Types of Garage Door Springs—Torsion vs. Extension

It can be a scary moment when you hear the loud snap that accompanies garage door springs breaking. After that frightful noise, you have to think about repairing the overhead door springs. This might be even more frightening to some people because of all the unknowns. Is it repairable? How much will it cost? What kind of spring does my door need? Where can I even find companies that do garage door spring repair in Lansing?

All of these thoughts are common, and we understand your worries. Most door springs can be replaced or repaired by a qualified garage door technician. Our recommendation is that you definitely seek out a professional to get this job done because of the serious risks for personal injury and property damage involved with installing these parts. There are two types of garage door springs that are typically used for overhead rolling doors—torsion and extension springs. Here is information on how they both work and how to identify which kind you have so that you can let your servicer know what they can expect when they come to your house.

Torsion Springs

This is a tightly wound spring that uses torque to twist a bar attached to wheels and cables that help lift the heavy garage door up and overhead on a track. This process is called counterbalancing. You will recognize a torsion spring pretty easily because it looks like a giant compressed spring at the header inside your garage door. Sometimes they can be found at the back of the garage in older homes. This would be called “Read Mounted Torsion.” Torsion springs are generally meant to last around 10,000 to 15,000 open and close cycles. This comes out to about 5 to 10 years with regular use. Regular maintenance on your garage door can help identify when your spring looks like it is wearing out. Minor adjustments to the cables and wheels can also help extend the life of your door.

Extension Springs

The extension spring garage door system also uses pulleys and cables to help lift the door into place. The difference here is that extension springs are stretched out and found running right alongside the horizontal tracks that the door slides into above your head. Tension gets released as the door rolls up and the springs are not as taut. It’s recommended that a cable run through the center of the extension spring and get tied to some solid anchor overhead so that if the spring breaks, it doesn’t go flying off at a high force. This is an added measure of safety for this type of spring.

Either type of garage door spring will be great at getting the job done. Be sure to have regular maintenance by a certified professional done on your door to satisfy the warranty. If your garage door springs wear out prematurely, your warranty may cover replacement if you have kept a consistent maintenance schedule. If you do have to pay out of pocket for repairs, you can expect to pay for the cost of new parts and a labor or service call charge.