After years of use, you may discover that your sliding patio door is no longer functioning or looking as it should. Perhaps it frequently becomes stuck, or the screen is hopelessly sagging. The good news is that, unless there is an underlying structural issue, these issues can be addressed relatively easily. Uncooperative sliding doors are usually caused by dirty rollers from debris in the track, and wrinkly screens are easily replaced. How to fix the sliding glass door yourself?
Follow the steps below to perform a quick tune-up on your patio door. You can have your old door sliding like new in a matter of hours.
The first step
Step 1: Open and Close the Door
Remove the two plugs covering the roller adjustment screws at the bottom of the sliding-door frame and place a drop cloth on the floor. These are sometimes found on the door’s edges.
Insert a flathead screwdriver into each hole and turn the screw all the way counterclockwise. The rollers are retracted, and the door is lowered.
The Second Step
Step 2: Take out the Head Stop
Set up a couple of sawhorses with pads outside. Remove any detachable grilles, shades, or drapes. Allow the door to fully open before removing the head stop by unscrewing its screws. After this point, do not leave the door unattended; if there is no stop, it will fall.
The Step Three
Step 3: Take out the Bottom Track
Lean the top of the sliding-door panel toward you and lift it off the bottom track while standing inside. (Because the door is heavy and unwieldy, you may need to enlist the assistance of another person for this step.) Place the panel on top of the sawhorses.
The Step Fourth
Step 4: Examine the Roller Assembly and Clean the Wheels
Gently pry each roller from its pocket in the bottom of the door with a flathead screwdriver. (Typically, rollers are held in place by friction and the weight of the door.) Replace them with new roller assemblies if they are bent or broken.
Scrape any dirt off the wheels before cleaning them with denatured alcohol and a rag. Lubricate the wheels with a dirt-free silicone spray. Reinstall the rollers by aligning each adjustment screw with its access hole and tapping in the assemblies with a hammer. To protect the wheels, use a woodblock. Retract the rollers as far as possible after they have been seated.
The Step Fifth
Step 5: Clean and lubricate the Tracks
Spray silicone on the head track and the outside face of the removed head stop after wiping them with alcohol. Vacuum any loose debris from the bottom track, then thoroughly clean it with alcohol. The bottom track requires a more substantial lubricant than silicone; rub it with a block of paraffin wax a few times.
The Sixth Step
Step 6: Replace any weatherstripping that has become damaged
To replace torn or cracked weatherstripping where the sliding and fixed panels overlap, use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the staples, then grab one end and pull it and the staples of the door, gently prying with a putty knife. Using pliers, remove any remaining staples. With a hammer, sink the broken ones.
Generally, the strip on the jamb side is glued on. If it’s damaged, pull it off and use a putty knife to scrape away the adhesive residue, being careful not to mar the finish. Where the sliding panel’s frame overlaps the fixed panel, install the new weatherstripping with the flap facing out, as directed on the package. Align the top end of the flange with the shadow line of the head stop and tighten the flange along the door’s edge. You can also contact Galron Sliding Glass doors to fix the patio door in Chicago.
Drill a 1/8-inch pilot hole in each of the flange holes and screw in the provided screws. Repeat on the fixed panel so that the two strips interlock.
Using a plastic adhesive, secure the jamb-side strip in place. Alcohol should be used to remove any smudges or fingerprints.
The Seventh Step
Repair the Screen in Step 7
Remove the screen door if it is sagging or wrinkled, then lay the door frame on a flat work surface and slide a 1×4 block under each end. Clampdown the center of the door to give it a slight bow. Use staples or a rubber spline to secure a new screen to one end of the frame. Proceed to the opposite end, pull the screen snugly and flatly (but not too tightly), and fasten it. When the clamps are removed, the door frame will pull the screen tighter as it straightens. Attach the screen’s sides to the frame.
The Eight Step
Step 8: Replace the Door
Replace the door on the bottom track and tilt it up. Reattach the head stop and brace the door with your body. (Do not leave the door open until the stop is in place. Roll the door up to a half-inch from the latch-side jamb, then adjust the rollers until the door is parallel to the jamb. If the latch does not mate with its receiver on the jamb, loosen the receiver screws and move the plate up or down.