6 Common Sliding Patio Door Problems | Brennan Enterprises
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6 Common Sliding Patio Door Problems

Sliding doors can be helpful in your home. They provide privacy and offer a way to add an element of style. However, you may encounter a few issues with your sliding doors that can undermine their functionality and efficiency. Read on to learn about the most common sliding patio door problems, their causes, and how to fix them. 

Are Sliding Doors Worth It?

Sliding patio doors are the best way to add style, elegance, and openness to your home. These doors come in various styles, sizes, and colors to match and complement your interior and exterior décor. In addition, you can customize your sliding door for energy efficiency or noise reduction. However, there are a few drawbacks you should consider before finally deciding whether to purchase one.

4 Common sliding patio door problems

Whether your door is new or it has been there for years, you want to ensure it works effortlessly. Here are the common problems to watch out for.

1. “My sliding patio doors are hard to slide.” 

If your door sticks and becomes hard to open, check for:

  • Dirty, rusted, or broken rollers 

When the rollers are dirty, rusted, or broken, they don't move smoothly. The door may not open all the way and close quickly. If this is your door's condition, clean the rollers with oil or grease additives to reduce the stickiness and minimize friction. But if the roller is broken, you may need to replace it with a new one.

  • Misaligned wheels 

Misaligned wheels in sliding patio doors can result from misaligned rollers or the door itself. If your door is not correctly aligned with its tracks, you will notice a gap between the glass and frame. This is especially common with long doors with large gaps between the rails. 

  • Bent track

A bent track is a common problem when the door frame or roller frequently impacts its course. The bent track can prevent the entire door from opening correctly or causing it to stick in the open or closed position. You can typically fix a bent track by using pliers to straighten it back out.

2. “How can I fix my torn screen door on my patio?”

Your door's screen can get torn by wear and tear or because of something like a rock hitting it. You may also turn it the wrong way when opening or closing the door and cause it to break. The torn screen will prevent you from opening or closing your patio door, which can be frustrating and dangerous if there's an emergency outside. 

If this happens, clean off any debris or dirt from around the edge where the screen meets its frame. Then replace the torn screen with a more durable option like aluminum instead of steel.  

3. “The glass on my patio door is broken. What should I do?”

Sliding patio doors are often called glass doors because the majority of the surface of the door is made of glass. A broken glass panel can be the result of impact from objects like balls, lawn mowers or even running into the door. Glass can also break by slamming the door too hard and too often. 

In the event that your glass does break, you can replace the glass panel instead of having to replace the entire door and frame.

Additional sliding patio door problems

4. Bad seal

Sliding doors have seals around different parts of the perimeter to minimize air leaks. Unfortunately, the seals eventually wear down and need to be replaced. A good seal will maximize the doors energy efficiency and keep unwanted insects out of your home.  

5. Bad lock

If your door gets stuck or unlocks by itself, try adjusting the bolt tension so that it fits more snugly around the track. If this doesn’t work, consider replacing the entire sliding door lock assembly with a new one with better safety features.

6. Door is out of alignment 

If your door isn't lined up properly with its tracks, it will rub against them when in use and cause wear and tear. You can fix this problem by adjusting the alignment using a screwdriver or pliers while someone holds the door open against their body.

How to extend the life of your sliding patio door

Here are some tips to help extend the life of your sliding patio door:

Treat them gently

Sliding doors are the most popular patio door style. They don't take up a lot of space, they are available in beautiful profiles, and they are an affordable patio door option but they aren't indestructible. Avoid slamming the door shut or using too much force to push it open. Too much force on the door can cause the glass to break and can cause damage to the operating hardware including rollers and locks. 

Keep the tracks clean

This seems obvious, but neglecting to keep track rails clean↗ can cause problems with your sliding patio doors. You should also avoid using harsh chemicals or letting them sit in water for too long without drying out properly. If they get dirty while cleaning, simply use a damp cloth on them instead of harsh cleaners or water.

Make the most of your warranty

Most sliding patio doors come with warranties covering defects in materials and workmanship for periods ranging from 1-5 years, depending on manufacturer guidelines. So if something goes wrong with yours during its warranty period, you'll likely get replacement parts for free. 

July 20, 2022
February 17, 2023


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