When your garage door suddenly does not have that "bounce back/easy lift action" it is supposed to have when you try to open it, the problem may be with your garage door spring(s). Your garage door may stick in the closed position, too. (You can open a garage door without the spring, since many garage doors operate on a caster and track system, but it might take a lot more strength than what you would expect. Additionally, once you manage to force the door up, then you would have to find something to prop the door open.) Here are some things you should look for and some signs that you may need to perform a garage door spring repair.
The Number of Springs on Your Garage Door
Smaller garage doors tend to have only one spring, while larger doors have two. However, you should still check both sides of your garage door for springs, as well as in the middle. Sometimes there may be an additional garage door spring attached to the middle part of a heavier door to help lift it. Then check each spring to see if any of the following problems exist.
Twisted, Bent or Partially Uncoiled Springs
Damaged garage door springs are very similar to Slinky toys. They can get slightly bent, twisted out of shape or slightly uncoiled when they are supposed to be tightly coiled up. The easiest way to spot these issues is to put your garage door all the way up, then look at the spring(s) to see if there are any visual abnormalities. You may not be able to spot them when the garage door is closed/down because the springs will be stretched out rather than coiled up. If you have two springs and only one appears odd, you have the added benefit of comparing the two springs to each other to spot the deformities.
Over time, the springs in garage doors can wear down and may even snap. This is especially true if your springs are made of tensioned cable rather than old-fashioned metal springs. If you are working with exposed springs (i.e., springs that you can see entirely vs. springs that are encased in a rectangular container), you will be able to spot the snapped coil(s) easier and replace the snapped one(s). If you have two encased springs, then you may need to lift the door to see which side has more difficulty, and then replace the spring on that side. Contact a business, such as Dorsey Garage Doors, for more information.