There are mainly 2 parts of a sliding door – the rollers and the tracks. If your sliding door does not slide smoothly then there may be problems either in the rollers or in the tracks. Sometimes, the accumulation of dirt also causes the door to get jammed.
If you are lucky, then only cleaning the dirt and debris can make the door slide smoothly. But if there are problems with the door track or rollers then either you may need to repair them or replace them.
7 Steps to Make Sliding Door Smoother
You need a vacuum cleaner, bristle brush, cleaning solution, water, a pair of pliers, and a screwdriver to get the job done.
Step 1: Cleaning the Door Track
When dirt and debris are accumulated on the tracks of the sliding door it becomes difficult for the rollers to slide on the track. So, the first step is cleaning the tracks. You need a vacuum cleaner and a bristle brush for this purpose.
Start the cleaning process by collecting loose dirt and debris using the vacuum cleaner. Then take the bristle brush and scrub the track to clean off the rest of the dirt and grime.
If there is any dirt that is hard to remove with the vacuum cleaner or bristle brush then you need to apply a cleaning solution and wipe off it with a rag.
Step 2: Fixing Defective Tracks
If the tracks are defective it will hinder the rollers from sliding over the tracks. Visually inspect the track to find out if there is any defect in it. Sometimes the visual inspection is not enough to identify the defect on the track and in that case you have to slide the door back and forth to find out if there is any bent and damaged part.
If the track has inward bent it will hinder the smooth sliding of the rollers over the track by pinching and grabbing. On the other hand, if the track has outward bents it will derail the rollers and throw them out of alignment.
If the bend is minor then you can easily handle it with a pair of pliers or a hammer and block of wood. But for major bends you should take professional help, otherwise, you may end up making more damage instead of fixing it.
Step 3: Lubricating Tracks
Spread a lubricant evenly and thoroughly across the track while sliding it back and forth thoroughly. It is better to use a silicone-based lubricant as the silicone-based lubricant doesn’t stick to the track.
Step 4: Adjusting Rollers
If the roller wheels get thrown out of alignment because of wear and tear over time then the rollers must need to be adjusted. You will find the adjustment screws concealed with plastic plugs on the side of the door next to the rollers.
You can remove the plastic plugs over the adjustment screws with a small prying tool. Now, take a screwdriver and turn the adjustment screws clockwise if the rollers need to be raised. On the other hand, turn it counterclockwise if it needs to be lowered. If you find the screws too hard to turn apply some silicone lubricant to make it easier.
To ensure evenness adjust the rollers on both sides of the door and finally, examine the door after each adjustment.
Step 5: Remove the Door
Sometimes the rollers break and sometimes the tracks are too damaged to repair. If this is the case, you have to remove the entire door. Since sliding doors are heavy and fragile you cannot handle them alone, you should ask a friend to help you or you can also take professional help.
At first, open the door and lift it out of its track. If there is some stop molding you need to remove it using a hammer and prying tool. Then lay the door onto a set of sawhorses with padding or cushioning so that the glass does not get damaged.
Step 6: Clean the Rollers or Replace Them
After removing the door check the condition of the rollers. If the rollers are dirty but not damaged, first clean them with a bristle brush and then wipe them with a cleaning solution or water. Then make them completely dry. After that, apply lubricant and reinstall them.
If the rollers are damaged or broken then you have to replace them with new ones.
Step 7: Reinstall the Door
After cleaning or reinstalling the rollers it’s time to reinstall the door. After reinstalling the door slide the door back and forth to check if it slides smoothly over the track.
The space-saving sliding doors have become an integral part of modern architecture. Jamming of the sliding door is not a rare problem and can be solved easily by following the steps discussed above.
If the sliding door is installed properly for the first time and a little maintenance is done regularly it will provide a good service for a long time.