There's a lot riding on your garage door springs — and that's not meant as a metaphor, either. Those springs are literally tasked with supporting your entire garage door, which could weigh several hundred pounds, depending on the material it's built from. Handling that much weight day in and day out gives your garage door springs a finite lifespan.
Typical extension springs offer a life cycle of 10,000 opening and closing cycles, or roughly seven years of ordinary use, while torsion springs are capable of lasting a bit longer. If you're interested in giving your garage door springs a longer lease on life, take a look at the tips listed below.
Stay in Balance
Just as keeping your body and mind in balance can tremendously improve your overall health, keeping your garage door balanced can help prevent life-shortening wear and tear on the springs. Your garage door can fall out of balance over time, making it harder to open and close. It also places greater strain on other garage door equipment while posing a significant safety hazard for those nearby.
Both sides of your garage door must have equal tension at the springs in order to keep the door properly balanced. Occasionally, you may have to readjust the springs by adding or removing enough tension to balance things out on both sides. This is relatively easy to do on a garage door equipped with extension springs, but torsion springs may require a professional's touch due to the potential risks involved.
Watch Out for Rust
Rust is a killer of all things metal, including your metal garage door springs. Not only does it eat away at the metal, weakening the spring's structural integrity, but it also generates friction that can cause your springs to wear out faster. Once your springs begin to rust, there's little you can do aside from replacing the springs entirely.
Most garage door springs are oil-tempered from the factory to help combat this problem, while others are treated with a galvanized zinc coating. Both approaches have their own pros and cons, but regular lubrication remains an important step in preventing rust buildup. Keeping your garage door springs well-lubricated with white lithium grease or silicone-based lubricant can help prevent rust from forming.
If you live in an area where road salt is used during the winter, you may want to keep your car out of the garage until it's been thoroughly washed of any road salt residue. Road salts can mingle with lingering moisture in your garage, causing your garage door springs and other parts of your garage to develop rust.
Keep Up With Maintenance
Your garage door springs will eventually wear out, but regularly scheduled maintenance can help them last a bit longer. Keeping your garage door tuned up on a regular basis also benefits other parts of your garage door, resulting in smoother operation and less wear and tear on critical components. Giving your garage door some well-needed attention can also help you spot and resolve potential problems before they become too time-consuming and expensive to fix.
Whether you decide to do it on your own or have a professional handle the work, it's a good idea to have your garage door thoroughly inspected and maintained at least once a year.
Cutting back on your garage door usage can also extend the life of your garage door springs. If you find yourself opening and closing your garage door eight times a day or more, cutting that usage in half can boost your springs' working life by several years, depending on their type, quality, and current wear state. Keep in mind that this isn't an ideal solution for every homeowner, but it can help give your garage door springs some extra time before they're eventually replaced.
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