Our home inspection last week had a garage door that has seen better days. Garage doors, if not taken care of, can lead to failure.

Proper maintenance of your garage door and opener is vital to ensure their smooth operation, prevent breakdowns, and prolong their lifespan.

Here are some steps to help you maintain your garage door and opener:

  1. Visual inspection: Check your garage door and opener regularly for signs of wear and tear, damage or loose parts.
  2. Lubrication: Lubricate the moving parts of your garage door and opener to reduce friction and wear. Use a silicone or lithium-based lubricant and avoid using grease or oil, which can attract dust and debris.
  3. Check the balance: A properly balanced garage door will operate smoothly and put less strain on the opener. Test the balance of your garage door by disconnecting the opener and manually opening and closing it. If it doesn’t move smoothly or doesn’t stay in place when partially opened, it may need adjustment.
  4. Tighten loose parts: Check for loose bolts, nuts, and screws on your garage door and opener and tighten them as needed.
  5. Test the safety features: Make sure that the safety features of your garage door and opener are working correctly. Test the auto-reverse function by placing an object in the door’s path and ensuring that it reverses when it comes into contact with the object. Be careful when doing this as if this function is not working, it can damage the garage door.
  6. Clean and clear the tracks: The tracks on which your garage door operates can accumulate dust, dirt, and debris, causing the door to operate sluggishly. Clean the tracks regularly with a cloth and remove any debris that may be obstructing them.
  7. Schedule professional maintenance: While there are many tasks that you can do yourself to maintain your garage door and opener, it’s essential to have them professionally serviced at least once a year. A professional garage door contractor can identify and fix any underlying problems that you may have missed.

By following these steps, you can keep your garage door and opener in good working condition and extend their lifespan.

After hunting the wonderful world of Youtube, we did find this helpful video to guide us in performing this maintenance. Click here for video 

If you’re still uncertain and want some guidance, or if you want your garage door inspected, please schedule it online at https://www.bridgetowninspections.com or by calling 971-888-1410.



What Is a Belly in a Sewer Pipe?

Sewer line bellies are characterized by a sag or downward bent section of the pipe. A properly functioning sewer lateral typically has a slope that uses the force of gravity to facilitate flow. A bellied sewer line interferes with the normal flow of wastewater through the pipe, which causes water and sediment to collect in the bellied portion of the line.

What Causes a Belly in a Sewer Line?

Inadequate planning and subpar installation are most often the root causes of sewer line bellies. Professional installers understand that proper bedding compaction, high-quality pipe materials, and correct angle of slope are the most important factors in preventing the emergence of sewer line bellies. However, other factors like tree roots, sun, heat, rain, and extreme temperature fluctuations can also result in shifting soil that can cause bellies.

belly in sewer line

To prevent sewer line bellies, proper soil bedding is necessary during installation, which includes (large format gravel and sand). If the wrong materials are used for embedding, over time certain sections of the pipe will settle further into the ground, causing a belly to form.

A sewer line must also have the correct slope and grade in order for gravity to transport waste away from the home or building. Trenchless sewer line professionals use the most advanced tools available (including video cameras and locator wands) to ensure proper slope, thereby preventing bellies in the line and subsequent buildup of sediment.

In some cases, unstable ground can cause bellies. Even sewer lines that have been installed with the appropriate support in place may sag if the earth below begins to shift.


What is the Difference between Sewer Line Belly and Sewer Channeling?

Occasionally, a problem may be misdiagnosed as a sewer line belly when the real culprit is actually sewer channeling. Channeling occurs when a pipeline begins to buckle in sections, due to erosion or increased weight on the pipe due to shifting earth. When a pipe buckles, it can interrupt line flow, creating even more blockage and build up. However, the only way to determine is for a qualified plumber to examine the pipe with more invasive technology. We use great equipment, but our camera usually can’t see through the dirty water. This is why we say further evaluation.


Channeling is a common issue with the Orangeburg type of sewer line. Orangeburg pipe was used in some jurisdictions between about 1945 and 1972. This material is primarily made of tar paper, so the pipe structure has a tendency to buckle as it ages. After about 30 years, decay of the Orangeburg pipe can lead to channeling. Fortunately for those of us in northern California, Orangeburg was not widely used in our region.  Orangeburg pipes were more frequently installed in the eastern United States. However, some has been found in and near Portland.

How to Repair Bellied Sewer Pipes?


We recommend Paul Meusling at 503-265-9593. His e-mail is paulamericandrain@gmail.com 

Under certain circumstances, trenchless Cured-in-Place pipe lining (CIPP) can be a lower cost solution and is an option for some pipe replacement situations – but the CIPP method will not correct bellies in the sewer line. While Pipe Spy does not currently offer this service option, we know that CIPP or “slip lining” can be a challenge in our region, as procurement of the proper permitting for this trenchless method in the San Francisco East Bay is often denied. CIPP is typically only approved in extraordinary cases when there are no other (safer) alternative solutions. Chemicals used to cure CIPP method materials can be toxic and harmful to both the wastewater system and local groundwater. The CIPP technique extends the life of the existing sewer lateral by using the existing pipe for structural integrity. If that integrity is already eroded or compromised, CIPP lining won’t solve the problem. If your sewer repair professional is using this method, be sure to ask questions and check that the proper permits have been issued for the work.

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