Going the Distance: Making Your Garage Door Springs Last Longer
The average garage door is surprisingly heavy, with most doors weighing 200 pounds or more depending on the materials they’re made from. Garage door springs are designed to support this tremendous weight so your arms or your garage door opener doesn’t have to take the brunt of the load while lifting or lowering the door.
Like everything else on a typical garage door, garage door springs can deteriorate, and they’ll eventually fail. The following shows how you can get the most out of your garage door springs and even extend that lifespan with a few helpful care and maintenance tips.
How Long Do Most Garage Door Springs Last?
Garage door lifespans are typically measured in cycles. Opening and closing your garage door as you leave for work or arrive home counts as one cycle. So it’s no surprise that the lifespans of garage door springs are also measured in cycles.
You may notice that garage door springs are often rated for a particular number of cycles. This number can vary depending on the type of spring being used, the materials it’s made from, and the overall quality of the component.
Extension springs typically have a shorter lifespan of around 10,000 cycles. If you use your garage door four times a day, it comes out to about seven years of use. On the other hand, torsion springs usually have a longer lifespan due to their larger size and more substantial construction. You can expect anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 cycles from a typical torsion spring.
What Affects Their Lifespan?
For starters, the type of materials and processes used to create the springs themselves can play a tremendous role in their overall longevity. For example, zinc galvanized torsion springs are designed to resist rust and corrosion, allowing them to last for several years. However, these springs tend to lose their tensile strength faster than ordinary oil-tempered springs, resulting in a shorter lifespan.
Rust is also an issue that can bring a garage door spring to failure sooner than expected. The formation of rust on the spring’s surface can cause the spring itself to become more brittle than usual. This can make the spring more prone to snapping apart suddenly as it’s placed under tension. This catastrophic failure can cause severe damage to nearby components and other objects, as well as severe injury to anyone nearby.
How often a garage door spring is lubricated can also determine how long it’ll last under regular use. Lubrication’s benefits are twofold—it provides a protective layer that shields the metal surface against rust-causing moisture and salts while reducing friction and heat generated during operation. Without proper lubrication, it’s possible for your garage door springs to wear out sooner than expected.
How Can You Make Springs Last Longer?
Replacing your garage door springs isn’t exactly a job for the faint-hearted or complete novices. Changing out torsion springs can be a highly dangerous job with serious consequences if the installer fails to follow instructions—to be safe, call a professional instead of attempting this task. For this reason alone, you may be wondering how you can extend the life of your garage door springs.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to safely squeeze a few more cycles out of your garage door springs:
- Keep rust and corrosion at bay. Regular lubrication plays a big role in preventing rust and corrosion, but it has to be done with the right lubricant. White lithium grease and silicone-based lubricants are ideal for protecting your garage door springs, hinges, and other garage door parts that regularly move.
- Keep your garage door properly balanced. An imbalanced garage door can cause the springs to stretch beyond their rated capacity, resulting in serious physical damage and a shortened lifespan. Too much or too little tension can also make your garage door harder to open and close.
- Keep road salt out of your garage. Road salt isn’t just a killer of automobiles—it can also do a number on unprotected garage door components, including your garage door springs. If your car is covered in road salt, consider keeping it parked outdoors in your driveway or curbside.
- Keep up with regularly scheduled maintenance. Having an experienced specialist check your garage door on a regular basis can help prevent a host of maintenance issues and ensure your garage door springs last longer.
You can also get a few more cycles out of your garage door springs simply by cutting your garage door usage. If you use your garage door eight times a day, reducing that usage to four times a day can increase your springs’ lifespan from three years to seven years. However, you should change your usage patterns only if it doesn’t interfere with your current routine.
If you ever need to replace your garage door’s springs, contact us at Raynor Door Company and we’ll be glad to help.