Knoxville Garage Door Blog

Sticky Garage Door? How Your Springs Affect Your Door's Performance

Your garage door springs are an important part of the entire door system. You need to understand how they work and impact your door and its performance, and why looking after your springs is vitally important.

How do Garage Door Springs Work?

Garage door springs are called torsion springs. When the door is closed, they are under tension. Once you unlatch the door, the springs release tension and the energy raises the door. The door is then closed using a motor. This allows your several hundred pound garage door to be opened with a touch of a button.

Properly-fitted springs ensure that your door is balanced and easy to lift, reducing the amount of energy needed to open and close the door (and saving you money). Springs are also part of how your door opens smoothly and quietly.

Signs of Worn-Out or Damaged Springs

Here are some indications that your springs may no longer be working properly:

  1. Squealing, droning, or popping sounds when the door is opened or closed.
  2. Visible gaps in the springs.
  3. The door sticking when opened or closed.
  4. It takes longer to open or close the door, indicating the motor is struggling.
  5. The door sagging, drooping, or opening and closing in a lopsided manner. The latter indicates that the spring on one side is weak.
  6. A whining sound from the electric motor.
  7. Visibly loose cables.
  8. The door does not open or close all the way.

All of these are signs that your springs need attention and may need to be replaced. As the springs age, one big consequence is that the motor will struggle. This will result in an increase in your utility bill and runs the risk of the motor burning out and having to be replaced. Worn out springs also put strain on other parts of your garage door assembly, shortening its overall life. Longer opening time can delay you getting your car out of the garage, including in an emergency.

The door may become stuck in the open or closed position. Sometimes you may be able to manipulate the door manually, especially if you have a smaller garage, but this may not be possible with heavier two- and three-car garage doors. Pull the emergency release cord to send the door into manual operation with the door in the down position. Do not do this if the door is stuck open as it may rapidly close, potentially causing injury.

Finally, a broken spring can cause the door to unexpectedly close, which can also cause injury. About 30,000 people a year are injured by garage doors, although not all of these injuries are caused by broken springs.

When To Have Your Springs Checked

First of all, you should not attempt to repair or replace garage door springs yourself. It's tricky, requires special tools, and potentially dangerous...messing up can result in the door crashing down on you, a family member, or your car. Always call in a professional. It's a quick task that won't cost you much.

If you see any of the signs of a worn out spring above, call a professional right away. The longer you leave it, the more likely there will be damage to your motor or some other part of the assembly, and the higher risk of the door getting stuck.

Springs can be expected to last 3 to 5 years, but this can be shorter if you use your garage a lot or have a larger garage. You should, however, have them inspected and potentially adjusted once a year. Properly adjusted springs will last longer and run smoother, reducing your utility bill and extending the life of your door. It's also a good idea to periodically visually inspect your springs. There should be no gaps in the coil.

If you need spring inspection or suspect that your door springs have a problem, contact Overhead Door of Knoxville now for professional inspection and adjustment.