How to Repair Sliding Glass Doors

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Repair Sliding Glass Doors
Repair Sliding Glass Doors (Image: BrendaWhite2006; Photobucket.com)

Sliding glass doors that hang up or drag when opened or closed need servicing. Not only does improper closing leave your home vulnerable to the elements and bug infestation, but also not being able to close the door is a real security risk. A screwdriver, vacuum and door rollers are all you need to have that door rolling smoothly in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Graphite
  • Replacement door rollers

Open the sliding glass door and use a wet/dry vacuum to clean the tracks of any accumulated dirt and debris. Sliding doors catch on loose materials in the track, making it difficult to move the door.

Check that the rollers fit properly in the tracks. Having one roller outside of the track will prevent proper operation of the door.

Use a screwdriver to tighten any loose screws that secure the track to the floor. A raised screw will bring a sliding glass door to an immediate stop.

Apply graphite to the door tracks. Purchase graphite in tubes at any home improvement center. Adding graphite to the surface reduces friction between the door and the track.

Twist the roller adjustment screws in a clockwise direction with a screwdriver to raise the sliding glass door as much as possible. Remove the door by placing a firm grip on each side, lifting it up slightly, and pulling it out towards you. Set it in a horizontal position and secure it so that you can easily work on the bottom trim area without damaging the glass door.

Inspect the rollers at the front and back bottom of the door. Move them with your fingers. Do they feel loose or look worn? If so, replace them. Undo the bottom strip that houses the rollers by removing the screws at each end. You may need to pop it free of any gasket material by using a standard screwdriver.

Slide the brackets holding the rollers out from the bottom strip of the door. A slight tug should release them, although it might take a push with the standard screwdriver. Remove the screws that hold the roller on the bracket. Use your fingers to pull the roller and set the bracket aside.

Take the roller to the home improvement center and find an exact match for replacement. Insert the new wheel in proper position and add the wheel adjustment screw. Tighten with the screwdriver.

Slide the roller brackets back into position in the bottom of the door strip. Attach solidly using the screws and screwdriver.

Re-install the sliding glass door by slightly tilting it towards you and putting the top of the door into the top tracks. Hoist the lower strip over the side of the bottom track and position it correctly. Twist the adjustment screws in a counter clockwise motion to lower the door. The goal is to lower the door until it moves smoothly without dragging in the tracks. (See Reference section.)

Tips & Warnings

  • Have someone help remove and install the sliding glass door if it feels too heavy or awkward to handle yourself. Place the door on a level surface to avoid damage to the door or breaking the glass.
  • Be sure to wash your hands well after applying graphite and follow safety instructions on the package.

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