How to Maintain Sliding Doors in Your Home

How to Maintain Sliding Doors in Your Home

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Does it take a lot of muscle to open your sliding glass door? Does the door make all sorts of noises when you open it? If so, you’ll want to take the time to repair and maintain the door so that you can prevent these issues in the future.

Here are several tips you’ll want to know when it comes to maintaining your sliding glass door and increasing its lifespan.

Check the Alignment

Sliding glass doors operate on a track in order to open and close. When properly situated on the tracks, the door open and close effortlessly.

If you feel the door moving on the tracks, there may be a misalignment between the door and the tracks. This is easily fixed by nudging and lifting the door into place to center it on the track.

To prevent a misaligned door, always open and close the door gently. Never slam the door, as too much force can knock it off the track again.

Clean the Tracks

One of the biggest culprits of a hard to open sliding glass door are dirty rollers. Food, dirt, and other debris can get into the tracks and create friction. As the debris sits in the tracks, it clogs the rollers underneath of the door and makes it much harder to open and close.

In order to thoroughly clean the tracks, you’ll want to carefully remove the door. This gives you full access to the entire length of the tracks.

Once the door is off, pry the rollers from the bottom of the door. If the rollers are bent or broken, you can replace them. If the rollers are in good condition, clean the wheels with a damp cloth to remove and dirt and debris.

Lubricate the Tracks

After removing dirt and debris from the rollers and tracks, it’s important to lubricate the tracks. For long-lasting lubrication, you’ll need to use more than silicone. To start, rub the track using paraffin wax for durable and effective lubrication.

By lubricating the tracks, you can ensure the rollers gently glide across the tracks without any friction.

Check the Weather-stripping

Worn, cracked, and torn weather-stripping can also cause issues with opening and closing a sliding glass door. If the weather-stripping is the culprit behind a hard to open door, now’s the time to replace it.

Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the staples. Once loosened, you should be able to pull the weather-stripping off with the help of a putty knife. If there are any remaining staples, remove them using pliers or hammer them in to prevent something from getting caught on them.

You may also have weather-stripping on the jamb side of the door. This strip is often glued and can be removed using the putty knife to break the adhesive.

With the old weather-stripping removed, the next step is to install a fresh new layer. This helps to prevent moisture and water from entering your home while also protecting the sliding glass door.

Check the Adjusting Screw

If the sliding glass door still requires some effort to open it, check the adjusting screw, which is located at the bottom of the door end. By adjusting this screw, you can either raise or lower the rollers. Turn the screw clockwise and try opening the door. If it’s even harder to open the door, re-adjust the screw by turning it in the opposite direction.

When adjusting the screw, you may need to re-adjust a few times to get the perfect height.

Time for a New Door?

Like everything in your home, sliding glass doors do have a set lifespan. After checking the alignment, cleaning the tracks, and checking the rollers, if you still have problems opening and closing the door, it may be because the door is at the end of its life.

After years of wear and tear, your sliding glass door may just be too old and may simply need to be replaced. Remember, some sliding glass doors are made out of wood and after exposure to moisture, water, and heat, the wood is likely to warp and/or swell.

To prevent the swelling and warping that wood is prone to, it’s best to avoid wood sliding glass doors and instead choose a vinyl sliding door. Vinyl doors don’t rot, warp, or rot, and can withstand a variety of environments.


Taking proper care of your sliding glass door can save you a lot of frustration and effort. Keep these maintenance tips and fixes in mind to make opening and closing your sliding glass door as effortless as possible.

Did you find the information in this article helpful? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.

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