Your garage door is made up of many different moving parts that work day in and day out for you. Of course, over time, those parts will start to wear out or break. That includes a broken garage door cable. It’s important to know the cause of a broken cable, as that will allow you to decide when it’s appropriate to repair or replace the garage door cable.
Here’s why your cable may have broken and how you can solve the problem.
How Garage Door Cables Work
Firstly, you’ll need to understand how your garage door cables work and how you should be using them. The cables are wound around the drums on your garage door, and they help lift and lower it every time you use the door.
The cable itself is made of long strands of metal, which are woven together to make a long braid. This braid is what your cable will look like. Typically, the more strands that make up your cable, the stronger it will be. The thickness of each metal strand will also contribute to the overall strength. On a residential garage door, the cable will be made up of 7 to 9 strands altogether. On a commercial door, that goes up to 13 to 17 strands.
If you do go with thicker cables, then they do add more strength, but you will need bigger drums to accommodate them. You’ll also need to be aware that a thicker cable isn’t going to be as elastic as a thinner one, so that doesn’t automatically make it the better choice.
Why Garage Door Cables Break
From the sound of it, a garage door cable shouldn’t break that easily. They are used party because they are very strong and can withstand usage day after day. They aren’t infallible, though, and they will break after enough time.
This is because those cables are holding a lot of tension, day after day. When you open and close the door, the cables will gain and lose tension. They rub against the drum as they do this. Over time, that’s going to erode the metal in the cable.
Over time, one or more of the strands of metal in the cable will start to snap. The cable can still be used when a couple of the strands have broken, but the more they break, the weaker that cable is. That obviously makes it less safe, so you’ll want to fix the problem as soon as you see a strand has broken.
So why has your cable started to break? Here are the most common reasons why it might be happening.
1. Damaged Pulleys
This is one of the most common causes of a broken garage door cable. As there are several moving parts on your garage door, they’ll all affect each other if one starts to suffer damage. In the case of your cables, damaged pulleys are often the culprit.
If the pulleys are damaged, then your cables are going to experience more friction. The more friction they experience, the more likely it is that those metal strands are going to wear away and snap. If this is caught quickly, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
2. Poorly Installed Garage Door Springs
Your garage door springs are another important part of the whole garage door system. These are what give the garage door the tension they need to stay open as you drive your car through. However, it’s essential that they’re installed properly, as they can be dangerous if not.
When installed poorly, those springs won’t be able to take the tension of being used over and over again. That can lead to the cables jumping off the track and breaking, which can lead to the garage door opening unevenly or getting stuck.
As well as this, a poorly installed or worn-out garage door spring can snap under pressure. When they do, they can travel long distances thanks to the tension and be a serious safety hazard. As such, you’ll want to make sure you have an expert installing and repairing your garage door springs.
3. Misaligned Garage Door Track
The more your garage door is used, the more that it can start to shift. As this happens, it will have a knock-on effect on your other garage door parts. A misaligned garage door track is going to damage the other parts, such as the cables and springs.
If this is left for long enough, you’ll even see the hardware, such as the hinges and bolts, being damaged too. As such, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a misaligned garage door and put it right as soon as possible.
4. Wear and Tear
Finally, the garage door springs will start to wear out over time as they’re used again and again. The friction on them from the drums will add up and eventually start to break the strands inside the cable. That’s why they need to be checked regularly.
Preventing a Broken Garage Door Cable
Can you prevent a broken garage door cable from causing problems? You can spot issues quickly and get them rectified as soon as possible. Most garage door experts will recommend that you inspect your garage door at least twice a year. Look at all the moving parts, and look for any visible damage.
If you see any damage, that’s the time to call in the experts at Your Garage Door Guys. It’s always better to have a garage door expert make repairs on your garage door, as they’ll be able to do it to the highest standard. That ensures that you won’t have to pay even more for repairs down the line.