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What Happens When a Garage Door Spring Breaks?

Ever heard a loud bang from your garage in Winnipeg and found the door won’t open? This startling experience is often due to a broken garage door spring, a common yet risky situation that many homeowners in Winnipeg face. Understanding what happens when a garage door spring breaks, and knowing how to handle it, can save you from inconvenience and potential danger. Garage door springs in Winnipeg are crucial for the smooth operation of your garage door, and when one breaks, it’s essential to address the issue promptly. So, let’s dive into the details and ensure you’re prepared for such an event, especially if you’re dealing with garage door springs Winnipeg.

Types of Garage Door Spring Breaks

Garage door springs can fail in several ways:

Loss of Functionality

Tensioning a garage door spring is an essential maintenance task that ensures the smooth and safe operation of your garage door. While understanding the causes of spring breakage is important for prevention, knowing how to properly tension a garage door spring can be equally crucial for maintaining your garage’s functionality. Garage door springs are engineered to balance the door’s weight, allowing for easy manual lifting or efficient automatic opener operation. However, factors like wear and tear, rust, and lack of maintenance can compromise their integrity. If a spring breaks, the door can become inoperable, turning into dead weight that’s difficult to lift, potentially trapping vehicles or even people. To avoid such issues, alongside regular inspections and maintenance, learning how to tension a garage door spring correctly can prevent premature failure and extend the lifespan of your garage door springs.

  • Manual Operation Becomes Impossible: For doors equipped with a single spring, manual operation without the counterbalance effect becomes nearly impossible. Even for doors with two springs, if one breaks, the remaining spring may not provide sufficient force to safely support and move the door.
  • Automatic Openers Strain or Fail: Automatic garage door openers are not designed to lift the full weight of a garage door without the aid of springs. If a spring breaks, the opener may strain to lift the door, potentially overheating or suffering premature failure.

Uncontrolled Movement and Safety Risks

A broken spring can lead to dangerous uncontrolled movements of the garage door. These movements pose serious safety risks, as the door can fall rapidly without warning.

  • Potential for Injury: If the spring snaps while the door is being opened or is already open, it might slam shut unexpectedly. This poses a risk of severe injury to anyone caught beneath the door, including pets and children.
  • Emergency Release: Most garage doors are equipped with an emergency release mechanism. Knowing how to use this feature can be crucial in a situation where the door needs to be opened manually after a spring has broken.

Damage to Property

The force with which a garage door can slam shut due to a broken spring should not be underestimated. This can lead to significant property damage.

  • Door Damage: The impact can bend or warp the door, damage its panels, and misalign the track system, making future repairs more complicated and expensive.
  • Vehicle and Personal Property Damage: Cars, bicycles, and other personal property stored in the garage are at risk of damage from a falling garage door. The cost of repairs can be substantial, depending on the extent of the damage.

Importance of Professional Help

Understanding what causes a garage door spring to break is essential, as addressing a broken garage door spring is not a do-it-yourself project. The springs are under high tension, and without the proper tools, knowledge, and safety equipment, attempting to replace or adjust them can be extremely dangerous. It’s important to recognize that the reasons behind a garage door spring’s failure often involve wear and tear, improper maintenance, or incorrect installation. Therefore, if you’re not fully equipped or trained in diagnosing and fixing these issues, it’s best to seek professional assistance to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your garage door.

  • Professional Assessment and Repair: A professional can assess the overall health of your garage door system, ensuring that all components are in good working order and replacing those that are not, including the springs.
  • Safety and Warranty: Professionals have the training to handle high-tension springs safely. Additionally, professional repair often comes with a warranty, giving you peace of mind.

Preventive Measures

While it’s impossible to prevent springs from eventually wearing out, there are steps you can take to prolong their lifespan and ensure the safety and functionality of your garage door.

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule annual inspections with a professional service technician. These inspections can catch early signs of wear and tear, rust, and other issues before they lead to spring failure.
  • Lubrication: Regularly lubricating the springs can help protect against rust and reduce the friction that contributes to wear and tear. Use a silicone-based lubricant specifically designed for garage doors.
  • Balance Tests: Perform regular balance tests on your garage door. This can be done by disconnecting the opener and manually lifting the door to about halfway. A door in good balance will stay in place, while a door that moves may indicate spring issues.


A broken garage door spring can disrupt your daily routine and pose significant safety risks. Understanding the implications of a broken spring and taking proactive steps to maintain and inspect your garage door can help mitigate these risks. Remember, when it comes to repairs, especially those involving high-tension components like springs, it’s always best to consult with a professional. Keeping your garage door in top condition not only ensures its smooth operation but also secures the safety of your home and loved ones.

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