Your garage door is a critical entry point into your house. If it starts to malfunction, it could jeopardize not only your home’s security, but also your family’s safety. Garage doors are heavy—up to several hundred pounds, in fact. And what bears the brunt of all that weight on a daily basis? The springs. They’re what make it possible for your garage door to open automatically despite its weight. The last thing you want is to continue using a garage door whose springs are starting to fail and are in need of repair—a common enough occurrence in places where temperatures are known to drop below zero on the regular, such as Spokane Valley and Missoula. But how can you tell if this is the case? At NationServe, we’ve dealt with more than our fair share of broken and faulty garage door springs and know exactly what this type of problem looks like. Read on to find out how to determine whether your garage door springs are in need of some TLC or visit our troubleshooting page for answers to other common concerns.

What do you mean by “springs,” exactly?

There are two main kinds of garage door springs: torsion springs and extension springs.

  • Torsion springs are usually attached to the wall above the garage door. They use torque to raise the door; in other words, they slowly twist and coil around a shaft when force is applied (when you hit the opener button, for instance). Torsion springs are typically used with very large, heavy doors.
  • Extension springs are the most common type of garage door spring. They’re typically located on both side of the door, above the upper horizontal tracks. Rather than twist around a shaft, they extend, or stretch, when force is applied. This means that they require safety cables to prevent them from bouncing around as dangerous projectiles in the event of a failure.

BrokenGarageDoorOpener.jpg?mtime=20180626102854#asset:5123:c840x630

How can I tell if my garage door springs are faulty?

Now that you know where the springs on your garage door are located and what they do, it’s time to take a closer look at them for signs of trouble. It’s always best to call in the pros to take care of your garage door service needs, but if you’d like to do our own investigation first, here are eight surefire signs that you have faulty springs:

1. Safety cables appear broken
As we mentioned earlier, your garage door’s extension springs need to be restrained by safety cables to protect you and your belongings in the event of a spring failure. If you notice the safety cables hanging low to the ground, or flailing about every which way when you open and close the door, get them replaced right away.

2. Garage door raises a few inches, then stops
If your door goes up around six inches but refuses to budge beyond that, a faulty spring might be to blame. Modern garage door openers prevent the door from opening any further if the spring is broken.

3. Someone noticed a loud noise coming from the garage
It’s a common scenario: you’re puttering about your house, minding your own business, when suddenly, BANG!—you hear a worrying noise coming from your garage. Upon further investigation, you see that no one tried to break in and nothing seems amiss—until you look at your garage door springs, that is.

4. There’s a sizeable gap in the torsion spring
This one is pretty easy to spot: if you notice a sizeable gap in your torsion spring, it needs to be replaced or repaired pronto.

5. The top of the door is bent
Your garage door springs bear the weight of the door itself. If one of the springs becomes faulty and can no longer offer its full support, the top section of the door might cave in under its own weight.

6. Door falls too fast when you close it
Without the support of all its springs, your garage door might come crashing down when you close it instead of gently lowering itself to the ground.

7. Door won’t open manually
If you pull on the red emergency cord that hangs from your garage door opener and are unable to open it in manual mode, a broken spring is likely at fault.

8. Door seems jerky or crooked when operating
If only one of your garage door’s extension springs is broken, the weight of the door will be unevenly distributed. This might cause it to appear jerky or crooked when you open and close it.

CarriageHouse-9400-charleston-HIGH.jpg?mtime=20180626102912#asset:5125:c840x630

If you notice any of the above symptoms of a faulty garage door spring, don’t wait to have it fixed. Malfunctioning garage doors are a huge safety hazard that you definitely don’t want looming over your home and family.Thankfully, America’s garage door experts at NationServe are here to help. In addition to carrying a wide selection of Wayne Dalton garage doors, we offer garage door repair services to clients in Spokane Valley, Missoula, and 14 other locations across the country.