One of the most powerful and somewhat dangerous pieces of your whole garage door system is a mechanism that has been around for years and is extremely useful in many types of machinery, the spring. If you have read a bit on this blog before you will find that we sing out the praises of this otherwise unsung hero relatively often. One thing you might be interested to learn though is what this wonder spring is made out of. In reality there are two materials that make up this spring and for the most part they are relatively similar. Manufacturers go back and forth on which one is better than the other, but today we are going lo look a little bit at how garage door springs are made and what makes garage door springs so durable. In essence garage door springs are just a steel wire that is made into a spring, but the specifics are obviously more complicated than that. Without these specifics we would never find out why one garage door spring company is better than another and why one garage door spring outlasts the competition while another garage door spring breaks continually. The steel that garage door springs are made out of is very high in carbon and drawn out into a wire of a specific diameter depending not the size needed. The first type of garage door spring is made out of a galvanized wire. Galvanizing is a process that has been around for centuries and is characterized by the application of zinc to either steel or iron, in an effort to prevent rust from forming. In regard to garage door springs this is done before the rods are drawn into their specified diameters. While galvanizing does prevent rust from forming there are downsides to these springs. Zinc galvanizing can look nice but can leave the springs more rigid than others and put unwanted stress on other parts of the garage door which can lead to a lower number of cycles for your garage door springs. Zinc galvanized garage door springs are really best for those who don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or anything like that as they can go for longer without maintenance but will need to be replaced more often than other garage door springs. The other popular material used for garage door springs these days is oil tempered wire. These wires are made in much the same way as the galvanized steel wires but are instead heated to extreme temperatures and dipped into oil instead of zinc. This process makes them much more durable but also makes them susceptible to rust. Nowadays it is becoming clearer that these oil tempered garage door springs are the better choice for most garage doors. Oil tempered garage door springs are less susceptible to breaking and are more flexible allowing them to stay in a working condition for a longer period of time comparatively. With that said they do come with their downsides, because they are tempered in oil they are often still covered in some oil when they are installed and so can make a mess while transported and installed. They also require more routine maintenance than the other types of garage doors because they can rust over. This means that if they are not maintained correctly they can end up costing you, but if they are maintained and lubricated relatively often then they can outlast the galvanized springs by quite a while, making them a more cost prudent choice. While these two types of springs are very similar the main difference is that galvanization versus oil tempering. Both types of steel make for fine garage door springs that will serve your door well, but if you want a longer lasting garage door spring that only requires a tad more time and effort on your part then the oil tempered garage door springs are for you. One important thing to remember is to talk to your local professional garage door dealer as their thoughts and any suggestions they might have. If perhaps you live in an area particularly prone to rust and corrosion the case for galvanized springs might be more compelling. Your local garage door seller may also have personal recommendations and better prices on certain springs so make sure to talk things through and if need be stick to your guns if you are sure about your decision to go for one type of spring over the other. If you for some reason have the idea that you are going to be installing the garage door springs on your own and won’t give any thought to doing otherwise, remember that oil tempered garage door springs can still be very oily by the time they get to you and so be careful with when you install them. Make sure to wash your hands after you install them. If you are more cautious and don’t mind spending the extra money to have an experienced professional install or replace your garage door springs then make sure that your technician does the same. Remember that garage door springs are some of the most dangerous components to your garage door and that despite being new they can be quite dangerous and tough to install unless you know what you are doing. We recommend to always use a professional to replace, remove, and install your garage door springs, no matter what type of spring they are. Safety for you and your garage door is one of the most important things so make sure your springs get installed quickly and correctly the first time around by calling a professional.