When you think of your garage door, you probably think of the door itself, the opener and motor, and the remote. What you might not think of are the springs that help to lift your garage door when you want to open and close it. These are extremely important as they help to absorb some of the torque that the garage door creates as it moves into position. While these may not occupy much of your attention, ensuring that they are properly and regularly maintained is essential to the functionality of your garage, and the lifetime of the hardware itself. Contacting a professional for maintenance once or twice a year is recommended for the health of your garage springs, however, there are some steps you can take in between visits to help keep your springs in working condition.
Perhaps the simplest step you can take in preserving your garage door springs is to ensure that they are clean. Your garage is consistently exposed to outdoor elements and pollutants, including dirt, dust, and debris. The springs are no exception to this. After some time, these can build up, turn into a layer of grime, and affect the operation of your garage door.
Being coated in layers of gunk means that your springs are less efficient and your opener has to work harder. This can cause excess strain on your garage door opener and your springs, and can result in them dying out faster than they should. Decreased efficiency means more energy used and higher utility bills as well. Avoid dirty springs costing you a fortune, use a wire brush, warm soapy water, and a rag to keep them clean in between regular maintenance check ups.
Since garage door springs are made of metal, there is a chance they can experience rust and corrosion. This is dangerous, because rust causes your springs to be less structurally intact and trustworthy. They are more likely to snap, which can be bad news for your garage and can potentially cause injuries if someone is nearby when they break.
Once rust sets in, it may be too late and the only option may be to replace your springs. Preventing rust is your best bet in protecting your garage door springs and extending their lifespans. In order to prevent rust, it is imperative to ensure that they are properly lubricated.
After you have cleaned them as discussed above, you can utilize a lubricant such as a silicone spray or white lithium grease. WD-40 is not suitable for garage doors, and will cause more problems in the long run. Apply the appropriate lubricant directly onto the springs, coating them completely, but not over-saturating them. Lubricated springs are less likely to rust, and will take longer to experience any wear and tear that affects their functionality.
Your garage door springs also play a large part in the balance of your garage door, and vice versa. If your door is unbalanced, or unequally weighted, it can cause excess strain to one or both of your garage door springs. This can lead to noticeable vibrations or grinding noises, and may even lead to the door shutting abruptly, coming down on anything or anyone in its path. Understandably, this is a very dangerous risk, so ensuring that the proper balance is maintained is essential.