7 Warning Signs of Broken Garage Door Springs
Garage door issues can cause immediate and inconvenient changes to your daily routines. In some cases, garage door problems can even pose safety hazards for you and your family, especially when those issues affect the controlled operation of the door as it opens and closes manually or automatically.
Garage door springs are some of the most likely components to fail, especially when the springs in question are aged, low quality, or corroded. These springs are the parts primarily responsible for keeping the tension necessary for your garage door to lift and lower at a steady speed.
When garage door springs break, many homeowners worry that they’re facing a full door repair. Luckily, when you have the springs replaced promptly, this drastic measure usually isn’t necessary.
Knowing the signs of a failed spring can ensure that you have the issue handled without potentially causing other damage by attempting to use the door normally. In this blog, we list seven common warning signs of broken garage door springs.
1. Automatic Opener Won’t Fully Raise the Door
Garage door springs take the vast majority of the door’s weight off of the opening system to allow for smooth operation. When newer automatic openers sense that the weight is off, a safety measure known as opener force activates.
Opener force keeps the mechanism from pulling the door higher than approximately half a foot off of the ground. This measure prevents the broken spring from burning out the opener system or causing the door to fall unexpectedly.
2. Door Closes Too Fast
If your opener system does not have a built-in opener force safety feature or the opener force feature fails to activate, the opener may continue to operate mostly as normal. However, the excess weight of the door may keep the mechanism from lowering it at a controlled speed.
Instead, you may notice that your garage door crashes to the ground or lowers significantly faster than usual.
3. Door Opens Crookedly
Your garage door can have two different types of springs: torsion or extension. The torsion spring runs parallel to the bottom of the door, while the two extension springs run perpendicular to the torsion spring on either side of the garage door.
When one extension spring breaks, one side of the door gets pulled upward more quickly than the other. This imbalance may make your garage door lift crookedly.
4. Loud Snapping Noise Comes From Garage
Garage door springs can break even when the door isn’t actively being operated. When a spring snaps while the door is closed and not attempting to open, homeowners may hear the issue rather than see it.
You may notice a banging or snapping sound from your garage when the spring breaks.
5. Operation Comes With Lots of Noise
As springs wear out, normal use puts significantly more strain on the affected springs than it should. This extra pressure can result in unusual noises that may sound like your garage door complaining every time it opens or closes.
Failing springs may groan, pop, or squeal. Certain garage door noises can have multiple causes, so look for the other symptoms on this list and have an expert assess the door to eliminate other potential explanations for your noisy door.
6. Springs Have Gaps
When a torsion garage door spring snaps in the middle, the two sides of the spring separate from each other and leave a visible gap that is sometimes several inches wide. This occurs because torsion springs have lots of room to stretch during normal operation, which gives them more room to separate when they break.
If you suspect that you have a broken torsion spring, close your garage door and locate the spring. If you see any gaps in the spring, it has snapped and will need to be replaced.
7. Springs Look Rusty or Stretched Out
Visible spring problems are not always as obvious as wide gaps. In some cases, failed springs may simply appear rusty or seem like they haven’t coiled back up the way they should after use.
When you look at the torsion spring to detect any gaps, examine all three springs to look for any visual indicators that the springs are not in good condition. If you notice any strange characteristics, have a professional evaluate the springs for potential issues, including progressive weakness or complete failure.
If you notice any combination of the telltale signs listed above, have a garage door expert assess your garage door and replace the affected spring. This visit can also provide an opportunity to detect and address other potential issues early.
If you suspect that a torsion or extension spring has broken, don’t attempt to use your garage door as usual. Instead, schedule a repair as soon as possible to eliminate the risk of property damage and injury related to this issue.
For comprehensive garage door services, including installation of some of the highest quality door springs currently on the market, trust Plano Overhead Garage Door.