On average, a garage door torsion spring (the preferred type of spring for garage door openers) will last between 10 to 30 years, depending on the quality of the spring itself and how well it’s maintenanced. However, if you don’t properly maintain your springs then they will often break much sooner than they should. One potential cause of a broken garage door spring is rust that’s been allowed to get out of control.
Inspect Your Garage Door’s Springs When Seasons Change
Over time, your spring can accrue rust and become corroded. Eventually, this causes the spring to crack and completely break. The best way to stop this from happening is by preventing rust build up in the first place. You can keep tabs on your garage door spring by making a habit of checking its condition at the very least, annually. Spring is the perfect season to do this. Not only will the word “spring” remind you to check your springs, but it’s a natural time of year to clean out the garage and take inventory of things.
Preventing Rust Buildup on Your Torsion Springs
It’s always best to do preventative care on all your garage door’s parts, because having to get a new garage door is a pretty big cost. And springs are one of the most important parts, because they do most of the lifting and lowering work for the opener. A broken garage door spring hurts your door’s ability to move, but it’s also dangerous – if a torsion spring snaps when you’re closing the garage door, the door will come crashing down, possibly damaging your car or even hurting you or a family member. To avoid needing garage spring repair, you can prevent rust from collecting by applying a light coating of white lithium grease or silicone spray. You can also call a garage door repair company to perform quarterly tune-ups on the spring and other garage door parts.
What If There’s Already Rust on The Door’s Springs?
If you notice some rust buildup on your garage door springs, it is possible to clean it off, as long as the rust hasn’t been left long enough to have actually corroded the spring itself. If the springs are corroded (if it seems parts of it have been sort of “eaten away”), call a company that performs garage door service so no further damage occurs to your door or its opening system. But, if you’ve just got some light surface rust, you can (carefully) remove it yourself.
Cleaning the Rust off Your Garage Door Springs:
- First, use WD-40* or a solvent that’s appropriate for garage door parts to lightly coat the rusted area.
- Once you’ve applied the solvent, allow it to sit and penetrate through the rust.
- Note: Before cleaning your spring, make sure to wear eye and hand protection. Your springs are under significant tension and can be dangerous to tamper with. Also, make sure you never stick your hand into the spring itself. It’s always best to take these precautions, especially if you happen to find more damage than you thought you would.
- Once the solvent you applied has had time to soak into the rusted area, carefully scrub the rusty area using a wire brush or pad. Once clean, wipe off excess rust and solvent.
- Be sure to apply lubricant to the spring once finished. This will help the spring function with less friction and will also protect new rust buildup.
- Note: *WD-40 works well for cleaning and removing rust, but should not be used a lubricant. If you leave a coating of WD-40 on your springs, they may end up damaged.
What to do With a Corroded Garage Door Spring
If your garage door spring is significantly rusted to the point of corrosion, you should opt for a replacement instead. Corrosion means structural damage, making your garage door springs at risk of failing much earlier than they should. In this situation, it’s often best just to replace the spring entirely. Signs that the spring immediately needs replaced: the door jumps up and down, has trouble moving along the tracks, or makes loud noises. And whether you have extension springs or torsion springs, you can often easily see if the springs are stretched, warped or corroded. In this case, a Sacs Garage Door Repair technician can assess what type of spring your garage accommodates, and present you with options for replacement. Even better, they can replace the springs quickly, safely and properly so you don’t have to worry about living with the dangers of a broken garage door spring.
Don’t Slack on Your Garage Door Maintenance
Try to think of your garage door the way you think of your home’s water heater, furnace, oven, fridge, etc. These are all things you maintenance and pay attention to, because they’re things you need to function properly for your home to function properly. Well, so is your garage door. So, perform your own garage door maintenance regularly, and any time you have a concern, call Sacs for anything you need!