As far as doors go, garage doors (and overhead doors in general) are unique. Rather than swinging or sliding to the side, they go straight up. Yet, despite their often large size and heavy weight, they slide up with relative ease.

How does this work? Is it magic? Are you just that strong?

Not quite. The secret is in the engineering.

You start with the garage door itself. Almost all garage doors today are sectional. Sectional doors are comprised of separate panels hinged together. When the door is down, they form a strong, flat surface. But as the door is open, these sections hinge, allowing the door to curve. On the backside edges of the door, there are rollers attached that move up and down a track.

Technically speaking, that’s enough to give you a working garage door. However, this would be very difficult to open, it wouldn’t stay open very well, and should it come down, it would prove very dangerous.

So, what’s the missing piece? Counter-weight.

A garage door needs a counter-weight or counter-force to allow for easy movement and to hold it in place. This is where garage door springs come into play.

There are two types of garage door springs:

Torsion Springs

The most common springs are torsion springs. Torsion springs use torque and tension to counter the weight of the door. Generally, torsion springs are mounted horizontally above the garage door, inside the garage.

When the garage door is lowered, the springs coil tight, storing energy and tension. As you open the garage door, this energy is released, helping raise the door as the springs loosen.

Extension Springs

Extension springs look a bit more like what you’d expect a spring to look like. They mount on both sides of the track, attached to cables that are attached to the bottoms of the door. When the door is closed, the springs extend. The tension helps slow the descent of the door, relieving some of the weight.

As the door is opened, the springs contract, pulling the door with them.

Which Springs are Right for Me?

Extension springs typically run a little cheaper up front, but torsion springs last longer and hold more weight.

Still, both are effective at opening and closing garage doors. A garage door professional can help you decide on the best option for your needs.

Whether you’re looking for new springs, an opener, or a brand new overhead garage door in Ohio, Springfield Overhead Door has what you need. We’ll even install it for you. Contact us today to get a quote or just ask a few questions.