Garage Door Springs

Have you ever come home from running errands only to discover that your garage door won't open or will only open partially, no matter how many times you hit the remote opener? While this can be a frustrating experience, especially if the garage door was performing fine when you left the home, it's often a sign of one of the most common garage door issues - broken or damaged springs. 

Garage door springs are actually a part of the garage door itself. In a nutshell, their main purpose is to make it easier to open and close the door, whether it's an opener performing the task or it is being performed manually. While springs are designed to last, many factors play a role in their deterioration. First, there's the regular opening and closing that is involved every time the garage door is activated. It's estimated that a garage door installed on an average home opens and closes about 1,500 times each year - activity that certainly takes its toll on the springs. Secondly, weather also plays a role in spring deterioration, as fluctuations in temperature and humidity can weaken springs over time. 

How to Install Garage Door Springs

There are two main types of springs used on garage doors - torsion springs and extension springs. Torsion springs are generally considered more difficult to replace than extension springs, but any type of spring replacement comes with its dangers. Most notably, the biggest threat involved in spring repair is one's personal safety. Because the springs are under tension, one errant move or mistake could cause serious bodily harm - not to mention more extensive garage door damage - for the inexperienced do-it-yourselfer. That said, here's an overview on how to replace garage door springs:

  • Disconnect the garage door from the opener. Ensure that the garage door is closed.
  • Gather tools: You're likely to need vise grips, a wrench and winding bars. 
  • Measure: Next, you'll want to measure your old springs and make sure the new ones are the same size. Stand them up on the inside of the garage door to gauge proper fit.
  • Unwind the old springs: The first thing you need to do is unwind the springs. You should ensure that you're keeping clothing and body parts away from the spring during the unwind for safety purposes. Additionally, you should always expect the spring to break during the unwind.
  • Replace: After loosening the torsion hardware, it's time to replace the springs. Conclude the step by reinstalling the torsion hardware and tightening accordingly.
  • Wind the springs: The final step is winding the springs. You'll wind different numbers of turns at certain sub-steps within this process. Following installation, reconnect the garage door to the opener.

As you can see, it's a complicated repair, and this is just a short overview of the process. 

Cost of Repair

Due to the complicated nature of the repair - not to mention the dangers involved with it - many homeowners are better leaving this task to the professionals. It also happens to be a fairly affordable repair. Springs cost anywhere from $75 to $135, and labor is about $75 for each job. The repair can be completed quickly and efficiently by a trained professional, meaning homeowners can have their door back operating immediately.