, the cables will catch them. However, if the rod and cables are damaged, they may fail, which is why it's always better to contact a professional instead of trying to do it yourself.

It's up To You to Maintain Your Springs and Cables

You don't just want to wait until the springs and cables are broken before you replace or repair them. If you fail to take proper steps to maintain them, they may bust loose when you aren't expecting it. You want to inspect and maintain your garage door at least once a year. During this time, you want to check how the door moves when it opens and closes. If the door is uneven, making strange sounds or won't open at all, there may be something wrong with the springs.

Whether the door is moving properly or not, you'll also want to inspect the springs and cables. When checking the springs, ensure they are tight, connected and lubricated. If they aren't lubricated, add some aerosol spray lubricate to keep them moving smoothly. When inspecting the cables, watch for signs of fraying. If you spot damage or missing springs/cables, contact a repair technician immediately.

Garage doors are big and heavy, which puts a lot of strain on all the working parts, including the springs and cables. Never neglect your safety by ignoring broken springs and cables. If you think your springs and safety cables need to be repaired or replaced, contact a garage door specialist in your area today.