Do-It-Yourself Sliding Door Repair

Sliding door repair can be an ongoing project when you own a home. While there may be some times when you wish to pay a professional to perform this work, there are also tasks you can take care of yourself to keep the entryway operating smoothly.

Cleaning

Over time and with use, it's typical for this entryway to accumulate debris and dirt. When this occurs, you may notice sticking as you try to move the glass along the track. Use a stiff brush to loosen and remove caked dirt out of the tracks. After removing the dirt, wash the tracks with soap and water to clean them.

Adjust Screws to Fix Sticking

Sticking mechanisms can be frustrating. Examine the bottom of the unit along the face or the edge to find two screws. The screws may sit beneath trim caps. If this is the case, pry off the trim caps to reveal the screws. Tightening and loosening these screws will adjust the height on the track. Look at the height of the door to ensure that it looks even. If one side looks higher or lower than the other, turn the corresponding screw to either raise or lower that side of the door. If the entire mechanism is sticking, tighten both screws one-quarter turn to lift the entire unit. Glide the glass back and forth to see if it moves more freely.

Examine Rollers

Continued issues with sticking could indicate a problem with the rollers. To examine the rollers, remove the door completely. You may need help maneuvering the glass after removing it because it will be heavy. Remove the stop molding from the inside of the jamb by unfastening the screws. After removing the stop molding, pull out the glass carefully by tilting it back and lifting it out. Check the rollers to see if they are dirty. If you see dirt and debris, clean out the rollers. Check the rollers for mobility. If they are not moving freely, spray a lubricant on them to loosen them. Check them again to see whether the cleaning and lubrication resolved the problem. If they still do not work correctly, consider replacing them.

Replacing the Screen Portion

Replacing the screen door is a common sliding door repair. The screen portion of the unit often comes out of adjustment with use. People tend to exert too much force with the screen, which can result in broken wheels or a bent frame. When it's time for a replacement, consider purchasing a replacement made from extruded aluminum, which will provide more strength and rigidity. You will need basic tools for this project. Have some silicone lubricant on hand to lubricate the tracks after you install the new unit.

Do-it-yourself sliding door repair can help you save money by extending the life of your entryway. Often, basic maintenance with regular cleaning will also be effective for keeping the mechanisms rolling freely on their tracks. When you can no longer perform repairs, you may need to replace your door.