If your garage door doesn't slide up and down as smoothly as it used to, there might be a problem with the springs. Garage door springs wear out with use and age. The more you use the garage door, the quicker the springs wear out. Plus, if you accidentally run into your garage door with the car, it can affect the springs. If you hear a loud pop, that could be due to a spring breaking. Most of the time, you'll have to look for other signs of worn-out springs. Here is what to look for.
Space Between The Coils
There are two types of garage door springs. One type is mounted on the wall above the garage door. The other is mounted above the track. You may even have more than one spring. If you have two, there may be one on each side of the door. While you shouldn't try to handle or repair a garage door spring yourself, you can visually inspect the coils for damage. The springs should be wound tight. When a spring pops, a coil separates, so you can see a gap where one shouldn't be. You can also look for signs of fraying or other obvious damage. You may not be able to tell by looking if your springs are bad, so if you have any concerns, you should call a professional to check them out to be on the safe side.
The job of garage door springs is to counteract the force of gravity and pull your garage door up easily and smoothly. You should be able to slide it up by hand or by using the remote. When the springs start to wear out, they become unbalanced. This can cause jerky movement with the door. Having unbalanced springs doesn't necessarily mean the springs are so bad they have to be replaced. Instead, the contractor may be able to adjust the springs so they work normally. Springs become unbalanced through frequent use and due to temperature changes. You may need to have them serviced every few years to correct this problem, even if you don't need to change the springs.
Slipping In The Track
Another sign of a weak spring is slipping in the track. You can do a test of the strength of the spring by closing the door halfway and then letting go of it. The door should stop instantly. If it slides down further, it's a sign you need the springs checked. You want to do this as soon as possible because if a spring pops, you won't be able to open the door, since it is too heavy to operate without a spring, and your car might get stuck inside.
If you have two springs, it's possible only one will go bad. When the contractor makes repairs, he or she will probably make the recommendation to replace both springs at the same time. This is done so they wear out evenly. Otherwise, your door might become unbalanced and struggle to operate. Your door might also become uneven if one spring is tighter than the other. You can avoid these problems by putting on two new springs at once, even if only one has broken.
For more information on garage door repair, contact a company like Garage Doors Of Naples Inc.