Smooth Sliders

By Catherine McNulty

January 4, 2012 3 min read

Is your sliding glass door not living up to its name? Well, don't fret -- a few tips and tricks will have any stuck sliding glass door or window back on track in no time.

First, if the door isn't fully stuck and it's just not opening and closing easily, the best thing to do is check the track. Clear any debris by vacuuming and thoroughly cleaning the track. Wet paper towels and general household cleaner should do the trick.

You can also use a silicone-based lubricant spray to help ease the motion. Just apply a little and then open and close the door several times to spread it out evenly.

If this doesn't work, you may need to remove the door to get at the problem. You'll likely need help with this, as sliding glass doors are heavy; don't try to do it on your own. For most sliding glass doors, the easiest removal method is to use a screwdriver to depress the track wheels/rollers at the top and angle the door away from the track. You and a helper should then be able to lift the door out from the bottom of the frame once the upper part clears it.

Check to see if the track wheels/rollers need cleaning. If they do, clean them. If there's caked-on grime, use a heavier-duty cleaner or specialty sticky-residue remover, such as Goo Gone. This is also the perfect opportunity to examine the wheels/rollers. If they are broken, cracked or too worn, you will need to replace them. It's easiest to remove them and take the wheels with you to a home improvement store to buy the replacements. That way, you can be sure to get the correct wheels/rollers.

While the door is off, thoroughly clean the track and check it for any dents. If there are any, use a hammer to gently tap the track back into shape.

Once everything is cleaned and replaced, it's time to put the door back. Grab your helper and replace the door the same way you removed it. First angle the bottom part in. Then use a screwdriver to depress the wheels/rollers at the top and slide the top back in. Everything should pop back into place, and the door will work like new!

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