How To Fix A Sliding Glass Door That Sticks
Having a sliding patio door can be great for homes that feature a large backyard or balcony. Being able to move seamlessly from the indoor to the outdoor area of your home gives you a lot of great options for entertaining, catching the breeze, or simply creating a better view from indoors. But when your sliding glass door starts catching and acting up, it can be frustrating to deal with. Many sliding doors function on a fairly simple roller system, which means your fix could potentially be quite easy. Other times, however, you’ll need to remove your entire door to get a good look at the problem. Whatever the issue, don’t sweat it. If you’re dealing with a stuck, fidgety, or simply sticky sliding glass door, here are a few quick fixes that should help you sort out the problem.
Adjust the Screws
Before doing anything else, you’ll need to actually figure out what the problem is. When you have a sticky door, there could be a lot of different things going on. You could be dealing with a dirty or sticky track, worn-down rollers, a door that’s out of alignment, or a door frame or track that’s been bent and warped with time. To diagnose your door’s problem, start with the easiest solution: Cleaning the track. If your door gets stuck often enough, it could be the result of a filthy track that’s simply gumming up the works every time you go to slide it open or closed. If your track is too dirty, it could also affect how your rollers work. Rollers can generally go a long time without needing to be replaced, but a dirty track could end up cutting their functional life short. Check your track and rollers for any dirt or damage first. After that, you’ll want to try adjusting your screws to make sure your door is actually on track and in position.
Adjust Your Rollers
Once you’ve figured out that your track isn’t the problem, you’ll want to see if you can adjust your rollers to create a smoother experience. On the bottom of your door, you’ll find a screw with a small covering. Pry off the covering, and use a screwdriver to adjust the height of your door to test how the rollers perform. If you find that things are moving along way more smoothly, you’ll want to keep your rollers at their new height. If these changes don’t yield improvements, you may have to dismount the door to get a clear look at the problem.
Remove Molding and Door
Before you remove your door, you’ll want to remove the strip of molding that’s found at the top of your door, known as “stop molding.” This strip should come off easily with the help of a putty knife. Once you’ve removed this, you may want to call in a friend or helper to safely remove the door from its track. Once your door is out, you’ll be able to check for more serious problems with your rollers. For instance, is the entire piece holding the rollers together simply not functioning as it should? If your individual rollers look clean and undamaged, you might need to replace your rollers. Remove your current rollers with a screwdriver and test your door with its new rollers before putting it back on the track. If you’re not convinced that you need a new set of rollers just yet, trying doing a thorough cleaning of your old ones to see if they function any better. You can also use a silicon-based lube or WD-40 to help your rollers slide down the track a bit more easily. Spray the track and the screw you used to try and adjust the roller height before putting your door back in the track.
Check the Frame for Damage
If nothing seems to be working, it’s time to check your entire frame for damage. If you’re finding that your door and your rollers aren’t the problem, you’re most likely looking at a warped door frame or a bent track. Sometimes this bend can look obvious, other times it can be extremely subtle. Take a look at your wood or aluminum frame first. When wood takes on too much moisture in the summer, it can swell and expand, later shrinking back to size once the seasons turn. This can create a warping effect that can have huge consequences for your sliding door. Warping can affect the way your door fits in its frame, and it can also be responsible for warping or bending your track so that rollers don’t have a smooth pathway to move down. Take a look at the outside of your frame to see if there’s any visible damage. If you see something that looks like warping, call a professional to help.