At the very least, your garage door is cycled twice per day: when you begin your morning commute, and when you finally arrive home. However, if you also have errands to run, storage boxes to move, or lawn tools to wheel out of the garage, then you can easily find yourself cycling your garage door several times a day. To ensure that these daily cycles don't cause your torsion springs to wear out before they reach their life expectancy (about 15,000 to 20,000 cycles), add these maintenance tasks to your routine inspections and repairs.
Ensure Good Cable Condition
The torsion stored in your springs is transferred to your garage door by the cables on each side of your door assembly. These cables are made from durable, braided steel, but they are still susceptible to various forms of damage and malfunctions.
If your cables don't retain sufficient tension throughout the cycling process, which will occur if they're misaligned or uneven, then they will knock against various components of your garage door assembly as they guide your door into the open or closed positions. As a result, the shielding around the braided cable will break and allow the steel threads of the cable to become frayed.
If your cables experience significant fraying, then they become susceptible to snapping. Since your door can weigh several hundred pounds (depending on its material), the stress your cables experience throughout a regular cycle can prove to be too much for a damaged cable.
If a cable snaps in the middle of a cycle, then the corresponding torsion spring will immediately recoil. As a result, the shock the spring experiences from a drastic change in tension will cause it to lose a large amount of elasticity. This same problem can be caused by a misaligned cable that slips off its drum during the cycling process.
By regularly inspecting your cables for signs of damage or misalignment, you will have an opportunity to replace a damaged cable well before it becomes prone to snapping.
Arrange For Periodic Adjustments
Each cycle your torsion springs experience causes them to lose a minute amount of elasticity. Although you won't notice the loss in elasticity from one cycle to the next, the gradual loss of elasticity from thousands of cycles will cause a noticeable increase in cycling duration.
As your springs continue to bear the same load with less and less elasticity, they'll begin to lose even more elasticity per cycle. If you continue to cycle your garage door without tightening your springs, the lost elasticity will drastically reduce the lifespan of your springs.
However, torsion spring adjustment isn't a job for the average homeowner. Even while significantly worn, your torsion springs retain enough power to cause serious injury or even death if handled incorrectly. For this reason, you must always leave the task of adjusting your torsion springs to a professional garage door technician.
Whenever two metal objects make contact, they're capable of causing surface damage. Since your torsion spring consists of dozens of coils that spin and make contact with each other every time your door is cycled, they will grind against each other and compromise the integrity of your spring if they aren't constantly lubricated.
However, since your garage is a dusty and dirty environment, you won't be able to use just any lubricant on your springs. Oil-based lubricants typically attract dust and debris. However, silicone and lithium lubricants provide similar levels of protection without making your garage any more messy.
If you haven't inspected or replaced your cables, had your torsion springs recently adjusted, or kept your springs lubricated, then don't wait any longer to do so—your springs will only sustain more wear every day that you wait. For more information, you can contact a local garage door spring repair company.