Most springs last longer than you would think. It’s not as much about the age of the spring(s), but the total life cycles of opening and closing your door. Many professional garage door technicians see springs that are old but continue to work fine because the total number of cycles over the life of them may not be as high as a family of four with multiple drivers and young children. Springs like all garage door parts are mechanical and every open/close of a door adds another tick to the life cycle.
Does the type of door affect the spring(s)?
For sure. An aluminum door is light and puts less strain on the opener and springs. A heavy door (e.g. wood) that is opened/closed multiple times a day will last half the time of the lighter door. Springs have specific weight limitations. If your springs are at the threshold, or close to their maximum weight because you have a very heavy door it’s going to break sooner. It’s really simple physics, a lighter door requires less effort to raise and lower. The industry standard is about 10,000 cycles on a residential door before the spring(s) or door opener needs to be replaced which on average is about ten years.
Can you extend the life of your springs?
You can, but I’d rather say you can prevent fast-aging or excessive wear on your springs by performing regular routine door maintenance. Think of someone with AFib in their heart. AFib is an irregular rhythm that causes the heart to beat faster than a normal beat that causes poor blood flow. Left alone it will eventually cause some type of cardiac event. However, there are medicines like the ads we constantly see on television that put the heart into a regular rhythm which reduces their chances of a cardiac event. It doesn’t eliminate the risk, but it extends their life. No, I’m not a doctor, ha, ha. Your garage door will eventually break down at some point. However, by having it regularly serviced by a trained technician you can minimize wear and tear which in most cases does extend its life.
What is a typical routine service?
Experienced, reputable and trained technicians will operate your door and perform a total inspection before they do anything. The most important thing they will do is to observe and test your door safety such as auto-reverse and the photocells that detect a child, or bike so the door stops and reverses if someone breaks the photocell perimeter while the door is in operation.
They will inspect the door operation to see what is working, what is not and what it needs. This includes inspecting the belt/chain drive on the opener, opening and closing the door to inspect the operation of the springs, rollers, pulleys, cables, and other moving parts. The tech will listen to the door operation to see if they hear any abnormalities in operation. The tech will clear your tracks of debris and lubricate them along with the springs and other moving parts. They will tighten loose parts, and make sure the door is balanced. The tech will also observe any loose, or damaged panels affecting the operation of the door.
What about one spring versus two springs?
That’s a great question. Most of today’s aluminum doors on new homes have only one spring. It’s cheaper for the builder and the doors are lighter than the ones we had 20 years ago. Having two springs puts less strain on each of them. Where you had one spring lifting all of the weight it wears faster. An additional spring means they are sharing the weight equally. It only takes half the effort to wind each spring. Another advantage is if a single spring breaks you are stuck with no garage door movement. However, having a second spring is like having garage door opening capability insurance. The door will continue to operate until you can have it serviced by a professional. However, if both springs break you will need to replace both.
At Carolina Garage Door Service, Inc., we have been replacing and repairing residential and commercial garage doors for 30+ years. We are a family-owned and operated company. We live in Low Country and serve the coastal counties of Horry/Georgetown, SC, and Brunswick, NC, and cannot afford for our neighbors to have a bad repair or installation. As homeowners we understand what customers want: a fully functioning and operating door/opener. Call us today and let our tenured and experienced garage door technicians analyze your garage door situation and make recommendations in writing with no double-speak, or hidden language. We care about our reputation.