Let’s face it, a sliding patio door that sticks is annoying. This is especially true when accompanied by an irritating grating sound or when you’re trying to carry several things and you must set everything down to yank it open. Plus, there is always the chance you’ll get hurt while wrestling with the door to open it. Fortunately, there are several tips you can use to take care of this problem relatively quickly and easily. To help you, here are the top solutions for dealing with a sliding patio door that sticks.

1. Get rid of any debris.

One of the most common causes of a stuck sliding door is a buildup of debris, especially within the grooves and along the track. Dirt, dust, animal fur, and hair can clog the rollers. To fix this, first begin by cleaning the track. Vacuum any larger debris and dirt from the track. Then using some warm soapy water or a non-abrasive cleaner, wipe down the track.

2. Check the Panel

If this doesn’t correct the problem, you may need to adjust the door panel. Using a flashlight, look under the operating panel to make sure the rollers are properly seated on the track. Be sure to check both sets of rollers on the right and left. If they are not, use a flat edged screwdriver or stiff putty knife to compress the rollers and lift them back onto the track.

Also make sure the rollers are at proper height. If the panel is rubbing the track, it will impede the operation of the door. Locate the adjustment screws at the bottom edge of the door. Again, there will be one on the left and the right. Turn the screw clockwise to increase the height of the rollers.

3. Check the rollers

To check the rollers, the door panel will need to be removed. Again, locate the adjustment screws at the bottom of the door. Turn them counterclockwise to decrease the height of the rollers. Slide the panel to the center, lift it straight up, and angle the bottom out of the track. You may need a friend to compress the rollers with a putty knife to get them over the bottom of the frame. Once the panel has cleared the bottom of the frame, slide it down and out of the top of the frame. Gently set the panel on its side and take care not to damage the hardware.

The rollers can be removed by unscrewing them from the frame. Clean any dirt and grime off the rollers and make sure they will still spin properly. If they are extremely dirty or damaged, you should probably replace them. Most hardware stores and glass shops carry replacement patio door rollers.

3. Clean the tracks.

Before putting the door back on, use this opportunity to give the bottom track and more thorough cleaning. Use the procedure outlined in step 1. After cleaning silicone spray will help maintain the smooth operation. If you don’t have silicon spray, PAM works well too.

4. Put the door back up.

Start by aligning the panel with the center of the frame. Then, slightly tilt it and slid the top of the panel into the head pocket. Then, position the panel over the bottom track. Again, you may need a friend to compress the rollers with a stiff putty knife. Turn the roller adjustment screws until the door panel is raised off the track.

5. Remember that prevention is the key.

The best way to repair a sliding door that sticks is by making sure this doesn’t happen in the first place. Two easy ways to do this is by regularly cleaning out the tracks and making certain no one slams it shut. This can cause the door to come off track, making it very hard to slide open and closed.

These steps should help fix a patio door that is hard to open and close. If they don’t correct the problem, your door might be beyond repair. In that situation, the only resolution is to replace the door. Vinyl Design provides great sliding patio doors that offer years of worry-free service. Contact us today if you need a patio door.