How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Garage Door Spring

How many times a day do you think your garage door gets used? In the morning, in the evening, for work. When the kids use it to take out their bikes or to get in the house when they come home from school. A little more on the weekends when you’re doing chores around the house and yard… On the average, people use their garage doors between 4 and 6 times each day—that’s 1,500 to 2,200 times per year.

The lifetime of a garage door spring

The primary purpose of your garage door spring system is to act as a counterbalance to the weight of the door. If your door weighs 150 lb., the garage door spring will be calibrated accordingly.

We should also point out that there are two types: “torsion springs” and “extension springs”. Torsion springs are installed in a channel above the top of the door or at the end of the horizontal tracks when there is limited clearance. An Extension spring system consists of 2 springs installed above the horizontal tracks.

In the case of torsion springs, garage door manufacturers offer a system that will last for 10,000 or more cycles. A cycle means that the door is opened and closed one time. So, if your door is opened between 4 and 6 times per day, your garage door spring will have a lifetime of anywhere from 4 ½ to almost 7 years. We should add that most single garage doors have one spring, while double garage doors have two.

In the case of extension springs, the number of cycles cannot be calculated. However, it is advisable to install a security cable on each garage door spring in case of breakage. This cable will keep the spring in place, preventing it from striking an object or person.

Can I prolong the life of my garage door spring?

Yes, and it’s easy to do! Your garage is often a moist environment, due to the fact that it is minimally heated, if at all. Even if the garage door springs are partially galvanized, they are vulnerable to rust.

When you perform your annual checkup to make sure your garage door is working properly, lubricate the spring system with petroleum-based oil (e.g. 10W-30 motor oil) and then wipe off the excess with a cloth, making sure to go all the way around the spring. This lubrication will not only protect the garage door spring against rust, but will also eliminate any sparks that may result from the metal components rubbing together.

Please keep in mind that it’s very difficult to know whether a spring is about to break or not. The closer they get to the end of their life-cycle, the greater the risk of them breaking. You should also realize that, with time, a garage door spring loses its effectiveness (torque). Don’t think that you can simply wind up the spring to make it stronger. It isn’t like the springs in a grandfather clock.

Is there something better?

Yes. You can order a torsion spring system designed for approximately 25,000 cycles, which will double the life expectancy of your garage door springs.

For extremely moist environments, you can get springs with a high level of galvanization. You’ll recognize them because they have a brilliant color like a kitchen sink.

In case of breakage…

Do not attempt to repair or replace garage door springs yourself. The spring system, including the lifting cables, is under extreme tension. Your safety—and that of your neighbors—is at risk.

Call us at (416) 239-7777 for Toronto and at (519) 829-3777 for Guelph location, for garage door spring repair in accordance with the standards of your garage door.