The work of a garage door spring goes unnoticed, until it doesn’t work anymore! It’s like your car – you use the engine every day, but until it’s out of service, you really don’t give it much thought. Garage door springs work hard. According to Popular Mechanics, an average garage door opens and closes 1,500 times a year! This means, that metal spring that’s part of the garage door is doing most of the work.
What’s the purpose of a garage door spring?
Garage door springs offset the door’s weight so it can easily open and close. For example, if a garage door weighs 100 pounds, a spring force of 100 pounds needs to pull against the door’s weight in order for it to function properly. This is done with metal springs that stretch or torque (a twisting force that tends to cause rotation) special parts of the door to help balance it.
There are two types of garage door springs: Torsion springs which are connected above the closed door, and extension springs, which are mounted along the garage door’s sides or above the horizontal tracks. Extension springs stretch and contract to counterbalance the weight of the garage door.
So……what’s the purpose of a galvanized garage door spring?
Galvanized means to coat iron or steel with a protective layer of zinc. In the 1990’s, technicians started layering garage door springs with grease to extend its life. Doing this made a huge mess on the garage door and the garage floor, which added to the work of a technician trying to move on to the next repair. To help, galvanized garage door torsion springs were introduced as an alternative to oil-tempered springs. Galvanized springs are silver and oil-tempered are black.
How do you maintain a galvanized spring?
Even though the introduction of galvanized springs addressed the greasy mess, the process of galvanizing weakens metal springs. It seems that galvanized springs need more adjustments over time than do oil-tempered steel springs. In order to adjust the springs, tension is added to the spring, which in turn, shortens the life cycle of the galvanized spring.
Galvanized springs must be maintained or they or might develop corrosion. Also, because they quickly weaken, after a few months, galvanized springs have to be tightened because they relax and wear out. The metal they are made from is also weaker than oil-tempered springs, which may also attribute to a short life cycle.
Hopefully, this helped educate you about different garage door springs.
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