How to Fix a Sticky Sliding Glass Door in 5 Easy Steps
Is your patio door doing a lot more sticking than sliding these days? If so, it’s likely time to show your patio door a little TLC. Fortunately, fixing a sliding glass door that sticks is usually inexpensive and can be completed in just a few simple steps.
The most common reasons your sliding patio door is sticking is because it’s either full of debris (think crumbs, pet hair, bugs, dust, and dirt) or it’s time for new rollers. Either way, you’ll need to start with removing the door to get a closer look at what you’re dealing with.
What You’ll Need to Fix Your Sliding Glass Door
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Soap, water & rag
- Stiff bristled brush
- Silicone-based lubricant
- An extra set of hands
Step 1: Remove the Sliding Door
First thing’s first: find someone to help you remove the slider from its tracks. This keeps things safer for you, and for the door.
Next, locate the plastic adjustment screw covers on the sides of the door, near the bottom. Pry off or unscrew the covers, and then adjust the rollers using a screwdriver, so that they move away from the door.
This will allow you room to remove the door. Standing inside the house with the door in the middle of the opening, have your helper on the opposite side slowly tilt the top of the door toward you. You should be able to ease the door off its tracks almost effortlessly. If there isn’t enough clearance, adjust the top rollers higher.
Step 2: Vacuum the Tracks
With the door removed and safely placed to the side out of your way, thoroughly vacuum the sliding door’s tracks.
Step 3: Scrub the Sliding Door Tracks
Clean the freshly vacuumed tracks with hot, soapy water and a stiff-bristled brush. A toothbrush or wire brush, like the kind used for cleaning golf clubs, work well. Make sure to clean off the top and bottom of the door you’ve removed as well.
Consider vacuuming once again if there is still a lot of debris that has come loose in this process.
Also take a quick moment to check all weather stripping for loose or damaged areas. Trim or weather stripping that is not secured tightly could be causing minor friction.
Ensure tracks are dried thoroughly before the next step.
Step 4: Lubricate the Tracks
Lubricating the sliding door’s tracks is the next step. All it takes is the application of a thin coat of lubricant to the top and bottom of the door track. We also recommend applying a bit in the door frame where the glass door latches, for good measure. Make sure to clean up any overspray to avoid a slippery floor.
Use a non-stick silicone lubricant on vinyl door tracks. If you have wood tracks, opt for a hard wax such as candle wax or beeswax instead of spray lubricant. If you’re ever unsure or don’t have the right product on hand, there are specific door track lubricants available at your local hardware store. Avoid oil-based lubricants, as these tend to attract more dirt than anything else.
Step 5: Inspect and Reinstall the Slider Door
The final step is inspecting the sliding door’s rollers and hardware. If they appear to be cracked, wobbly, or dirty beyond cleaning, you can pop off the rollers and bring them with you to the hardware store to find replacement rollers.
To reinstall the slider door, bring back that extra set of hands you used to help you remove the door and simply pop the door back into place, then adjust the rollers once more with the screwdriver. Pay special attention to this adjustment. If there is too much tension, the doors will be stiff to open, and if there isn’t enough tension, your door will wobble loosely in the tracks.
Finally, slide the door back and forth a few times to test your work and also spread the lubricant evenly through the tracks.
Voila! Now the whole family will once again be able to open the patio door with ease.
It’s easy to ignore a sticky sliding door in the winter when you aren’t using your patio much, but when the weather starts to warm up and you’ll be using your slider more often, making sure it’s functioning properly will ease a lot of frustration around the house.
Professional Patio Door Replacement
There comes a point where a sliding glass door is beyond a good cleaning. If it feels like you’ve completed all of the steps above, but to no avail, it could be time to call your local glass shop for a sliding glass door repair or replacement. The professionals at Budget Glass in Nanaimo can help with your patio door repair and replacement needs. Learn more about our sliding glass door installation services, and then give us a call at (250) 758-3374 if you have any questions, or schedule an appointment online.