Although you may not have thought about them over the past couple years, your garage door springs have been used on a daily basis. Each time you cycle your door, your torsion springs provide the energy required to lift your heavy door up and into your garage—and they're capable of doing so for 15,000 to 20,000 cycles. However, if your garage door assembly has any of these three problems, then your springs are likely to break prematurely.
Frayed or Broken Cables
The power created by your torsion springs travels to the drums on each side of your assembly. As your springs wind, they'll spin your drums—which will in turn pull the cables connected to your bottom panel.
Just like a chain, the weakest point of your counterbalance system will break first. Although your cables are made of a thick metal, they're still susceptible to fraying. Heavy usage, items that fall in your garage, your vehicle, and corrosion can cause your cables to fray.
Once a cable begins to fray, it will become extremely problematic. If the remaining portion of the cable becomes too weak to handle the tension of your springs and the weight of your door, then it will snap.
When your cable snaps, it won't only whip around and become a hazard to nearby people and objects. It will also leave the task of lifting your entire garage door to the only remaining spring and cable assembly. Unless you have springs that are capable of tolerating a far greater load than your door, then your remaining operational spring will sustain serious damage as the weight of your door reverses the cycling process and your door slams to the ground.
If your remaining spring still manages to cycle your door, then you might not even notice that one of your cables broke. In such a case, continued use of your door will cause your operational spring to sustain heavy wear until the other cable and spring are repaired.
Excessive Lift Power
Although your garage door opener leaves the heavy lifting to your springs, it still provides power that guides your door as it cycles. Since garage door openers are universal, your opener's lift power and downforce must be optimized for your specific assembly.
If your opener's lift power isn't dialed in for the weight of your door, then it can cause your door to open further than it's designed to—an issue referred to as overtravel. When this happens, your springs will wind extremely tight and lose a large amount of elasticity during each cycle.
Luckily, when your door experiences overtravel, your top rollers will typically create a loud noise as they slam against the end of your guide tracks. If you notice this noise, then slightly reduce the lift power of your opener until it no longer causes your door to overtravel.
Just like any other metal item, your springs are susceptible to corrosion damage. Although you may think of your garage as a sealed environment, there are several ways your springs can begin corroding. Humidity from a laundry machine, coastal air containing a high volume of salt, and leaks in your garage roofing will allow rust to begin eating away at your springs.
If you don't already see visible corrosion on your springs, then you can protect them by regularly wiping them clean with a rag and coating them with a rust inhibitor spray. However, if they're already corroding, then they'll need to be replaced.
If your door assembly has frayed cables, experiences overtravel, or has corroding springs, then hire a professional technician to perform the necessary repairs if you're not able to perform them yourself. Visit http://planooverhead.com to learn more about garage door repairs.