Five Tips For Keeping Your Sliding Glass Doors Sliding SmoothlyOn November 20, 2018 by johnny
Have you ever gone to open your sliding glass door to enjoy some sunshine on your patio, and it makes that horrible, scraping sound while you struggle to slide it open? Often in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we forget simple little things like maintenance of the sliding door tracks. Here are five tips for keeping those doors sliding smoothly throughout the year.
That frame that your sliding glass doors fit in traps all kind of debris; from outside dirt and dust and grime to pet hair and dust. It can build up over time, creating an abrasive surface on your once smooth frame. Suddenly, your doors don’t open like they used to, but instead scream in protest when you pull the handle, slowly sliding across the grime and dirt.
Take the time once every couple months to clean out that track. Take the doors off of the frame and remove the dirt, grime, and hair that may have built up in the tracks and on the doors themselves. Use a coarse wire brush to get into the cracks and crevices and the spaces between the tracks. This will provide a nice smooth surface for your doors to slide across the next time you go to open it. A simple household cleaner and a rag should do just fine. Maintaining this habit is important for making sure those doors open smoothly every time.
That’s right, you need to lubricate your tracks from time to time. After you’ve removed the doors from the tracks and thoroughly cleaned any dirt and debris away, take a block of paraffin wax and rub it along the tracks, getting a nice even coat on them.
This will not only lubricate the rollers and keep your door running across them smoothly, but also protects the tracks from further grime buildup. The wax creates a layer between the tracks and the dirt particles. Bear in mind though, that the wax eventually rubs away, and you’ll have to repeat the process again at some point.
WD-40 or another mechanical lubricant will work just as well. Simply spray it into all the crevices in the tracks and doors, (don’t forget the rollers!) and along the base of the track itself.
Sometimes after heavy use, sliding door trim can wear away, obstructing the tracks. Or some of the screws can come loose and get in the way of the motion. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may be required to replace the trim itself.
When you remove your doors from the frame to clean and lubricate the tracks, make sure you also look at the trim and any exposed screws to ensure their integrity.
Vinyl door frames are especially vulnerable to damage, and should at least be examined regularly to check for dings or dents that could prevent the doors from opening smoothly.
Over time, your door height can shift, causing it to drop too low on the rollers and causing problems when trying to open it. Many sliding glass doors have an adjustment screw located behind a small plastic cap near the bottom of the door. Adjusting the angle of the rollers can help the doors run smoothly.
You’ll need to pop the plastic cap off and use whatever screwdriver the hidden crews requires. Turning the screw makes the door height go up or down, allowing it to slide better (or worse if you drop it too low). After you’ve adjusted the screw and rollers, spray some WD-40 or some other lubricant into the screw hole. This will make further adjustments easier, and provide some much-needed lubrication to your door’s rollers.
We all want to find the best deal we can when we shop for anything, but often the unspoken rule of “you get what you pay for” can leave us with a sub-par product that turns out to break or malfunction later. This is true in the case of home improvement as well.
Sliding glass doors for your patio or porch come in many shapes, sizes, and prices. Consider the material you choose for your door frame, and also the doors themselves. Vinyl doorframes, while sturdy and generally cheaper, tend to wear down faster over time than an aluminum frame would.
Although a cheaper door and frame may benefit your wallet in the short term, down the road the cheaper building materials could mean more maintenance and repairs, or the need for an entirely new door in the future. Don’t cheat yourself; find the highest quality doors and frames for your budget.
Whether you have a two-panel slider or a telescopic sliding door assembly, remember that the care, cleaning, and maintenance of the moving parts is critical to keeping your doors operating like they were brand new. Take the time every few months to take your doors off the tracks and clean, lubricate, and check for any deformities or broken parts. This can seem like a hassle, but in the end, it will save you time and money should your door or door tracks become damaged.
Make sure when you look for your next sliding door, you don’t cheap out on the materials for the frames and the doors themselves. Having high-quality construction can mean the difference between doors that last and paying hundreds or thousands for repairs and replacements down the road.