Garage Door Springs Breaking Because of Cold Weather Can Cause Personal Injury or Property Damage

January 7th 2004
Garage Door Springs Breaking Because of Cold Weather Can Cause Personal Injury or Property Damage

A garage door spring may not look dangerous, but as temperatures fall, some springs will break, possibly causing damage.

The key is to understand what type of spring is used on your garage door. Essentially there are two types, torsion or extension. Torsion springs are usually above the door opening and have a solid shaft going through them. They are primarily used with sectional doors. If these springs break there is no immediate safety hazard as the shaft will keep them in place.

Extension springs are often found on the sides of the door. Though extension springs are most often seen with one-piece or swing-up doors, they can be installed on sectional doors as well. These springs are held at each end usually by a hook and cable. If these springs break, either piece can cause considerable damage to personal property or personal injury to anybody in the garage.

The situation can be easily remedied by having a safety cable installed by a qualified garage door mechanic. "Securing an extension spring is a simple but important safety procedure." explains Dennis Baitz, owner of Door Pro. But he cautions that safety cable installation should not be done by homeowners themselves, "An extension spring exerts enough force to counter the weight of the door, and that is enough force to badly injure yourself."

If garage door springs do break, they should be replaced by a professional. Every year, people across North America are injured when they try to replace garage door springs without proper training and tools.

"There are some things that a homeowner can do to maintain their garage door, but working with extension and torsion springs is just too dangerous," notes Dennis. And while that may seem like a sales pitch, Dennis asks that homeowners simply read the dozens of news stories available on the internet before trying to replace springs themselves.

If you know what you are doing, springs are easy to install and adjust. If you do not - they can be dangerous.