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What Causes a Garage Door Spring to Break?

what causes a garage door spring to break

What causes a garage door spring to break? Garage door springs break primarily due to wear and tear from daily use. Other common causes include rust development, incorrect springs for the door’s weight, lack of maintenance, temperature fluctuations causing metal fatigue, poor quality springs, and improper installation, leading to uneven tension. Recognizing these factors early can prevent sudden failures and ensure safe operation.

Garage door springs are under constant stress, lifting and lowering the heavy door multiple times daily.

Over time, this relentless tension can lead to failure, causing inconvenience, potential danger, and breaks that may require expert garage door repair. Factors such as improper maintenance, environmental conditions, and the quality of the spring itself play significant roles in the lifespan of your garage door spring.

This article explores what causes a garage door spring to break, aiming to equip you with the knowledge to prevent unexpected disruptions.

What Causes a Garage Door Spring to Break?

Identifying the early signs of wear and tear on your garage door springs is crucial for maintaining the safety and functionality of your garage door system.

Early detection of rust, incorrect tension, or excessive wear can save you from sudden and costly repairs. Recognizing these signs allows for timely intervention, prolonging the life of your garage door springs.

Here’s what causes a garage door spring to break…

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Wear and Tear From Daily Use

The most direct cause of garage door spring failure is the constant wear and tear from daily usage. Every time the garage door is opened and closed, the springs undergo a cycle of compression and relaxation.

This repetitive motion gradually weakens the springs’ structure, reducing their strength and resilience. As the springs weaken, the risk of breakage increases significantly. Proper understanding of how daily use causes a garage door spring to break is crucial for homeowners, as it underscores the importance of regular inspections and maintenance to identify signs of wear early.

By monitoring the condition of your garage door springs and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can extend the lifespan of your garage door system and avoid unexpected failures.

Rust Development Reduces Spring Life Significantly

Rust is a significant enemy of garage door springs, significantly reducing their life expectancy.

When springs are exposed to moisture, whether from rain, humidity, or condensation, rust begins to form on the metal, this rust not only corrupts the spring, making it weaker and more prone to snapping, but it also increases the friction within the spring’s coils as it moves.

This additional friction means the spring has to work harder to perform the same task, leading to quicker degradation.

The development of rust is a common cause that causes a garage door spring to break, emphasizing the need for preventive measures such as regular cleaning and the application of rust-inhibiting lubricants to protect and prolong the life of the springs.

Incorrect Spring Type for Door Weight

Using an incorrect spring type for the door’s weight is a frequent oversight that significantly impacts the longevity and functionality of garage door systems. Garage doors are designed to be balanced by springs tailored to their specific weight.

When a spring is not matched correctly to the door weight, it either exerts too much tension or is insufficient, causing the door to be improperly balanced. This imbalance forces the springs to work harder than they should, leading to premature wear and failure.

The misapplication of spring types directly causes a garage door spring to break, highlighting the importance of professional installation and calibration to ensure the right springs are used for your specific garage door, thus ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

Lack of Regular Maintenance and Lubrication

Neglecting regular maintenance and lubrication is a surefire way to shorten the lifespan of garage door springs. Springs require periodic lubrication to reduce friction between the coils during operation.

Without this lubrication, the increased friction can cause the springs to overheat and wear out more quickly.

Regular maintenance checks can also identify and rectify issues such as loose springs or imbalances before they lead to further damage. The lack of such care is a pivotal factor that causes a garage door spring to break.

Implementing a routine maintenance schedule, including lubrication and inspections, can significantly extend the life of your garage door springs, ensuring smooth and reliable operation.

Fluctuating Temperatures Causing Metal Fatigue

Garage door springs are made of metal, which makes them susceptible to the effects of fluctuating temperatures.

In areas where temperatures vary widely between seasons, springs can expand and contract, weakening their metal structure over time. This process, known as metal fatigue, gradually reduces the spring’s ability to bear the garage door’s weight.

As the metal fatigues, the risk of the spring snapping increases, making temperature fluctuation a significant cause for a garage door spring to break, homeowners should be aware of this risk, especially in climates prone to extreme temperature changes, and consider insulation or other protective measures to mitigate the effects of temperature fluctuations on their garage door systems.

Poor Quality Springs Wear Out Faster

The quality of the garage door springs plays a crucial role in their durability and overall lifespan.

Springs manufactured from inferior materials or substandard processes are more likely to wear out faster than their high-quality counterparts. These poor-quality springs may be unable to withstand the constant tension and load of daily garage door operations, leading to premature failure. Installing low-quality springs is a penny-wise but pound-foolish decision that causes a garage door spring to break sooner than expected.

Investing in high-quality, durable springs from reputable manufacturers is essential for homeowners looking to avoid frequent replacements and ensure the longevity of their garage door systems.

Improper Installation Leading to Uneven Tension

Improper installation of garage door springs can lead to uneven tension across the door system, significantly affecting its operation and lifespan.

If springs are not correctly calibrated during installation, it can result in one side bearing more weight than the other, causing uneven wear and increased strain on the springs.

This imbalance leads to operational issues, such as the door opening unevenly or getting stuck but also accelerates the wear on the springs, making improper installation a direct cause that causes a garage door spring to break. Ensuring that your garage door springs are installed and calibrated correctly by a professional is vital to the smooth and efficient operation of your garage door and the springs’ longevity.

Need Expert Garage Door Repair?

If you’ve discovered a broken garage door spring, Your Garage Door Guys are here to help!

Our seasoned experts provide garage door services, including spring repair and replacement, helping homeowners and business owners know their garage doors will be repaired and back to working correctly shortly.

We pride ourselves on delivering swift, reliable, high-quality service to ensure your garage door operates seamlessly.

Serving Simi Valley, Conejo Valley, and San Fernando Valley in California, we’re just a call away from restoring your garage door’s safety and functionality. Contact us today!


Understanding the various factors that contribute to garage door spring breakage is essential for maintaining the longevity and safety of your garage door system.

From daily wear and tear to incorrect spring installation, being aware of these causes enables you to take proactive steps toward maintenance and repair.

If you need expert garage door repair, remember that Your Garage Door Guys are here to help, especially if you’re in Simi Valley, Conejo Valley, or San Fernando Valley. Please don’t wait for a complete failure; contact us today for a consultation and ensure your garage door remains in top condition.

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