If you have older sliding doors you know they can be frustrating. Older doors are set on metal tracks, not plastic ones; they roll on the outside, rather than inside–which means you’re unable to have a makeshift stop with a broom handle (or object of similar size) to secure the door open. Over time deterioration can make things harder. But let’s say you’re in a position where you can’t replace them: you’re a renter of a home or an apartment and the decision of replacing the doors doesn’t fall to you. How do you manage living with these doors as you prepare for a long wait with the landlord to actually replace them? If this is the scenario you find yourself in, we have a few tips and workarounds for stubborn older doors.

MAKE SOME ADJUSTMENTS: On the bottom of your door you may see a screw or two, or perhaps a deep dark hole in which lies a lodged screw. These are called “adjustment screws” and they control the roller assemblies that allow your door to move freely. If your door is being stubborn about mobility, take a screwdriver and adjust the adjustment screws. As it is one of the simplest to-do items on this list, we recommend trying this one first if you are having serious issues with your sliding door.

CLEAN DOWN THE TRACK: Whether you have issues with your door now or not, regularly cleaning the tracks is a great way to help ensure the unlikelihood of debris buildup being the culprit for an eventual derailment. There are a few ways to go about this. One is to take a hose vacuum over the tracks to pick up any loose debris. This is a great way to take out most of the dirt and debris. To break loose elements that may be sticking onto the track, we recommend either taking a wire brush over the track or spraying it down with a cleaner (your regular yellow bottled Lysol household spray will do just fine) and wiping down it. Then spray both sides and the top of the track with a lubricant. 

LOOSE HANDLE: Maybe it’s not the track or the rollers that are the problem. If you find that the handle of your sliding door is often coming loose and pulling the door at an unintended velocity, you may need to enhance the permanency of the handle. First, remove the screws that are causing the issue. Take a careful amount of Threadlocker over the long end of the screw then reinsert the screw back into place.

REPLACEMENTS: If you are still having issues with your door, we can fix it. Give us a call at (310) 576-1396 and we’ll figure out the best strategy to solve your sliding door problems, whether that’s fixing wheels and handles or replacing the frame entirely.




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