What are garage door springs? They are the nifty components that are responsible for the opening and closing of your garage door. Raising and lowering your garage door smoothly is not only the responsibility of the chain drive or belt drive. They are also the number 1 part of your garage door that requires repair and maintenance over the years (Learn more about the best lubricants for garage doors here). A garage door spring needs to be tough and resilient enough to lift however heavy your garage door is. There are many types of springs for garage doors, and we’ll take you through each one.
2 Types of Garage Door Springs
As you can tell by the name, extension springs extend and stretch. A garage door generally has two extension springs, one on each side of the door and runs parallel to the track. They extend when the door is lowered and closed and retract as it opens. There are two at either side of the door to help with the tensile strength of each spring, even though the extension is separate from one another. This type of spring is also the most commonly seen on residential garage doors. It’s also imperative to install extension springs with safety cables in the unlikely but possible situation where the spring snaps. Now let’s take a deeper look at the different types of extension springs.
This type is the easiest to replace should anything happen. The downside is the entire spring would need to be replaced even if only one small part is damaged.
This option is stronger than the former, but much more difficult to switch out.
If durability is your number 1 concern, then this is the toughest of them all. The clipped ends take some of the stress off of the springs, which makes it last longer. They are the go-to option for garage doors that weigh over 200 pounds! However, they could be hard to replace as well.
For torsion springs, you either get 1, 2, 3 or 4 on each garage door. The number depends on the size and weight of the door. You can find them installed directly above the door opening. The difference between how torsion springs and extension springs open your garage door is that torsion springs use torque to get the job done. They twist slowly and wrap around the shaft as the door lifts. We’d say torsion springs are the more durable of the two options, and they also come in more choices depending on the size, weight, height, etc of your garage door. Now on to the different types of torsion springs.
The standard option is pretty common, and are mounted above the garage door opening. Lighter garage doors can do with one but heavier ones need two torsion springs.
Similar to the above option, they only differ in location. Early set torsion springs are usually found in the middle of the torsion shaft.
Steel Rolling Door
You will see this option in commercial and corporate buildings for rolling doors.
These springs are encased in the torsion shaft, making them the safest option.
Which is Better?
Now that you have a basic idea of the different kinds of garage door springs and their subcategories, which one is actually better?
Extension springs are usually cheaper, so for those on a budget, this is the way to go. It’s also for this reason that most residential properties adopt the extension springs. However, with a lower price comes more risk. They are the exposed option of the 2 main types of garage door springs which make them more dangerous.
Torsion springs are more expensive for a reason. They can haul heavier weight, and are more durable. They also offer better balance and are more enclosed, making them the safer option.
Take all those factors into consideration to figure out which is the best option for you. Also spare some time to decide for chain or belt drive garage door openers.
Garage door springs are meant to handle heavy weight and extreme tension. If they were to break, some of the options are easier to replace than others. To reduce chances of risk, we suggest consulting with a professional before attempting to install anything on your own.