This is one spring break you'll never forget...

Spring break is supposed to be fun. Unfortunately, not all spring breaks are, especially when it's the spring on your garage door. When it breaks, you'll know it by the sound of a gunshot!

Once you've recomposed yourself and taken a moment to a look around, you might not even realize where the loud pop came from. It's not until you go to use your garage door again that you realize something isn't quite right. Instead of opening like normal, you hear a weird new noise. You look up and realize the problem—your lifting spring has snapped in half!

Broken garage door springs

How did this even happen? Was there something you could have done to avoid it? We've got all the answers you need and more, so keep reading, and we'll explain how and why lifting springs break.

Why the spring system matters

First things first, understanding a little bit about the spring system and what it does will help you out before making the repair. On a typical home garage door, there are two different spring systems:

1. Torsion Spring

The torsion spring can be found in a steel tube at the top of the door, where it's firmly attached to the wall. It helps to transfer the door's weight to the anchor plate, which is located at the center of the door. If your garage is a little smaller, the plate might be located at the end of the door track. When this happens, it's called a low headroom or double horizontal track.

2. Extension Spring

You can find the extension spring on the sides of the door. They are placed on top of the horizontal tracks. You might have already guessed it, but these springs extend outward to help the garage door lift and lower down. When properly installed by a professional, they will always have safety cables along with the springs.

Whenever a spring breaks, the cables prevent the spring from whipping back and breaking something more expensive in the garage or breaking off onto your vehicle.


In addition to helping lift and lower the door, the spring system also helps balance the door's total weight.

Though they might not look like it, garage doors are heavy and need a counterbalance to help the owner open them with just one hand. The spring system is the system that allows this to happen. Even on an electric garage door opener, you'll find that the doors are counterweighted. This is because the door opener is only doing what you could do by hand.

Remember, though, if the garage door opener can do its job with the same amount of force needed to open a door, it can also drop the door down with an equal amount of power. Therefore, be sure you're not in its way as the door comes down.

Why a lifting spring might break?

There's more than just one reason why a spring might break. These five are the most common:

1. Plain and simple...wear and tear

The life of a spring is a constant push and pull. No matter how well its taken care of, a spring won't last much more than five to seven years. In fact, the vast majority of door manufacturers build their products with 10,000-cycle spring systems.

This means the spring is only expected to last for 10,000 openings and closings. If you use the door even just four times a day, you'll round out to about 1,500 cycles every year. Much more than that and your spring will wear out even faster. To get the most out of your door, keep an eye out for 20 or 25,000-cycle springs.

2. The product is defective

We live in an imperfect world, and even manufacturers can put out a defective product. If your extension spring has broken, it's likely because the ring at the end of the spring snapped off. If it's the torsion spring, shoddy galvanizing could have caused the spring to rust and eventually break.

3. A miscalibration

From time to time, the part you get isn't the part you need. It might still fit, and it'll work in the short-term, but you're really just biding your time. The more stress put on the spring, the more likely it is to snap. Springs are only calibrated to work within a 5% variation, so if you have a spring designed for a 100 lbs door lifting 150lbs, it's only a matter of time before the spring breaks.

4. A harsh climate

Garages are boiling hot by summer and freezing cold by winter. Even if your garage is insulated, garage springs put up with some of the harshest environments in the house. They sit near exterior walls where moisture, heat, and cold collect. Even if galvanized up to 40%, a spring will slowly rust and break. In colder climates, the metal can even dry out, become brittle, and snap.

5. Poor maintenance

As with any mechanical part, garage door parts should be well maintained. Bi-annual lubrication of metal parts that touch one another will help extend their lives. Aim to oil your springs in winter when it's coldest and in the summer when it's the most humid.

Boost Your Spring System’s Lifespan Easily

Lubricate Once Each Year or when needed.

It’s easy, all you need to do is use a non-drip lithium base oil. Use a cloth or spray carefully and apply it completely around the coils.

Wipe off the excess and that’s all there is to it. Lubrication keeps the springs in better shape and can help to eliminate clinking noises in springs.

After few years the lubricant might pick up some dust, you can easily wipe it off and replace the lubricant.

Check with your garage door dealer to get the lubricants you’ll need.

Can't someone else do this instead of me?

If you're not much of a handyman, don't feel like you have to take on the work by yourself. If you call your local Garaga dealers, they can help you with their " Garage Door Tune-up " program just like you would get from a dealership when your car needs a tune-up.

Garage door specialist installing a spring

Are your springs starting to show their age?

Contact us now at 1-866-573-3667.

We handle garage doors and garage door openers with expertise rivaled by no one else. Whatever your problem, we'll help you find the solution without charging an arm or leg.

When you choose Midway Garage Doors, you know you're getting the best advice and products on the market. We'll even send you a quotation by email.

Maybe it's time for a new door altogether? With our mobile-friendly Design Centre, you can redesign your garage to find the right model for your house. All you need is a picture of your home, and you can even try out different designs.

For more ideas on what we can do to help you, go check out our Residential Garage Door Gallery.

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