Why You Could Be Encountering a Problem with the Springs If Your Garage Door Refuses to Open

Posted on: 6 November 2017

There are many different pieces of equipment around your home that you naturally tend to take for granted. When everything is working okay, you don't even notice their functionality, but when things go wrong, your life can suddenly grind to a halt. This is certainly the case when it comes to the operation of your garage door, as if you are inside and it refuses to work, you're not going anywhere very quickly. If you're in this situation, you could be encountering an issue with the all-important springs that sit above the door. What are these and why are they so crucial?

How Everything Should Work

In a typical home with a two-car garage, the door of the garage itself is quite a substantial object. It is, after all, meant to provide a barrier, an element of protection and security all at the same time. It's not surprising, therefore, that these doors weigh a significant amount and need some assistance to open and close properly.

All of this is part of an unobtrusive process as soon as you activate the garage door opener – or should be. If the springs that sit on top of the door are not working while the central pulley starts to wind into its housing, it simply won't have the strength to retract it.

Different Spring Types

Typically, you will find one of two different types of spring attached to the mechanism, and these store and release a sufficient amount of energy to enable the heavy door to be lifted properly.

If you have a torsion spring, it will unwind and allow the tension stored within it to turn the central shaft. This will enable the cables to wrap around the drums seamlessly. When it is time to lower the door, the cables are released from within the drums and the spring winds itself back up so that it is at full tension.

However, you may have an older type of system which works through an extension spring. You will see these on either side of the garage door as opposed to on top, and they work together in tandem through a system of pulleys and cables that are counterbalanced. As the tension is gradually released, the extension springs will contract and allow the garage door to open.

What Can Go Wrong

Over time, these springs can deteriorate, and a certain amount of corrosion may build up on the surface. It's very important to ensure that they are adequately maintained so that they do not suddenly fail and "trap" you in your car. Also, in rare occurrences the springs themselves can break and this could release the entire weight of the door down to the ground without any notice.

How to Proceed

If you've noticed some hesitation in the recent past, or the system seems to be making some odd noises when it is working, then you need to get in touch with a maintenance expert to help you. If the door is in the closed position but will not open, you should not attempt to force it as this could be dangerous, but should call out the technician instead.

For more information about garage door maintenance, contact a local professional.