Garage Door springs are a key part of the operation of your garage door. Every time the garage door is opened or closed, the springs go to work and significantly aid in the lifting and closing ease of your garage door.
Torsion springs store mechanical energy like any other spring. They use a twisting or rotating motion created by their coiled metal form and store more energy than conventional springs due to the denser material they are made from.
Garage door torsion springs are usually mounted above the opening of your garage door in a horizontal position. The cables attached to the bottom corners of the garage door force the wind up of the springs when the garage door is closed so that when the door is lifted/opened, the springs then unwind, pulling the door up and reducing the amount of energy that would otherwise be required to lift it.
Because the garage door is lifted many times over time, the metal steel in the springs can weaken. Eventually, they may break and will no longer open the door. Rust and/or cold weather can affect the springs functioning as well. See article on testing springs.
Torsion springs generally last between five to seven years or approximately 10,000 cycles (opening and closing the door counting as one cycle). Therefore, for example, if you opening and close your garage door three times a day for 365 days a year, that would be close to 1,100 cycles for the year. At that rate, the springs should last about nine years!
If your garage door torsion spring does break or wear out, it can be very dangerous as the garage door can fall and injure someone. The most common danger, however, occurs then those not experienced attempt to fix it themselves. Due to the high amount of tension and coil power of torsions springs, even when worn or broken, removing them requires special tools and knowledge of the mechanics involved.
If handled incorrectly, repairing or replacing a torsion spring can cause life threatening injuries. So, if your garage door spring needs repair or replacement, it is highly recommended to call a professional. It is well worth the money to avoid the risk of injury to body or property.