Many people would agree that sliding doors are one of the best types of doors to have for a modern house. They are classy and simple, especially if made of glass. They are also easy to use and require very little effort in opening and closing them (since they do not have hinges). However, homeowners now and again often complain of stuck doors or resistant doors when opening or closing them. Unless it is a structural design problem, the solution to this is more often than not within reach.
Avoid dirt fixation
This problem is majorly caused by dirt or food particles getting stuck in between the tracks and rollers. For this reason then, be very careful to not carry/eat foodstuffs around the door. In addition, be careful as you are cleaning the room to sweep dirt away from the door and attempt to remove any stuck particles before they accumulate. It would also help when vacuuming the house you pay attention to the bottom of the door to extract all manner of dirt and dust in there. Many stuck doors have their origin to accumulation of dirt in their rollers and tracks, something that is easily preventable. However, if the damage is already done, here are a few steps to ensure your door is back to normal functioning.
Removing the door
Since the dirt is stuck too deep and compact, there is no option but to remove the door. At the bottom of the sliding door frame, you will find two plugs. Remove them, and then with a screw driver, remove the two screws underneath. This lowers the door and thus you are able to take it off since the rollers have been retracted. However, be very careful as sliding doors can be very heavy. Therefore, work with caution, or even have someone to assist you to prevent the door from falling or overwhelming you. Keep in mind and note what you took apart/off, how you did it and so on. This will make sure you are not stranded when the time comes to put everything in order and back in place.
Cleaning and lubrication
Once the door is out, you can now deal with the remaining moving parts. Use a screwdriver to pop off the rollers since they are just held in by the weight of the door. Check them to see if they are in good condition. If not, maybe broken or bent, you might need to purchase new ones. Clean the rollers by scraping off the dirt and then wiping them. The best fluid to use in cleaning is denatured alcohol. After wiping, spray on silicone spray which is dirt resistant. Also, scrape and wipe off all dirt from the track. Use a vacuum to suck in all the dirt from the track so that it remains clean. Lubricate the track and fit back the rollers in their rightful position. Make sure everything that was movable is moving with little resistance.
Dirt in the tracks and around the rollers is usually the major reason for stuck doors and once that is dealt with, you can be sure that your door will work on perfectly. However, you may have noted that the weather strip might be damaged. This refers to the areas around the edges of the sliding door where the overlapping of the sliding and fixed panels occurs. If you note that the weather strip is damaged, you have no other option but to strip it off in order to have a new one. The weather strip is usually fastened on by staples. Use a screw driver to remove the staples one by one as you strip it out. Once the weather strip is out, scrape off the adhesive that held the weather strip off. To lay another strip you will need new adhesive since the former is less strong and adding new adhesive onto it is not as efficient. Once the adhesive is off, you can now put up the new weather stripping according to manufacturer’s instruction. Make sure the strip is smooth and intact. Apply adhesive evenly to ensure the strip is well aligned. Use alcohol to remove any smudges and fingerprints that may have been left during the working.
Once all this is done, the door now can be placed back in and be ready for proper functioning. Now that you are fixing the doors, it is also the best time to reinforce on security. Many people use a broom to keep the door locked from the inside so that no one can enter from the outside. However, this basic solution can be quite tedious. A better option would be to have an auxiliary lock fitted on the door. The lock is quite inexpensive, easy to fit in/install and also easy to use, guaranteeing you maximum security with little effort.