Can I Open my Garage Door With a Broken Spring?

It’s well known that people who own a garage within their homes are forced to open its doors at least twice a day – when they take the car out of it and when they return it inside. This useful area in the house has lots of advantages, and numerous families probably wouldn’t know what to do without it, since it usually contains various other necessities in addition to the car. DIY workshops, a bunch of tools, nails, drills, clamps, spare parts… However, if we take into account the fact that the garage mechanism is used so often, it seems completely logical that at some point the inevitable will happen. The springs weaken due to prolonged use, succumb to pressure or slightly stronger handling, and sometimes just break.

Rarely does anyone think about this while everything’s fine and the unit works without fuss. But the problem arises when it happens and you’re unprepared. That’s why we believe that you’re reading this text right after the identical situation happened to you, wondering how you can access the garage without creating even more mess. We’ll investigate whether it’s possible to manage to do it without damage or replacing the springs themselves, which can be quite high-priced depending on the severity of the fracture.

The first and fundamental tip says: trying with the opener is a big no-no!

So, don’t try this. Really. It looks like this could be a solid solution in some cases or if you want to test your luck, but believe us, it’s a trap. Even if you manage to do it, sooner or later another consequence will take place and the thing is probably going to be even worse than before.

For example, if the only thing that was damaged was the spring, using an operator or any kind of opener might result in breaking multiple other components of the door, but also the ones of the opener. Which is, basically, more than a double damage at times. Some of the things that might occur include breaking, denting or severely cracking panels, burning out the operator’s unit lifting mechanism or engine, breaking the outer parts of the remote opener and numerous other accidents.

Get some help

The springs on your garage door serve as a support in some way and so you don’t have to lift the entire weight when you want to access what’s behind them. For that reason, if this part happens to break, there’ll be nothing left to make lifting easier. This implies that you’ll be tasked with doing the job yourself, and believe what we say –  it’s simply impossible even for a solidly strong individual to do it successfully.

This is why you’ll need a helping hand. Men are mostly physically stronger, so make sure you have your father, brother or friends somewhere near – a few pairs of hands will do wonders.

When you’re unable to do it yourself despite additional help, you can always call a service that’ll be able to resolve it for you. First of all, to replace the broken unit, and then to repair the entire mechanism and help you anticipate such situations and prevent them. Plenty of services will be available during the day, but there are also those that work 24/7 and will come even in the middle of the night if you need them, as you can see on, a quite useful one for those living in Canada .

The only way to do it is doing it manually

When we realize that the mechanism no longer works, manual opening is the only option that remains. As we mentioned, since the panels are mostly made of solid and strong materials, be prepared for heavy weight.

Depending on the type and the way it works, if the problem is in those that open outwards, it would be great if you can get two pairs of ladders. They should be of sufficient height and strength to make a support for both sides, so that once you lift them, you can leave their lower part to rest on them. You’ll place them in two locations – on the left and right side in front of the door, where you expect support to be needed.

The easiest way to lift is to stand in the middle and place your left hand on the left board and your right hand on the right one. Your helpers can also enter the scene here, but it’s quite significant that your movements are synchronized, since a single wrong move might make everything even more chaotic.

The process of lifting is also the most difficult part, but it should become much simpler once it’s off the ground. As soon as they reach a sufficient height, position the ladder below them, and some stronger, iron crowbars can in case you have them. Here you should take care not to stand directly under the door, just in case – to be sure of unforeseen breakdowns, additional fractures and prevent injuries.

The panels shouldn’t be pressed too hard and there shouldn’t be too much tension around them – ‘cause there comes another fracture, which will make an even bigger mess. Also, take care of exactly where you put your fingers, as there’s also a fear of pinching them if something slips, and, well, considering the pile of kilos you have in your hands, the injury might not be so small.

It’s best to leave everything like that until someone’s able to fix it or replace the spring and put the door back. It’s not advisable to do it yourself, as we have already said. If in the meantime you decide to close the door yourself, you need to be much more careful than when you were opening it – this situation deserves much more agility and also following a similar procedure as at the beginning, only backwards. Take care, as here you and your helpers must be able to withstand the entire weight that previously rested on the levers, crowbars or ladders.

Yes – it definitely isn’t the best thing that might happen to you. It’s not that easy (at least physically) to resolve it either, but we do hope that this will give you some basic guidelines for painless troubleshooting!

Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the started.