How to Open a Garage Door with a Broken Spring

Posted Sunday, March 20th, 2022

How to Open a Garage Door with a Broken Spring

Your garage door is a crucial element in the safety and protection of your home. It keeps the belongings in your garage safe, and serves as an additional shield from the outside world; it can also bring visually pleasing elements to the front of your home.

If you have a broken garage door spring, we recommend you contact a reputable garage door repair company in your area. There is perhaps nothing more frustrating or stressful than needing to get your car out of the garage to hurry to school or work, but not being able to because a broken spring has rendered the entire door system inert.

This is a very common problem, and the door can be opened if the homeowner follows a simple process with safety precautions foremost in their minds. Understanding what causes this problem can also help prevent it.

What is a garage door spring?

A garage door spring has the ever-important job of supporting the door’s weight so it can be moved either manually or by way of a remote-controlled operating system. When this is not working, the full weight of the door will be very difficult and even dangerous to try to move. There are two main types of springs, and these include torsion and extension springs. The main difference between these two is the location of the spring itself.

A torsion spring is located above the door (while it’s shut), or on the inside front wall of your garage. They open and close along with the door, helping to support its weight. Extension springs, however, are most often located along the tracks of the garage door on both sides. The role of the springs in both cases is the same; the weight is just dispersed differently between the two.

Why do garage door springs break?

Think of how often you open and close your garage door. You likely open and close it at least a few times throughout the day, and perhaps even more if there are numerous people in your homecoming and going at different times throughout the day. When you add that up over a significant period of time, it is not surprising that garage doors take quite a beating, and eventually, the springs simply become tired and worn out.

Another contributing factor can come from the elements or a lack of maintenance–rust. Since the springs are metal, they can easily rust if not lubricated often enough. Rust makes the metal brittle and stiff, which will make it easier for the spring to break or snap apart in places. Regular maintenance involves applying a substance like WD-40 to the springs and testing them to listen for any squeaks in the spring that would indicate that the spring needs to be lubricated.

Opening Garage Door with Broken Spring

If you realize that your garage door spring has broken–whether it’s a torsion or extension spring–you’ll probably need a quick and safe way to open it so you can go about your day until you’re able to call a technician to fix it completely. Doing so is possible provided you can take the time to open it safely, and if you can have a relatively strong adult, a neighbor perhaps, helps you get the door open. Consider the following steps the next time you find yourself in this predicament:

  • You’ll need to put two six-foot ladders on either side of the front of the garage. These will help keep the door open once you’ve propped the door open completely.
  • You’ll also need two pry bars–one for you and one for your neighbor/helper. Each of you should insert these on opposite ends of the door at the same time, prying it up enough to grab onto the bottom edge with your hands.
  • Push it up at the same time, and slowly, taking care to not overextend your back or stand underneath the door while it isn’t secured, as this could cause serious injury.
  • Use vice grips attached to the track just below the door once you have pushed the door to the fully open position.
  • Then you can move the ladders into position, using them to rest the door on (after removing the vice grips). You can certainly leave the vice grips in place as an extra precaution against the door slipping out of place.

Even though this is a quick and sure-fire temporary fix that will help you get out of your garage and hopefully work on time, you will certainly want to call a technician to replace the spring and inspect your garage door thoroughly as soon as you can. A technician is trained in all aspects of garage door care and maintenance and will be able to not only install a new spring but also help you anticipate and prevent breakages and malfunctions in the future.


Now that you know how to open a garage door with a broken spring, you can proceed safely.

Garage doors are an important part of your home, and they also are required to work hard on a daily basis. Making sure all parts of the door, including the springs–whether they are extension or torsion springs–will ensure that you’re not caught outside your garage and unable to get in, or worse, stuck inside your garage needing to get out.

Should you find yourself needing to open a broken garage door, the process is quite simple and just requires a few tools like vice grips, ladders, and an assistant. Safety is very important to keep in mind when following these steps, as garage doors can be quite heavy, and opening a broken one improperly could result in injury.

However, it is important to note that once you open a broken garage door, you should contact a professional offering garage door services in your area. An experienced professional will help show you how to perform a garage door inspection and let you know what type of garage door maintenance is needed in order to avoid problems in the future. Doing so will ensure that you have a safe and functioning garage door that won’t cause inconveniences in the long run.

If you need assistance, please consider making Cressy Door & Fireplace your source for dependable garage door repair.


The Team at Cressy Door and Fireplace has the knowledge and expertise to assist you with most any questions in regards to the purchase and installation of Cressy commercial doors, residential garage doors, fireplaces, or pedestrian doors for sale in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. We have established great relationships with the highest quality manufacturers. These relationships give us access to some of the best pricing available. We pass these cost savings along to our customers when they buy one of the doors or fireplaces for sale from Cressy of Seattle.

If you have questions or are ready to schedule fireplace or door installation services in the Seattle area, please give us a call or fill out the form to the right. One of our team members will respond promptly.

Kent (253) 887-9135

Shoreline (206) 632-0533

Serving the Puget Sound Community since 1952.