There are several important components when it comes to garage doors, and springs are high among them. Springs are meant to counterbalance the weight of the door, creating opposite force that makes it easy to open or close when needed.

At Crawford Door Sales, we use only high-quality springs on our residential and commercial garage doors, whether you need wood, glass, foam-injected or steel garage door options. You’ll generally see garage door springs broken into two categories: Torsion springs and extension springs. These are distinctly different spring styles, and there may come a time where you play a role in choosing between them for your next garage door. With that in mind, let’s go over the basics of each and what to know about them.

garage door spring getting repaired

Torsion Springs and Extension Springs

Torsion springs are the ones more likely to be recognized by the casual eye – they’re the large, noticeable springs present in the shaft above your garage door. When you open or close the door, torsion springs wind or unwind as part of the operation, allowing weight to remain constant.

Extension springs, on the other hand, are much smaller springs you may or may not have noticed before. They’re attached to the sides of the door, expanding or contracting while the door is opened or closed to maintain the same kind of weight balance torsion springs achieve, just in a slightly different way.

Nearly all garage doors will have at least one of these types, though you’ll never have both on the same door. Most smaller garage doors come with only one spring, while larger ones may have more than one of the same type.

Modern Choices

In today’s day and age, torsion springs have become more popular than extension springs for a few distinct reasons:

  • Durability: Torsion springs are more expensive than extension springs, but they aren’t twice as expensive – this despite the fact that they last about twice as long on average. This means that if you’re taking the long view with your funds, torsion springs are the way to go for value.
  • Maintenance: Extension springs also come with more maintenance, as they’re more complicated. Lubrication is more difficult, and snapped extension springs are much harder to locate and deal with than snapped torsion springs.
  • Motion: Extension springs come with a bit more of a herky-jerky opening motion, which wears down springs faster and is also more annoying to deal with. Torsion springs tend to promote smoother, lower-friction openings and closings.

Which to Choose?

Now, there still might be some situations where extension springs are right for you. They’re good for those who don’t have lots of overhead space in the garage, for one, and they’re also perfectly fine for many savvy DIY homeowners who don’t have issues lubricating and otherwise maintaining the springs. But for those with more overhead space, and especially those who worry about maintenance concerns, torsion springs are usually the way to go.

For more on torsion and extension garage door springs, or to learn about any of our residential garage door services, speak to the pros at Crawford Door Sales today.

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