What to Do When Your Garage Door Cable Breaks

by | Dec 17, 2020

A garage door cable is strong enough to lift and lower a garage door weighing hundreds of pounds. The cables in your garage door system provide support and balance. Despite how strong they are, they do wear out over time, lose tension, fray, and break. If a garage door cable breaks or snaps, don’t try to fix it yourself; this is not a safe DIY option. Continue reading for more information about how these cables work and what to do about a broken or damaged cable.

How Do Garage Door Cables Work?

Garage door cables are not one size fits all. There are different types, determined by the springs installed. The two main types of garage door cables, made of strands of galvanized wire, are:

  • Lift cables: Installed on garage doors with torsion springs, these cables attach to the bottom corner of the door and connect to the torsion springs above it, helping to counterbalance the system.
  • Retaining cables: Are used in garage doors with extension springs and run vertically along each side of the door. When garage door springs break, retaining cables prevent them from flying or falling off.

When Cables Break, Avoid Using Your Garage Door

Wear and tear is the most common cause of cable failure. However, water or moisture near the bottom or sides of the door, corrosion, damaged pulley bearings, or improper track alignment can strain or degrade the cables. If you have a snapped or frayed cable, do not use your garage door. Additional damage may occur, leading to expensive repairs.

Depending on where it is, you might not see a broken cable. Signs one has snapped include a garage door lifting unevenly or moving faster than usual. The door may appear crooked when opening or closing, seem unbalanced, or make loud squeaking or other noises. It also may be impossible to lift the door manually.

The best option in these scenarios is to call a garage door repair professional. You could be seriously injured by attempting a DIY fix on your garage door; this happens to many people every year. Fortunately, an injury can be avoided by calling a technician.

How Can You Prevent Breaking Your Garage Door Cable?

Preventative maintenance can reduce the risk of having a broken garage door cable. You can prevent such a situation by:

  • Inspecting cables for frays, kinks, and buildup of debris or grime.
  • Regularly lubricate/oil your garage door cables and springs.
  • Removing debris that can stop a cable from working properly.

It also helps to replace older garage door parts. Doing so allows an automatic garage door opener to run more smoothly, putting less strain on the cables. This has many other long-term benefits regarding the operation, efficiency, and longevity of your garage door.

Contact Garage Door Doctor

The safest and most practical thing to do when a garage door cable breaks is to call a professional. At Garage Door Doctor, we perform garage door cable repair when you need it, as our team is available 24/7 to deal with emergencies. Garage door cable replacement will resolve your problem, protect other components, and enable your garage door system to run reliably for a long time. We remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. All guidelines for social distancing, sanitation, and use of masks/PPE are being followed and we’re providing no contact service to protect our customers and staff.

Feel free to request Indianapolis garage door service online or call 317-934-7706 to speak with us directly about your garage door concerns.