Sliding doors move along a track embedded in its lower (and sometimes, upper) sash. Over time, dust and dirt builds up inside these tracks, obstructing the smooth movement of the door. Eventually, your sliding doors get harder and harder to open or close and it transforms from a minor nuisance into a full-blown problem. However, before you call your doors and window installers, it pays to give a few of these solutions a try.
You can prevent sliding doors (or even windows, for that matter) from sticking by simply keeping the tracks clean. You can do so as often as once every few weeks depending on how much dust your home is exposed to. Use an old toothbrush with soft bristles to carefully remove any crusted-up dust within the rails. You could also get a grout brush from your local hardware store for a more thorough clean.
Your entry door installers will lubricate the tracks of a newly-installed sliding door. However, this lubrication can dry out over time and the resulting friction could make the door stick. Forcing the door to slide without lubrication can warp the rails and cause more problems in the future. Lubricate the tracks as needed to prevent this from happening. Remember to use a silicone-based lubricant instead of the traditional oil-based products as this will also help prevent dust and dirt from getting into the tracks.
If you’re handy with a tool, you could also adjust the rollers underneath the sliding door. Find a circular-plug, often made to look inconspicuous, along the lower section of the frame. Unplug the cover and you should be able to see a screw that controls the roller height. It will take some trial and error but you should be able to find a height that works best for your door.
Some sliding door problems require the help of professionals. At TJ Exteriors, we are your trusted leader in door and window installation, maintenance, and repair services. Give us a call at (952) 466-6644 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation and request a free estimate today.