Garage Door Maintenance Best Practices

Generally the largest moving object in a home, the garage door can be very dangerous if it is not properly maintained. There are several things you can do for your homes in Portland, OR and Camas, WA to make sure that your garage door does not accidentally come crashing down.

The very first thing you should do is let everyone in your household know that you are going to be doing maintenance on the garage door. Make sure they know not to get anywhere near, and especially to not try to open or close it!

Monthly Inspection & Upkeep

(For a quick overview and descriptions of garage door components, check out our article on the Anatomy of a Garage Door.)

Standing inside of the garage and with the door closed, do a visual inspection of:

Torsion springs

  • Are there signs of rust or corrosion? Rust is a very common cause of breakage, and given the humidity in SW Washington and NW Oregon, the potential for oxidation is pretty high.
  • Are there any uneven spaces between the coils? This means they’re worn out!
  • Make sure there is a steel safety cable running inside the spring. It’s a crucial backup in case of torsion spring failure.
  • Check for any loose fittings.

Safety cables

  • Any signs of fraying or overwear? Worn out cables must be replaced!
  • Check for loose fittings. Cable should be securely fastened to bracket holding the track to the joist.


  • Lubricate.
  • Check for any loose bolts.


  • Lubricate.
  • Mounting hardware. Are there any signs of wear or damage on the hinges? Is the mounting hardware itself becoming loose?

Track brackets

  • Check for tightness.

The track itself

  • Check for any irregularities such as dings or bumps.
  • Use a level and make sure properly aligned.
  • Remove any debris. If there is any residue build-up, give a light wipe-down as well.

Reversing sensors

  • Inspect for any dirt or spider webs. Clean if necessary.

Support arm

  • Inspect the cotter pins holding the arm to the door and opener.

Traveler that sits on the rail

  • Make sure that the chain to the garage door opener is properly connected to traveler.
  • If chain is loose, tighten the nuts connecting it to traveler.

If You Detect Any Problem with Torsion Springs or Safety Cables:

These parts of the garage door are extremely dangerous to try and replace yourself. For tasks such as these, call your local garage door maintenance expert. And if you live anywhere near Multnomah County, Clark County, or Washougal County, feel free to make an appointment with Ponderosa Garage Doors for a free estimate!