Garage doors have two spring systems: torsion and extension spring systems. These systems are fortified by cables which roll over pulleys onto a drum to support the weight of the door and act as a safety measure in case the springs snap/break. These cables are built to be strong but flexible, given the weight of the garage door. As with any moving part, wear on your cables is inevitable, but proper maintenance can slow down this process. Read on to learn more.

Torsion spring system maintenance 

It is important to know whether your garage door has a torsion spring or an extension spring system because each presents different dangers in case of wear and replacement. Torsion systems will have one or two springs above the door, running parallel to the direction of movement. Its cables wind around two drums found at either end of the springs. They are usually straight, running from the drum to the connection point found at the bottom of the door. When the springs unwind, cables are pulled up and around each drum.

Torsion cables have few maintenance needs, but they should be regularly inspected for wear and tear. Be on the lookout of fraying and kinks on the cable. In case of frays, delve deeper to determine possible causes, like protrusions along the cable movement pathway. If you can safely remove it, do so to avoid more damage. The cables should also be lubricated with recommended garage door cable lubricants – heavy lubricants attract dirt and debris, and these can in turn hasten wear on the cable.

If either spring or cable breaks, do not attempt to make any repairs yourself; torsion spring systems hold a lot of stored tension, and you can easily and even fatally hurt yourself.

Extension spring system maintenance

Extension systems are usually mounted parallel to the tracks, and have a pulley system that facilitates lifting of an overhead garage door. When the door is overhead, there is little weight on the extension cables, and tension can be released on the springs more easily. Therefore, the door must be raised and secured there before you can try any repairs.

Like torsion cables, extension springs need to be inspected regularly for kinks and frays, and cleaned and lubricated to prevent frictional damage. With extension springs, however, pulleys should also be inspected as they are also prone to wear and damage over time. You can carry out regular maintenance activities like cleaning and lubrication yourself. In case of replacement, however, it is better to call in professionals trained to handle such repairs. However, with frequent inspection and maintenance, you can keep the system working for years before replacement is needed.