Garage Door Springs come in all different shapes and sizes. All garage door spring serve the same purpose. Springs make it possible to lift a very heavy garage door very easily. While garage door springs may vary greatly in size, they fall into two basic categories. Garage Door Extension Springs and Garage Door Torsion Springs.
Garage Door Extension Springs
Extension garage door springs run parallel to your garage door tracks. Extension springs are attached to the back of your track by a hook or bolt and stretch to the garage door. When you lift your garage door, the extension spring contracts. By doing this, the extension spring pulls garage door cables up through a series of pulleys, lifting the garage door easily.
Garage Door Extension Springs are generally used for smaller, lighter doors. Extension springs are limited in the amount of weight they can lift compared to stronger torsion springs. Garage Extension Springs should always be installed with safety cables. This style of garage door spring can be extremely dangerous when they break. Without safety cables installed, when the garage extension spring finally breaks, the stored energy will turn it into a projectile, launching it at high velocity throughout your garage.
Garage extension springs are known for the damage they cause when they break loose. Luckily, the majority of these garage door springs only cause property damage. Smashing through car windows, ceilings, or dry wall. Unfortunately though, they have been known to hit a person, causing serious bodily damage. If you have this style of garage door spring in your home, be sure to have a trained garage door technician come out and inspect it for wear and tear, as well as safety cables.
Garage Door Torsion Springs
Garage door torsion springs sit above your garage door with a long metal torsion tube running through the center of them. Torsion springs are designed to lift more weight and provide a more balanced lift to your garage door. The larger double doors will generally have two garage torsion springs, while the single garage doors will usually have a single torsion spring. This style of garage door spring is also much more safe for a homeowner when the torsion spring breaks. Homeowners will usually hear a loud bang, or your garage door won’t go up more than a foot high.
With one garage door torsion spring broken, the other torsion spring will usually not be strong enough to lift a garage door on its own. Even if it could, it is extremely dangerous to operate a double garage door with just one single torsion spring. When a torsion spring does break, the garage door will only be held up by the garage door opener. The weight of the garage door could easily cause the garage door opener to fail and allow the garage door to come crashing down.
No matter which style of garage door spring your system uses, it is strongly recommended to replace both of your garage door springs at the same time. Much like the tires on your car, replacing only one can cause imbalance and poor performance. Homeowners should have their garage door springs inspected by a trained professional annually to ensure proper balance and lubrication. Call us today for a free inspection!