Your overhead garage door is used multiple times a day for years. With that kind of consistent use, it’s natural for things to get worn down and eventually break. For instance, your garage springs are responsible for offsetting the weight of the overhead door so it is easy to open and close. Since garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds, it’s incredibly important to make sure a broken spring is replaced as soon as possible before it does irreparable damage to your garage door—or worse, someone gets hurt. How can you tell if it is broken, and what should you do if it is?

When is the last time you replaced the spring?

If it’s been more than five years, it’s time to at least get your garage door looked at by a professional. According to ImproveNet, the average cost to replace your garage door spring can run between $100–350 per spring, depending on where you live and what kind of spring your door has. If that price seems steep to you, remember how important these springs are for your safety as well as the stability and lifespan of your garage door.

You heard a loud snap in the garage.

Garage door springs are under an incredible amount of tension. You’ll probably hear a bang or a snap if a spring finally breaks.

The garage door is bent at the top.

Continuing to operate your garage door when the springs are broken can cause serious damage to your door. If you notice that the top is bent or damaged in any way, close the door and don’t operate the system again until a professional can inspect it and offer their recommendations.

Read More: Should I Repair My Own Garage Door?

The door falls too quickly while it is closing.

A broken spring can’t do its job effectively, which can cause the door to fall when closing instead of its usual controlled descent down the door tracks. Pay close attention to the door when you close it. Even a worn-out spring can become an issue, so it is better to get ahead of a potential problem before it gets worse.

One side of the garage door is higher than the other.

This can happen to a garage door with two springs when one breaks, is damaged or gets worn out faster than the other. Since the remaining spring has to do the work of two, the side of the door with the broken spring isn’t supported enough to be raised correctly. Then, it’s a domino effect: if one spring is broken or damaged, the strain that it puts on the other spring will likely cause it to break, as well eventually.

The garage door only partially closes or has stopped working altogether.

Garage door systems have sensors that prevent the door from operating when it meets too much resistance. This can prevent your door from opening and closing properly or stop operation altogether. This is not only to prevent the door from being damaged but also to protect you and your family from harm resulting from the door suddenly crashing down.

A word to the wise: if you suspect a spring is broken, never disconnect the garage door opener from the door by pulling on the emergency release handle while the door is open. This is extremely dangerous, as the door can fall down with great force.

If you think one or both of your garage door springs are damaged, keep the door closed, and call the professionals at WD Door to schedule your service appointment as soon as possible.