Garage door springs offset the weight of a garage door and allow the door to be opened and closed easily, either by hand or by an automatic garage door opener. The high-tension steel in the springs has a limited lifespan, and over time, the springs lose their effectiveness.
Aging garage door springs cause the door to effectively “weigh” more as the steel loses its resiliency. With new springs, a heavy garage door should take no more than about 10 pounds of force to lift into an open position. With springs nearing the end of their lifespan, the force required to lift the door can be considerably more, since a garage door may weigh 200 pounds or more.
A garage door with aging springs puts an enormous load on a garage door opener, so another sign of failing springs is when you hear the electric door opener begin to strain as it attempts to lift the door. At this point, it is time to consider replacing the springs. Aging door springs can also break suddenly, a situation that can cause the door to slam shut violently. If you happen to be present when a spring breaks, you will hear a very loud sound like a gunshot, because the break usually occurs when the spring is fully loaded—stretched or twisted to its full tension. When one spring breaks, the door will suddenly feel very heavy when you try to open it by hand, and an automatic garage door opener may no longer be able to lift the door at all.
Garage door springs cannot be repaired. Maintenance involves full replacement of both springs at the same time.