How to Fix a Sticking Sliding Door

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Sliding glass doors in a home are attractive, but require the occasional tune-up for optimal performance. Fixing a sticky or stuck sliding glass door is a simple process that even an inexperienced homeowner can handle, but one that may take a little time and muscle to complete. The fix may be as simple as a dirty track, or it may require actually removing, cleaning, and then re-installing the door.

The first step in troubleshooting a sticky sliding door is to open it all the way and then clean and oil the tracks. Both the top and bottom tracks should be cleaned. Open and close the door a few times to completely spread the oil.

If the door is still sticking, try using a screwdriver to adjust the height of the rollers. The holes for the roller screws will be found along the base of the door, above the wheels. It may be that the rollers are pushing the door too far up into the top track or that the wheels are uneven. This adjustment should be done carefully, since if the wheels are raised too much during this process the door can come off the top track and fall.

If this doesn’t do the trick, the door will have to be removed from its frame and cleaned more thoroughly. Since most sliding glass doors are fairly heavy, an assistant should be available to help. Removing the sliding door can be as simple as lifting it off the track and then gently lowering it to the ground, or it may require unscrewing and removing stop molding at the top of the frame and adjusting the rollers to lower the door. Each door model is slightly different.

Once the door is down, the rollers should be vacuumed and oiled. The tracks should also be cleaned again, as it will be easier to do a thorough job without the door in the way. Any worn out weatherstripping that may be causing the door to catch should also be removed and replaced. Once this is done, the door can be carefully replaced in its frame and any stop molding screwed back into place.

These simple steps should be enough to fix any sticking sliding door. Keeping the track free of pet hair and dirt will help avoid the problem in the future. As long as the tracks and rollers are kept clean, a sliding door will function perfectly.

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