Are my garage door springs dangerous?

Are garage door extension springs dangerous? in a word, yes! Many older garages in greater Vancouver still use an extension spring system to counterbalance the door. These are easy to identify: there will be one spring on each side of the door that stretches as the door closes. Sometimes they are stretched vertically, directly beside the door, and sometimes they are stretched horizontally, above your head beside the overhead tracks.

Any mechanical system will eventually wear out and break, and your extension springs are no exception. When they fail they will break in two pieces and fly in opposite directions with full force. Each spring will have a strength equal to ½ of the weight of your door. So if you have a typical 2 car wooden garage door each spring could be around 150 pounds of force! I personally have had to pry broken pieces of extension springs out of walls after they have flown across the garage and become imbedded in the wall! Needless to say there is extreme danger and risk of damage to your property, not to mention the potential of life threatening injury if you are unlucky enough to be in the springs path when it happens.

The safest thing you can do would be to convert the extension spring system to a torsion spring system. If you are unable to afford the expense there are some lower cost ways to minimize the damages that can occur. The best method is to have a safety guide wire installed on the extension springs. The purpose is to prevent to broken pieces from flying across the garage and contain the damage to the immediate area of the spring’s original location. The broken spring may still damage some other parts of the garage door, but the rest of the room and its contents will be much safer.

If you already have a torsion spring system, a broken spring is still dangerous and a professional technician is the way to go. Contact a professional to have a spring change done.

Paul Janzen-

Garage Door Technician at J.Mac Doors. Ltd.