Garage door springs – when they work, you don't have to give them a second thought, but when they break, they can be a danger to your, your family and your property. If you want to be proactive about protecting you, your loved ones and your garage door, you need to know how to safely own, repair and replace your garage door springs. Here are five safety tips to keep in mind:
1. Opt for double rather than single torsion springs.
Garage doors have two sets of springs: torsion and extension. Torsion springs sit just above the closed garage door, and they traditionally come in singles or pairs. If your garage door is light weight, it may have only one spring, but if it is heavy, it needs two springs. Similarly, single doors may be fine with a single spring while doors for multiple stall garages may require two springs.
To ensure your garage door is as safe as possible, contact its manufacturer and see how many torsion springs the manufacturer recommends for your type of garage door. If they recommend two torsion springs and you only have one, contact a garage door repair person to add a second spring. Even if the manufacturer only recommends one spring, consider adding two to provide your door with greater stability. If you add a second one, make sure to move the first one so that they are spaced evenly.
2. Do not allow extension springs to wear unevenly.
Extension springs always come in pairs, and they hang just above the tracks on either side of your garage door. Extension springs are responsible for helping your garage door to go up and down evenly, but if one extension spring becomes more worn out than the other one, your garage door may also wear down unevenly. Eventually, it may even become crooked and refuse to close evenly, allowing snow, dust and dirt to enter your garage.
3. Add a cover to your extension springs.
While torsion springs are up and out of the way of fingers, extension springs are low enough to reach. To ensure that no one gets a finger pinched in one of these springs, consider covering them up with a piece of rubber or canvas or even a large piece of PVC pipe. You can buy premade covers, or you can make your own by wrapping a bit of foam around the springs.
4. Use extreme caution when repairing or replacing springs.
If you are relatively confident about home repairs, you may be able to repair or replace your own garage door springs. Before you start, make sure that you have the right type of springs. Buying ones that are too short can create a dangerous amount of tension, while buying ones that are too long makes your door loose.
Keep in mind that springs may fly off aggressively if you remove them incorrectly. While working on your springs, wear goggles to protect your eyes, and if possible, cover the glass and windows in your garage to protect them in case of flying springs. As the tension on the springs helps to hold the door down normally, clamp the door in place while working on it. That prevents it from flying up wildly and hurting you or getting damaged itself.
5. Have springs regularly serviced or repaired.
If you leave your garage door open and your springs get wet, they may get weak and rusty. As a result, they may just snap. Keep an eye on your springs to ensure that they are in decent shape, and if possible, have a qualified repair person from a company like Plano Overhead Garage Door look at them once in a while.