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Sliding Doors: Simple Repair Tips for Common Problems

by Tomothy Little

If you have sliding doors in your home, you have probably experienced some problems when opening and closing them. For instance, you may notice that more force is required to move the door or that the locking mechanism is no longer efficient. While there are issues that require professional assistance, most of these common malfunctions require minimal skills. To carry out simple repair, remove the door by unscrewing and retracting the rollers. Bottom-supported doors should then be lifted and angled outwards while with the top-hung doors, you will also have to lift the rollers from the track.

Cleaning and Lubricate

The presence of dust and debris in the door track can interfere with the performance of the mechanism. To restore the original functionality, you will need to get rid of all the foreign materials. Start by prying stubborn and sticky substances off the surfaces with a screwdriver blade. Remove the remaining grit and grime with a wire brush and then wipe or vacuum the area for effective results. Lubricate the track with a silicone-based spray lubricant or even paraffin but do not use other oils because they will attract more layers of dust almost immediately.

Rollers and Track

Examine the rollers for signs of damage or other irregularities. If you notice looseness in the structural screws, tighten them and replace those that have lost the thread. Replace the specific rollers that show irreparable distortion or breakage and ensure that they are identical to the original ones. Check the alignment of the track and identify any areas that are bent. You can easily restore the shape using a hammer and a straight block of wood. Fix the positioning of the rail guides by making the screws holding them tighter. Finally, use a little penetrating oil on the rollers before putting the door back.

Hook Lock and Catch

Most sliding doors use a hook-style locking mechanism which usually doubles as a door handle and there is a spring required for the lock to engage. When the spring breaks, there is no easy fix it, so you will have to purchase a new lock and screw it in. A damaged catch can also be frustrating but it can be repaired when bent out of form. Reshape the feature with the vise of quality pliers or use a hammer to gently flatten it; the catch should function once installed. If this does not work, you will have to replace it with a new but similar product.

For more information, check out companies such as Door Lock Window Repairs Pty Ltd.