Why is Your Glass Sliding Door Sticking?

Kitchen with a glass sliding doorSliding glass patio doors are great – offering both ease of use and a beautiful view of the great outdoors. But sliding glass door hardware is not immune to developing problems. Over time your sliding door may stop performing smoothly and get more and more difficult to open and close. Here are the top issues we see that cause sliding glass doors to stick:

Dirt buildup in the track

This is a common problem and an easy one to fix.

  1. Check the track for dirt and debris.
  2. Remove any large debris that has gotten stuck in the track.
  3. Scrub the track down well and as thoroughly as possible with a small wire brush or toothbrush to loosen dirt.
  4. Vacuum up the loose dirt.
  5. Use cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove any stuck-on grime.
  6. Spray the track with a silicone lubricant like WD-40. Put down cloths or newspapers first to guard your floors from overspray,  and promptly wipe up any lubricant that ends up outside of the track.
  7. An ounce of prevention is worth an hour of cleaning! Always make it a point to clean your sliding doors whenever you clean your house.

Misaligned door

Did your door suddenly stop working smoothly? Sometimes sliding doors can get misaligned and knocked off their track. A misaligned door can be fixed by gently lifting up and re-placing it in the track. To prevent this, always close your sliding doors gently - avoid slamming them shut.

Roller problems

A sliding door slides on rollers in the track. Over time, these can become damaged, dirty, broken, or misadjusted. To fix roller issues, you will usually need to remove your door from the track and inspect the rollers to see where the problem lies.

  1. Rollers may need to have their height re-adjusted. This is an easy thing to rule in or rule out first, as you can fix this without removing the door.
    • There will be 2 sets of rollers on each side of your door, each with an adjustment screw which moves the height up or down
    • Remove the protective caps covering the adjustment screws, and use a screwdriver to raise or lower them. You’ll need to experiment a little to see which type of adjustment is better.
    • While the caps are off, spray a small amount of silicone lubricant in the screw opening – this may also help alleviate the problem.
  2. Dirt, hair and other debris can build up on and around the rollers – Just like the wheels on your vacuum cleaner, if hair gets tangled around the rollers they won’t be able to rotate smoothly. You will need to remove the door from the track to untangle and remove whatever is keeping the rollers from rolling properly.
  3. Roller material can dry out over time – Spraying silicone lubricant in the track may help, but if they’re really bad you may need to remove the door to apply it to the rollers themselves.
  4. Worn or Broken Rollers – Sometimes the rollers are just worn out or damaged beyond repair and need to be replaced.

Patio door frame issues

Do you have an older door? Wood frames can become warped, aluminum frames can get dented. If the frame’s causing major issues, call a professional - it may be possible to repair it, or it may be easier to replace the door entirely.  

If you need to buy new rollers or other sliding patio door hardware or need help replacing or repairing your door, contact Reflect Window and Door.  We stock a wide variety of sliding glass door hardware for sale. And, if you’re in the Edmonton area, our door pros would be happy to give you an estimate on replacing or repairing that worn-out door.