Being a homeowner requires a lot of maintenance, and maintaining your garage door is just one piece of the puzzle. However, garage doors are big with a lot of moving parts, and if you don't know what you're doing, you could cause injury or damage. Check out these four tips for maintaining your garage door springs.

Determine What Type of Springs You Have

The first step to maintaining your garage door springs is to determine which type you use: extension or torsion. You can easily determine this by checking where your springs are located. With your garage door closed, look above the upper tracks (the ones connected to your ceiling). If you spot some long springs up there, you have extension springs. If you don't see any, check above the top of the closed garage door. If you have springs wrapped around a rod running parallel to the garage door, you have torsion springs.

Each type of spring has its own set of pros and cons. Extension springs are cheaper, but they aren't as durable as torsion springs. Torsion springs will last longer and offer more control than extension springs, but you will have to pay more.

Maintain the Garage Door Springs Annually

Your best bet is to maintain your garage door springs about once a year. Start by opening and closing your garage door a few times to see how it moves. If it hangs to one side, doesn't open at all or makes unusual sounds, it may indicate a problem with the springs.

The next step is to actually check the springs. You want to check the condition of the springs. Are they old and rusty? Are they becoming stretched and worn? Are they detached or loose? If the springs look like they are in good condition, you'll also want to determine if they need extra lubrication. If the springs look dry, they probably need more lubrication, so use an aerosol spray lubricant. This type of lubricant gets into every nook and cranny and won't create buildup.

Check for Safety Cables

Extension springs have cables than run through the center of them. This protects you and your belongings from injury or damage. If the spring becomes loose, the extension cord stops it from speeding across the garage. If your garage door uses extension springs, you'll want to check the safety cables to ensure they are still in good condition.

The first step is to make sure you actually have safety cables and that they are still connected. If you have torsion springs, don't worry. They don't have safety cables. Instead the rod on which they sit provides protection. Once you've identified the safety cables, check for fraying, which could lead to complete breakage in the future.

Don't Repair Springs or Cables Yourself

So, what if you spot something wrong with your springs or cables? If your safety cables are missing or frayed, it's extremely important you don't attempt to fix your springs or cables yourself. The springs are under a lot of pressure, and if they become loose, they can cause deadly injuries or severe damage. Without the safety cables, the chance of injury and damage increases.

However, even if the cables are in good condition, you'll have to remove them to remove the extension springs, increasing the danger. Even torsion springs with their protective rod may cause damage or injury if they become loose. Always play it safe and contact a professional instead of trying to do it yourself. You never know when something might go wrong.  

If you don't know what you're doing, repairing or replacing garage door springs and cables can be deadly. Instead of taking the risk, hire a professional. If your garage door springs are in need of repair, contact a garage door technician in your area today. 

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