7 Maintenance Tips for Sliding Patio Doors

7 Maintenance Tips for Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding patio doors are a great feature of any home. Not only do they allow circulation and natural lighting to flow in, but they extend living spaces to the outdoors. However, our homes' exterior elements always require a little maintenance and effort if we want them to last. Sliding patio doors are no exception, and common problems like derailed doors, clogged and sticky tracks, and worn-out rollers are just a few of the issues that can cause a struggle. 

Take Care of Your Door to Prevent Sticking

Addressing minor issues can prevent costly problems down the line. Sticky doors are frustrating and will only get worse if not seen to. We want to offer some routine maintenance tips that will help your sliding patio doors to function smoothly.

7 Maintenance Tips for Sliding Patio Doors

By setting a bi-monthly reminder for maintaining your doors, you may be able to keep your doors in tip-top shape.

1. Clean the Glass

There is nothing more satisfying than clean and shiny windows. You can easily remove sticky finger marks from children, sea mist build-up, general dust, and grime with some window cleaner and newspaper. By regularly cleaning glass, you can slow down debris build-up in the surrounding frame and tracks. 

2. Wipe Down the Frame

Washing the door's interior and exterior frame will keep them looking clean and prevent weathering damage on the outer frame seal. A light dusting, followed by warm, lightly soapy water, is sufficient. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they can damage the finish of your door frames. For sliding doors with a wooden frame, re-varnishing the wood is necessary after the original varnish has begun to wear down.

3. Clean the Track

As frequent thoroughfares, sliding patio tracks undergo harsh wear from home dwellers with their dirty shoes, kids' crumbs, and pet hair. But they're also exposed to seasonal temperature extremes and blown-in debris. We recommend cleaning the tracks and rollers monthly. First, use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate loose debris and dust. A warm soapy water solution will help to wipe away dirt. Take your time and use a butter knife to clean grooves and hard-to-reach spaces. An old toothbrush makes an excellent tool for lifting fine dirt in tiny spaces. 

4. Lubricate the Tracks

Lubricating bottom tracks will prevent doors from sticking and becoming tricky to open. Only do this when the tracks are clean and free of dust. If your tracks are filthy, or you've been dealing with a sticking door for some time, it may be best to remove the doors from the tracks so that you can effectively clean and lubricate the entire rail. 

DO NOT add any lubrication to aluminum sliding tracks. Lubrication can gum up the rollers and cause problems. Aluminum tracks won't rust so just keep off the dirt and debris.

ProVia sliding patio doors have aluminum tracks, they do not need lubrication.

5. Replace Worn Out Weatherstripping

Old and brittle weathering strips on your door will no longer protect your home from icy or moist temperatures. Replacing weatherstripping can be done by removing old strips, cleaning the surface of residue or dirt, and installing new weatherstripping. Make sure it's properly aligned, and you follow product directions. 

6. Replace Worn Out Rollers

For stubborn and old doors, you may need to remove the rollers for further investigation. Dirty rollers can be cleaned, lubricated, and reinstalled. But if your door rollers are damaged, replacement is your only option. Make sure you align the rollers correctly and fiddle with the adjustment screws until movement is seamless. 

7. Check the alignment of the door panels

Hard knocks, wrong installation, and abuse of the sliding door (slamming) can cause misalignment and rickety movement. Likewise, a settling foundational or built up debris may cause rollers to fall out of alignment. You can remedy this by adjusting the roller screws or removing the door and setting it straight from top to bottom.

Installing a good-quality sliding door from a reputable company will also mean a longer life for the exit to your patio, garden, or terrace. If problems seem to be premature, check your warranty. You may still qualify for repairs or maintenance from the brand itself. If your doors are far from salvaging, contact a professional to discuss sliding door replacement options that offer better insulation and longevity.

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     -Bobby

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