How to Repair a Sliding Door


The sliding door is a very popular choice for many homeowners because it can help save space. A common problem with these doors, however, is that they will not open or close properly and this article will show you how to repair them. Whether they were made of wood or metal, it’s important to know how to fix them or know when to call the experts in. In this post, we’ll learn some easy-to-follow steps that will make repairing your sliding door as smooth as butter!

Sliding doors can be a bit tricky to repair because their moving parts require precision and accuracy. They are fantastic when they work well, and a real pain in the proverbial when they don’t!

What Can Go Wrong With Sliding Doors?

Slider doors have a tendency to rust, disintegrate, wear down, get dirty, and be exposed to a variety of elements over time.

You’ll find that if you have kids and they’re constantly coming and going out of your doors, the wear and tear on your doors will be more pronounced.

Suffice to say that any device that is used frequently will suffer wear and tear over time.

When the wheels are out of alignment or the track becomes filthy, sliding doors become sticky and difficult to open.

Step 1: Check And Clean The Tracks

It is often the case that many sliding door tracks and internals are very dirty. Due to their constant exposure to the elements, most screen doors or even patio doors will attract a lot of dirt over time.

So the first step is to check and clean the tracks. Just like a train a sliding door needs an unobstructed track for it to slide smoothly along. Anything obstructing its path may cause an imbalance within the mechanics of the door itself.

Clean The Track

While it might sound silly and obvious to check the track before anything else, sliding door repairs can be a bit tricky, and you don’t want to spend hours fixing only to find out that the problem was with something as simple as a dirty track.

After checking that the track is not full of clogging refuse, and removing as much of that refuse as you can with a stiff brush and a vacuum cleaner, you need to check if the track has any physical damage.

Check For Physical Damage

One of the most important aspects is the track. Keep in mind that a heavy door up to 50kg in weight is weighing down on the track. That track capping is the first point of contact. The tracks must be in good working order.

So look to see if there is any damage to the capping on the track. This is the high ridge that the door straddles as it slides. Think of it as a single railway track for a monorail train. Sometimes, if poor-quality sliding door rollers are used, they will damage the track capping while in the process of disintegrating. You will sometimes find that cheap plastic rollers are installed on heavy doors – not a good idea and can prove very expensive when it damages the track capping in the process.

If the capping is damaged, you will need to get a whole new track or alternatively, take it to a specialist sliding door expert who may be able to grind away the damaged capping to a stump and replace a new capping over the stump. This approach saves you from having to purchase a whole new track.

If it’s all too hard and you just want to get a new replacement track, take measurements of the track and send them off to your local hardware store. They should be able to provide you with a sliding door track that fits your specifications.

Check And Replace Door Rollers

If you have checked and cleaned/repaired/replaced the track and the door still won’t slide properly then you may need to replace the rollers in the door itself.

The rollers are crucial when fixing a sliding door. To check the rollers, the door needs to be lifted out of the track and the rollers inspected.

The heavier the door, the higher quality the rollers need to be.

A common problem with modern homes is that they are built using the cheapest parts available, and sometimes cheap poor quality rollers are used as replacements by repairmen as well. This means they can quickly break, disintegrate, and degrade as a result.

It’s important that you replace the rollers at the bottom of your door with high-quality ones if you want them to last a long time.

Replacing damaged rollers as soon as possible is vital if you want to stop doing damage to the track and the door roller mechanisms.

Removing A Glass Door From Its Tracks

It can be dangerous to work with a sliding glass door so please keep in mind the dangers associated with the process of removing glass sliding doors. For especially heavy doors, specialized equipment is needed such as glass suckers. If you have a particularly heavy door, it is best to leave it to the professionals.

Besides glass doors being very heavy, there are other dangers and potential injury associated if they fall over and break. The importance of safety goggles and gloves in this scenario cannot be overstated. So proceed carefully when taking a glass door off its tracks.

Only Use Quality Replacement Rollers

There are three primary concerns with utilizing low-cost and low-quality sliding door rollers. They are as follows:

  1. If you use cheap rollers, you’re got to know that that sooner or later they’ll break. You’ll be unsure about what inopportune moment it will occur and you’ll have a stuck door on your hands to manage. They can break or malfunction at the most inconvenient time, resulting in an accident that may not have been anticipated.
  2. Sliding door security: You must be sure that your sliding door will align properly with your locks. When inexpensive rollers break, the door falls away from the tracks. As a result, the locks are frequently out of alignment. If this happens and your sliding door lock is broken, you must get it fixed right away since it poses a security risk to yourself and your family.
  3. It’s costing you more money in the end: Rollers that are inexpensive always cost more over time. The time and effort needed to repair a door every time it fails is far greater than simply installing high-quality sliding door rollers initially.

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