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When they’re working right, sliding glass doors bring in lots of natural light while still providing protection from the elements. Attractive and sturdy, sliding glass doors are especially great if you have a deck, or have pets or children who like to play outside. However, normal wear and tear can cause your doors to stop working correctly, and you can usually tell that problems are starting when it becomes more difficult to open and close your sliding glass doors.

Outside Temperatures are Extreme

Before diving into a fix, remember that metal expands in hot weather and contracts in cold weather. When the temperatures are more extreme than usual outside your door, you may suddenly experience a door that’s less than cooperative. This is generally not a big problem, but if it continues, it might be worth taking a closer look at the mechanics.

The Track is Out of Whack

In short, if something on your sliding glass door is out of whack, look to the track. Sliding glass doors have a track underneath the door that allows the door to slide horizontally. If anything is out of whack with this track, opening and closing the door may become more difficult.

Your Door’s Tracks Need to Be Cleaned and Lubricated

Because of their location in a high traffic area, the most common reason you end up with alignment problems is because of debris that naturally builds up from people walking through and from the outside. Dirt, mud, leaves, and even pet hair can build up and cause serious problems. You can make a point of dealing with inspecting and cleaning the area regularly so that you have fewer issues, but there can be buildup even when you try to stay on top of the problem.

Also, the door and track are designed to hold lubrication in between the metal of the door and the metal of the track. But over time, you may need to lubricate the track.

How to Fix a Sliding Glass Door That’s Sticking

Step 1: Remove the door from the track by taking a screwdriver and turning the roller adjustment screws in a counterclockwise direction. The rollers will retract, and then you will be able to remove the door by unscrewing the screws at the top.

Step 2: Place the door on an elevated surface so that you can inspect it carefully and safely. Gently pull the rollers out, and see if they are damaged or if they are dirty. If the rollers are damaged, you will probably need to replace them. If the rollers are just dirty, clean them well with alcohol.

Step 3: Put the rollers back. Align the screws and tap them into place with a hammer and a wooden block. Be careful of the wheels because they’re easy to damage. Once you have reinstalled the rollers, retract them as much as possible the same way you did in step 1.

Step 4: Clean the tracks carefully.  Vacuum up any loose debris in the area, use alcohol to wipe the tracks, and spray with silicone for lubrication, as well as to prevent future mold problems, rust, or squeaking.

Step 5: Finally, reinstall the door. Align it in the bottom track first, tilt it up, and attach the top. Roll the door toward the jamb on the same side as the latch, then tighten the screws back.

It’s Out of Alignment

When your door is out of alignment with the frame, your door will be hard to open. In addition to dirt and debris, the door may have received an unexpected blow. If someone stumbles into it, or in extreme situations maybe the wind blows strongly into it, the door could be knocked slightly off track. Maybe not enough for you to notice initially, but enough to cause the door to be difficult to slide. In this case, you can try the steps above, but if the frame itself has been bent by the blow, you may need professional assistance.

If you need help with a problem with your sliding glass door, or if you have any other questions about glass in your home or car, contact Advanced Auto Glass today. We have been in business for 28 years, and our goal is to solve your glass problems quickly and efficiently. Find us online or call us at 817-595-3200.

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