Given enough time and use, your garage door springs will eventually wear out. However, you don't have to wait until you've experienced a catastrophic failure before having them replaced. Instead, you can use the following preventative steps to ensure your garage door springs aren't at their limit. With these steps, you can avoid the possibility of damage to your garage or serious injury to you when dealing with garage door springs.
Check the Date of Installation
Although it sometimes feels like your garage door hardware can last forever, it's actually designed to last for only a relatively short period of time. Garage door spring lifespans are usually measured according to cycles – opening or closing a garage door usually counts as a cycle. Most garage door extension springs are designed to last for 10,000 cycles. Torsion springs, on the other hand, offer up to 20,000 cycles due to their sturdier construction. If you open and close your garage door 4 times a day, you can expect around 7 years of use before you have to replace your garage door springs.
This is why it's important to check the exact date you had your garage door springs replaced, if you replaced them yourself or oversaw a contractor replacing them on your behalf. A good practice is to have yourself or your contractor write down the date of the installation somewhere on or near the garage door spring itself for easier reference.
If you've never replaced your garage door spring or can't remember when you had it replaced, don't fret. You can use the following tips to determine whether or not your garage door springs are overdue for a replacement.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Rust
Rust is the enemy of practically everything made of metal, and your garage door springs are no exception. The oxidation process gradually eats away at the metal, weakening it until it's no longer able to support itself. This can create a dangerous situation when it comes to your garage door springs – rusty springs can snap apart with little warning since they can no longer withstand the tension they're under.
Rust not only weakens the garage door springs with time and lack of preventative care but also adds extra friction as the springs move during garage door operation. This also adds extra wear and tear on the springs.
If you spot rust on your springs, you should have the springs replaced as soon as possible. Coating the springs with white lithium spray grease can help prevent rust from forming, as it provides a barrier between moisture and bare metal.
Keep Your Ears Open for Odd Noises
A noisy garage door is one that needs a little TLC. While some noises indicate loose fasteners and other components that can be tightened up, readjusted or isolated with rubber washers, other sounds may warrant replacing certain components. For instance, constant popping and creaking sounds may indicate garage door springs that are nearing the end of their useful life.
You can temporarily quiet these sounds by applying more lubricant to the springs. However, it's likely that the problem will gradually come back on its own. If you want to deal with the problem permanently, you'll have to replace the garage door springs.
Put Your Garage Door Springs to the Test
Sometimes you need a hands-on approach when it comes to checking your garage door springs. First, make sure your garage door is closed. If you have a garage door opener, make sure it's disconnected by pulling the emergency release cord.
Next, lift the garage door open by 2 to 3 feet and then release the door. If the springs are still in good shape, the garage door should stay in place without sinking back to the ground. If the springs are worn out, the door will start to sag after you let it go.
For more advice or to have your springs replaced professionally, contact experts like Academy Door & Control Corporation.