Dealing With Broken Garage Door Springs? Here's What You'll Want To Know

The majority of garage door failures can be traced back to the garage door springs. The springs provide the mechanical assistance needed to open and close the garage doors with minimal effort. If and when these springs break, the simple act of opening and closing the garage door can put more strain on you (or your garage door opener, if you have one equipped).The following information offers some pointers on garage door spring repair.

DIY or Professional?

The first step toward repairing your garage door springs is deciding whether you want to handle the job yourself or enlist the help of a professional. Having a professional replace your garage door springs is the safer and easier choice, especially when dealing with torsion spring replacements.

However, expert service can cost a pretty penny. The average estimates for a garage door spring replacement range from $175 to as much as $600.

Should You Replace One Spring or Both?

Garage doors that use extension springs will always use two springs – one mounted above the horizontal track for each side of the garage door. This allows both sides of the door to be raised and closed evenly. It's always a good idea to replace both springs at the same time, if only for the following reasons:

  • After replacing one spring, there's no telling when the other may fail. It could be days, weeks or even months before the other spring fails. Replacing both gives you greater peace of mind and saves you the time and expense of performing the replacement process a second time.
  • If you only replace one spring, there may be enough of a tension difference between the old and new springs to make the doors open and close unevenly. This could even cause the doors to bind up and get stuck on the track.

The same applies to torsion springs, but only if the garage door is equipped to use two springs. Most garage doors are set up to use a single torsion spring, but it's not unusual to see garage doors built with two torsion springs. Having dual springs is essential for garage doors made from or reinforced with heavier materials. Dual springs also help spread out the workload across the two springs, giving them better longevity while eliminating the need for a single, heavy-duty spring.

Opening Your Garage Door with a Broken Spring

A broken garage door spring can easily leave your vehicle trapped in your garage. Fortunately, there's a way you can open the garage door if need be, but it requires a partner to get the job done safely. After all, a typical garage door constructed from steel can weigh between 200 to 350 pounds. Garage door springs help support this weight so the doors are much easier to open manually.

When the springs break, you might find opening the door on your own to be a herculean task. The following shows how you can open the door with the help of a partner:

  • Grab two six-foot step ladders and position each one on each side of the door.
  • Insert a pry bar under the corner of the door and pull up until you can your partner can grab the door by its bottom with your hands.
  • At this point, you and your partner should lift the door equally until it's fully open. Apply vice grips to the side of the track underneath the bottom roller to lock the door into place.
  • Slide the step ladders underneath the garage door. Remove the vice grips and, with your partner's help, carefully lower the door onto the ladders. You can reattach the vice grips underneath the bottom roller for added security.

The above will give you an opportunity to move your vehicle out of the garage, along with any other items that could get in the way of a garage door spring repair.