Garage Door Springs – Extension vs. Torsion
There are a number of things to think about when buying a new garage door – materials, insulation, colour and so on. But perhaps the most important is the kind of spring mechanism you should go for. The smooth and safe operation of your garage door is down to the springs being installed correctly, which is why repairing or replacing springs should never be an amateur DIY job but ought to be done by a professional fitter. A spring that comes adrift can turn into a dangerous projectile, causing damage to property, injury or even death. Yes, believe it or not, it is possible for an amateur attempt to fix a garage door spring to cause a fatal accident.
There are quite a few types of garage door spring, but the two most commonly available are the extension spring and the torsion spring. Here are a few factors to take into consideration when deciding which style of door is right for you.
These are sited on both sides of the door over the horizontal runners and, as the name implies, they extend according to the amount of force applied to the door to open or close it. By pulling in the opposite direction the springs create tension to hold the door in balance. It is extremely important to have safety cables attached to the mechanism in the event of the spring cables or bottom bracket failing. This can happen at any moment while the door is open.
Extension springs are far less costly than torsion springs, which is the reason they are the most popular type for residential garages. But they are potentially more dangerous because of the greater number of exposed components. This means that extension springs do not add value to your return on investment (ROI).
Torsion springs use torque, or rotational force, to operate. They are set in a shaft above the opening of the door, inside which they provide a counterbalance by twisting into coils as the door is moved. There are plenty of options for torsion springs such as different lengths and gauges of wire, door height and width or track radius.
Torsion springs can bear considerably more weight than the extension type and last about twice as long. Having fewer exposed components, they are also safer. For these reasons they are more expensive. Also they add to the value of your ROI.
Garage door replacements can yield some of the highest returns amongst home improvement projects, so the cost of springs should be carefully considered. Remember to consult a reputable garage door supplier before trying to do anything yourself.
Call us on 0800 100 2114 for enquiries or visit our Bristol showroom (appointment only on Saturday and Sunday) to see our range of extension spring and torsion spring garage doors.