Calgary Garage Door Repairs

The Different Types of Garage Door Springs: Torsion vs. Extension

To effectively understand and maintain your garage door, it’s crucial to grasp the role and differences between the two primary types of garage door springs: torsion and extension springs. These components are essential for the smooth and safe operation of your garage door, and knowing their functions and characteristics can help you make informed decisions about maintenance and repairs.

Introduction to Garage Door Springs

Garage door springs are critical components that counterbalance the weight of the door to facilitate easy opening and closing. They are under significant tension and are designed to bear the weight of the garage door, making it easier to lift manually or with an automatic opener. Springs also help in reducing the strain on the garage door opener motor.

Torsion Springs: Strength and Efficiency

Torsion springs are typically mounted above the garage door opening. They work by twisting or “torqueing” to lift the door. Here are key points about torsion springs:

  1. Location and Installation: Positioned horizontally above the door, torsion springs are mounted on a metal shaft. This configuration allows for smoother operation and better weight distribution.
  2. Durability: Torsion springs are known for their durability and longevity. They are designed to withstand frequent use and are less prone to wear and tear compared to extension springs.
  3. Safety: Because they are installed above the door, torsion springs pose less risk of snapping or flying off compared to extension springs, which are mounted on the sides.
  4. Adjustability: Torsion springs can be adjusted to fine-tune the balance of the garage door, ensuring smooth and efficient operation.

Extension Springs: Function and Application

Extension springs, on the other hand, are installed on both sides of the door tracks. They expand and contract to facilitate the door’s movement. Here’s what you need to know about extension springs:

  1. Location and Mechanism: Extension springs stretch and contract as the door opens and closes. They are attached to the track on each side of the door, usually near the upper tracks.
  2. Functionality: These springs stretch to provide lifting force when the door is opening and retract when the door is closing. They work in tandem to balance the weight of the door.
  3. Safety Considerations: Extension springs are visible and accessible along the sides of the garage door tracks, which means they can pose a higher risk of injury if they break or snap.
  4. Maintenance Needs: Extension springs may require more frequent maintenance due to their exposure to the elements and potential wear from extension and contraction cycles.

Choosing the Right Springs for Your Garage Door

When deciding between torsion and extension springs for your garage door, consider the following factors:

  • Door Size and Weight: Torsion springs are typically recommended for heavier doors, as they provide better support and balance.
  • Space and Installation: Torsion springs require more overhead space but offer better safety and durability.
  • Longevity and Maintenance: While torsion springs may cost more initially, they often require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan compared to extension springs.

Maintenance and Repair

Regardless of the type of springs your garage door uses, regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring safety and extending their lifespan. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Visual Inspection: Regularly inspect the springs for signs of wear, rust, or damage.
  • Lubrication: Apply a lubricant recommended by the manufacturer to keep the springs functioning smoothly.
  • Professional Inspection: Schedule periodic inspections by a qualified technician to check the springs’ tension and overall condition.


Understanding the differences between torsion and extension springs is essential for maintaining the functionality and safety of your garage door. Whether you opt for the strength and durability of torsion springs or the cost-effectiveness of extension springs, regular maintenance and professional servicing will ensure smooth operation and minimize the risk of unexpected failures.

For expert advice and services related to garage door springs in Calgary, contact Garage Door Repairman. Visit our contact page to schedule a consultation or repair service, or learn more about our garage door spring repair services. Ensure your garage door operates smoothly and safely with Garage Door Repairman’s reliable expertise.


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