The garage door is the largest moving object in most homes. Its movements are primarily controlled by springs. Over time, these springs will naturally wear down and eventually break. They might also break due to improper installation, adjustment, or use. When a garage door spring breaks, the garage may fail to open or cause other problems. Luckily, there are some telltale signs to look at before seeking help from an affordable garage door spring repair. Here is how you can tell if the garage door spring has broken:
1. The Garage Door Is Making Strange Noises
The garage door should be relatively quiet if installed and maintained correctly. Typically, you will hear the opener motor running when the door opens and closes. If you start to hear strange creaking, popping, or grinding noises, it could be a sign that the springs are beginning to fail. When they are broken, you will usually hear a loud bang as the tension in the springs is released.
2. The Garage Door Is Moving Slowly Or Uneven
Another sign that your garage door springs may have broken is if the door starts to move slowly or unevenly. This can be caused by one of the springs being unable to provide the proper amount of tension, or both springs may have broken. If you notice that your garage door is no longer moving smoothly, you should check the springs to see if they need to be replaced.
3. There Is A Gap In The Middle Of The Door
When a garage door spring breaks, the door will often sag in the middle. This is because tension is no longer supporting it in the center. If you notice a gap in the middle of your garage door, it is likely that one or both of the springs have broken and need to be replaced. You want to fix this as soon as possible, as it can make your door more vulnerable to thieves and pests.
4. The Garage Door Is Heavier Than Usual
Another sign that your garage door springs may have broken is if the door feels heavier than usual when you try to lift it. The spring takes on most of the weight of the door, so when it breaks, the door will be much heavier. If you suspect that the springs have broken, try to open the door yourself. There may be a lot of tension in the springs that can cause them to snap back with a lot of force, so it is best to let a professional handle it.
5. There Is A Visible Gap
The garage door springs consist of one or two springs that are coiled around a metal rod. Therefore, there will be no visible gap between the coils when they are intact. However, the coil will have a visible gap if one spring breaks. Therefore, if you notice a gap in one of the springs, it is likely that it has broken and needs to be replaced.
6. The Cables Are Loose
The cables on your garage door help raise and lower the heavy door. When the springs that make them work break, the cables can come loose and dangle dangerously. If your door is stuck in the open position, check to see if the cables are loose. If they are, the springs are broken, or something has happened to the spring bar.
7. The Garage Door Only Opens About Six Inches
Troubles with the garage door springs can cause the door to only open about six inches. This is because there is not enough tension in the springs to open the door all the way. Typically, this is caused by one of the springs being broken, although it could also be a sign that the opener is not working correctly.
How to Open a Garage Door with a Broken Spring
Opening a garage with a broken spring involves risks, so it is best to call a professional for help. In the meantime, however, you can use a few methods to open your garage door manually.
1. Use a C-clamp to Open the Door
If your garage door has an opener, you can use a C-clamp to open the door. First, disconnect the opener by pulling the red cord that is attached to the trolley. Next, place the C-clamp on the track about six inches from the door. Be sure to place the clamp on the side of the track that has the brackets. Next, slowly open the door until the C-clamp is in the middle of the track. This will hold the door open while you fix the spring.
2. Use a Rope
You can use a rope to open the door if you do not have a C-clamp. Find something sturdy to tie the rope to, such as a column or furniture. Pull the rope tight and place it over the door. Slowly pull the door up with the rope.
3. Use a Broom Handle
Another way to open the door is by using a broom handle. Place the handle in the track on the side of the door with the brackets. Use your body weight to push down on the handle while you lift the door.
4. Use a Screwdriver
If your garage door does not have an opener, you can use a screwdriver to open it. First, find the brackets that hold the springs in place. There are usually two of them, one on each side of the door. Next, loosen the screws that hold the brackets in place with a screwdriver. Next, find the center of the door and place the screwdriver in the track. Use your body weight to push down the screwdriver while you lift the door.
5. Use a Piece of Wood
You can also use a piece of wood to open the door. Place the piece of wood under the door on the side with the brackets. Use your body weight to push down on the wood while you lift the door.
Broken garage door springs are a common problem. However, calling an expert to fix it as soon as possible is the best solution. Trying to open the door yourself can be dangerous, so it is best to leave it to a professional. In the meantime, use one of the methods above to open your garage door manually. If you cannot open the door with any of these methods, call an experienced garage repair expert for help.