5 Common Sliding Patio Door Problems You Should Be Aware Of

sliding patio door

Sliding doors are an excellent choice for any patio. It lets in natural light, provides you with a view of the outdoor area, keeps the elements out through the seasons, and helps you save space where a regular door might take up more.

Patio sliding doors are composed of several parts and if at least one component is in bad condition or broken, the doors may become entirely unusable.

Whether you’re considering installing a patio sliding door and want to be mindful of the potential issues, or simply want to educate yourself when it comes to upkeep, read on to learn more about common problems and some handy solutions.

Doors are stuck or difficult to slide

If your doors only slide part-way, do not glide easily, or have gotten stuck, it could be due to a number of reasons. Likely, this is caused by some issue with the track or rollers (or both).

Identify which ones apply in your case and see the corresponding fixes below:

Track is bent

First, determine whether the tracks are bent inward or outward. Tracks that are bent inward might leave your door stuck in one position, while an outward bend may be a potential hazard and result in the door falling off the track.

Bent inward – Carefully bend the track back into alignment with pliers.

Bent outward – Realign the track using a rubber mallet and wooden block. Position the block of wood against the track and readjust the track with mild taps, careful not to put too much pressure. Test to ensure the doors are rolling well along the track.

Track is dirty

In some cases, there might just be dirt obstructing the doors from sliding properly. Check for any buildup (fur, leaves, twigs, etc.) and remove them by using a vacuum cleaner. Wipe away any leftovers with a wet cloth or paper towel.

Rollers are broken

In this case, the rollers will need to be replaced. To check which kind of rollers your sliding door uses, you’ll need to remove the sliding door and unscrew the roller. Once unscrewed, take the rollers to the store as a reference when purchasing a new one.

Once you have new rollers on hand, reposition the doors and place the rollers in carefully.

This can be a daunting task and lead to potential hazards if not properly implemented. Consider seeking expert repair services.

Rollers are misaligned

Check if the rollers’ screws have gotten loose. If this is the case, grab a screwdriver and make sure to adjust the screws so that they’re firmly in place on both sides of the door.

Rollers are dirty

Use a lubricant like oil or grease to ensure the rollers can properly glide along the track.

Glass is broken

This is a crucial one not to be left for later as it presents a safety hazard and leaves your home vulnerable to intruders.

The repair process requires separating the glass from the seal, cleaning up the broken shards, and then installing the new glass. In this case, the best option is to reach out to a professional. With expert help, you’ll be sure the glass is installed correctly and rule out potential hazards.

Seal is broken or in bad condition

With time, your door’s seal might succumb to natural wear and tear. Reinstalling new ones is important to keep your sliding doors airtight.

Latches are broken

Repair this common problem by oiling the latches. 

It might also be the case that the bolt is a bit loose. Adjust the bolt and ensure that the latch is firmly in place. 

If none of the above apply or work in your case, it might be time to replace the latch.

Doors are out of alignment

Over time, the doors might get misaligned from constant use and wear and tear.

Rectify this by removing the doors from the track and readjusting them to the right alignment. This is a two-man job that requires another person to keep the door steady in position as it’s being replaced. After realigning the doors, ensure the screws are firmly in place.

Some sliding patio door problems can be resolved at home, but for others, it might be best to call in the experts. This ensures the parts are installed or repaired the right way and any potential dangers are avoided. Some repair requires disassembling and reassembling the parts, so it’s definitely better to keep safe and sure.

If it’s time to replace or install new sliding patio doors for your home, feel free to reach out to us for a consultation and we’d be happy to guide you through! We’ll develop a plan based on your specific patio door needs and prepare a quote.