Sliding Glass Doors Maintenance and Repair
If you have sliding patio doors, here's how to convert loving care into lasting quality and a door that opens and closes as easy as pie.
Adjusting the rollers: If your sliding glass door doesn’t slide smoothly, you may have to adjust the roller wheels. There are adjustment screws located either on the sides of the doors or at the top and bottom of the door on the interior side…often hidden by a plastic plug. Use a pry bar to slightly lift the door to take pressure off the lower wheels while you turn the adjustment screws.
Replacing the rollers: You can replace rollers that are completely worn out (or those that can’t be adjusted). Open the sliding door about half way, raise it 1 inch by forcing it into the top track, and at the same time, pull out on the bottom. With the door out of the opening, snap the old rollers out and pop in a pair of new ones.
Security: To improve security on existing sliding glass doors, you can install keyed locking devices that secure the door to the frame; adjust the track clearances on the doors to they can’t be pushed out of their tracks; or put a piece of wood or a metal bar in the track of the closed door to prevent the door from opening even if the lock is jimmied or removed.
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Keep tracks clean: always keep the bottom track of the door clean and free of dirt and sand. In addition, regularly spray the track and the wheels with a waterless silicone spray. The absence of water in the spray reduces the chance for rusty wheels, and the silicone is a colorless lubricant that won’t stain or attract dust. Make sure drain holes are free of dirt.
Weather stripping: If possible, replace worn weather stripping. The tubular or bulb vinyl type is reusable season after season and is especially good for sliding glass doors. Once you have cut it to the proper length, simply press the flanged protrusion into the gap to be sealed, either inside or out. Some types require nailing to secure it. Space the nails 4 to 6 inches apart. You should never paint the tubular or bulb vinyl weather stripping, because it stiffens the vinyl and diminishes its sealing ability.
Insulated drapes: when closed for the night in the winter (or on sunny days in the summer) can also enhance energy efficiency.
Sources: Police department, Dummies.com - Taking Care of Sliding Glass Doors, Handyman USA - Sliding glass doors, Q&A, Do it yourself.com
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We will assist you with any of your sliding glass door issues such as rollers or glass in Chicago and the suburbs.