If you're not quite sure how long it's been since your garage door was last serviced, you may be a bit wary of each creak or hitching movement you notice. Because a malfunctioning garage door can cause serious injuries if left unfixed, it's important to be proactive in diagnosing and repairing any potential issues. How can you know whether it's time to replace your garage door's extension springs? Read on to learn more about some of the telltale signs of wear and tear, as well as how to fix them (and when to enlist the help of a professional).
What can indicate your springs are in dangerous condition?
The springs are one of the primary workhorses of your garage door, absorbing hundreds of pounds of pressure each time the door is raised or lowered. You should periodically inspect your springs for any signs of damage, and replace them as quickly as possible to avoid a break that could send a flying piece of metal into your vehicle (or worse, into your body). Keep a particular eye out for the following:
- Rust or discolored spots that don't wipe off easily
- A change in the spring's coil pattern (like a stretched-out area)
- Stripping or loosening of the bolts attaching the spring to the door
Noisy or creaking springs may sound damaged, but are often just inadequately lubricated. However, if a heavy application of spray lubricant doesn't solve this issue, replacement is often the safest option.
Should you replace your garage door springs yourself?
Many modern garage door springs have safety features designed to prevent injury from a snapping spring or frayed cable -- but these features don't always mean it's safe for a homeowner who is inexperienced in garage door repair to attempt DIY replacement of tension springs. Those whose garage doors are (or are suspected to be) several decades old should also enlist professional help in replacing these springs, as the process of manually winding them could subject you to injury if the spring slips from your hands.
However, if you're determined to tackle the replacement of your garage door springs yourself, there are a few things you can do to increase the safety of this project. You'll first need to place a strong ladder beneath your garage door, allowing the door to rest on top of the ladder. You'll then want to unplug your garage door opener and pull the manual safety release lever, which will allow you to freely move your door back and forth. Finally, you'll want to firmly place a C-clamp on the tracks directly beneath the bottom of your garage door. These steps should prevent your door from closing or falling unexpectedly or launching a spring across the room.
For more information, contact a company like Crawford Door Company.