What Causes a Garage Door Spring to Break?

If you own a garage, you probably rely on the convenience of an automated garage door to secure your vehicle and belongings. However, like any mechanical system, garage doors can experience issues over time. One common problem that homeowners encounter is a broken garage door spring. Understanding what causes a garage door spring to break can help you prevent this inconvenience and ensure the smooth operation of your garage door. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to garage door spring breakage and provide insights into garage door spring repair and replacement.

Garage Door Spring Torsion


When it comes to the smooth functioning of a garage door, the role of springs cannot be underestimated. Garage door springs bear the weight of the door, providing the necessary force to open and close it with ease. However, due to various factors, these springs may eventually break, causing inconvenience and potentially posing safety risks.
Broken garage door Springs

Lack of Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity of your garage door springs. Neglecting routine lubrication and inspection can lead to premature wear and an increased risk of breakage. It is crucial to periodically inspect the springs for signs of damage or wear, such as rust, fraying, or deformation.

Rust and Corrosion

Moisture and exposure to the elements can cause garage door springs to rust and corrode. Rust weakens the structural integrity of the springs, making them more prone to breaking. Regularly inspecting the springs and promptly addressing any signs of rust or corrosion can help prevent spring failure.

The Importance of Garage Door Springs

Garage door springs, specifically torsion springs and extension springs, play a crucial role in balancing the weight of the garage door. They counteract the force of gravity, making it easier for the opener to lift the door. Without properly functioning springs, the door may become too heavy to lift manually or strain the opener, leading to costly repairs.

Wear and Tear

One of the primary reasons for garage door spring breakage is wear and tear. Over time, springs experience a tremendous amount of stress from the regular opening and closing of the door. This continuous tension weakens the springs, eventually causing them to snap or lose their effectiveness.

Temperature Fluctuations

Extreme temperature fluctuations can also impact the lifespan of garage door springs. In regions with significant temperature variations, the expansion and contraction of the metal springs can weaken them over time. This can lead to a higher likelihood of spring failure, especially during the colder months.

Incorrect Spring Installation

Improper installation of garage door springs is a common cause of premature breakage. It is crucial to have springs installed by a professional who understands the specific requirements of your garage door system. Incorrectly installed springs may not withstand the necessary tension, leading to breakage or inadequate performance.

Excessive Weight or Imbalance

Garage doors are designed to operate within specific weight limits. If your garage door exceeds these limits due to added weight from insulation, decorations, or other modifications, it can strain the springs. Similarly, an imbalanced door, where one side is heavier than the other, can cause uneven stress on the springs, leading to breakage.

Age of the Springs

Garage door springs have a limited lifespan. On average, torsion springs last around 10,000 cycles, while extension springs last approximately 5,000 cycles. With regular use, these cycles can add up quickly, causing the springs to weaken and eventually break. If your springs are reaching the end of their expected lifespan, it is advisable to consider replacement.

Overuse or Frequent Operation

Excessive usage of the garage door, such as frequent opening and closing, can accelerate the wear and tear on the springs. Commercial properties or households with multiple vehicles often experience higher usage rates, leading to a shorter lifespan for the springs. Ensuring your springs are rated for the anticipated usage can help mitigate the risk of breakage.

Damaged Cables

Garage door cables work in conjunction with the springs to provide smooth and controlled movement of the door. If the cables become damaged or frayed, they can put additional stress on the springs, increasing the likelihood of spring failure. Regularly inspecting and maintaining the cables can help prevent this issue.

Signs of a Broken Garage Door Spring

Identifying a broken garage door spring is crucial for timely repair or replacement. Common signs include the door being difficult to open manually, uneven movement of the door, excessive noise during operation, or visible gaps or separation in the springs. If you notice any of these signs, it is advisable to contact a professional garage door technician.

Garage Door Spring Repair

In some cases, a broken garage door spring can be repaired. However, repair is typically limited to minor issues, and the overall condition of the springs must be considered. Repairing springs requires specialized knowledge and tools, so it is recommended to seek the assistance of a trained professional to ensure safety and proper functionality.


Garage door springs play a vital role in the smooth and safe operation of your garage door. Understanding the factors that contribute to spring breakage, such as wear and tear, lack of maintenance, temperature fluctuations, and rust, can help you take proactive measures to prevent issues. Regular inspections, proper installation, and timely repairs or replacements are key to maintaining a reliable and functional garage door system.


The lifespan of garage door springs can vary depending on usage, but on average, torsion springs last around 10,000 cycles, while extension springs last approximately 5,000 cycles.

 Garage door spring repair is a complex task that requires specialized knowledge and tools. It is recommended to seek the assistance of a trained professional to ensure safety and proper repair.

If your garage door spring breaks, it is best to contact a professional garage door technician. They can assess the situation, recommend suitable replacements, and ensure proper installation.

Regular maintenance, including lubrication and inspections, can help prevent garage door spring breakage. Additionally, avoiding excessive weight on the door, balancing the door properly, and addressing any signs of rust or corrosion promptly can contribute to the longevity of the springs.

 Garage door spring replacement is a challenging and potentially dangerous task. It is strongly advised to hire a professional garage door technician with the necessary expertise and equipment to ensure safe and proper installation.

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