A patio door that slides poorly can be a major annoyance during summer. Nothing is worse than having the door open only partway when you’re carrying a book or cool beverage on to your patio. While patio doors are not high on the list of home repair priorities, doors that slide poorly can be a major source of frustration. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to improve this situation.
Most doors become difficult to move or stop rolling because there is dirt, pine needles, or other build up on the track. Simply vacuuming the track and wiping it with a damp rag may make a huge difference. Occasionally, small rocks can get wedged under the door causing havoc with the rollers. A flat head screwdriver may dislodge the rock, or you may be able to maneuver the rock past the roller and remove it.
If the doors are still difficult to open after cleaning the track, make sure the rollers are adjusted properly. In most cases, you will need a Phillips head screw driver to adjust the rollers. Get on your hands and knees and look at the edge of the door near the rollers to see the adjustment screw. A few turns in either direction will raise or lower the door so that is not dragging on the frame. There are 2 sets of rollers on each door, one on each end, so be sure to adjust both sides accordingly.
Occasionally, patio door rollers simply wear out after years of use. Finding replacement rollers can be a chore if you have an older aluminum door, however, rollers for vinyl or wood doors are more readily available. You’ll have to remove the door to replace the rollers. Be sure to bring a roller to your local glass shop or home center to make sure it matches exactly, and the holes line up, then simply swap them out.
Removing the door is usually a 2-person job. And, since you will have a large hole in your house while you run to the store to get a new roller, most people prefer to leave this work to the professionals. At Smith Glass, we carry a wide variety of rollers on our service trucks, so we can replace the rollers in a timely manner.