Do you know what to do if your sliding glass door quits sliding properly? Do you know what to do if it breaks or needs repair? Hopefully, after reading this article, you will know just what to do for your specific sliding glass door repair situation. We will reveal what to do in many different cases of damaged doors, glass, screens, tracks and more.
What if just the sliding glass door or patio door rollers are damaged? If you hear a nasty grinding sound every time you open your sliding glass door, then you may just need new roller. In some cases it may just be the track, or it may be both the track and rollers, but if the track needs attention, we will cover that below. Here we are talking about roller damage.
The rollers are on the bottom of the door and are what guide the door smoothly over the tracks. First give the bottom of your door a visual inspection to determine if it is indeed the rollers that are damaged or if the track is damaged. If it is the rollers that seem to be causing the issue, here is what you need to do: Either hire a professional if you are not that handy around the house, or follow these steps if you like fixing things yourself to save a few bucks:
Steps to Fixing Sliding Glass Door Roller Damage
1. Remove the sliding portion of the door. Some doors will come out by lifting up on the door and then tilting the bottom out first into the house. If the door won’t come out easily in that manner, then you need to remove the screws that hold the rollers. Look at the bottom of the door where the rollers are. You will notice holes with screws in them that hold the rollers in place. Loosen these screws on for the front and back rollers and that should give you the extra room you need to maneuver the door out of the tracks and completely free.
2. Remove the rollers. Lay the door on its edge and remove the roller screw completely if you haven’t done so already. You will need a rather large Phillips head screw driver. Once the screw is out, pry the roller assembly out being careful not to separate the frame and the glass.
3. Take the old rollers with you to the hardware store so you are sure to get the right ones. Purchase the new rollers that the hardware store recommends for your door.
4. Reinstall the rollers in the disassembled frame and set the door aside for now.
5. Check the tracks before replacing the door. Make sure they are clean and free from debris. A dirty or worn track will just ruin your new rollers, so make any needed repairs now.
6. Replace the door. When you are certain the rollers are in place and the track is in good shape, put the door back in place. Put the top in first and slide the bottom in.
7. Adjust the rollers with the door in the closed position. The door should sit about a quarter inch off the track normally, but just adjust the rollers until your door moves smoothly along its track and you are done.
Sliding Glass Door- Repair Track Damage
If just your track is damaged and it is not all that bad, you may be able to get away with a sliding door track repair kit. The kit contains a simple device that covers up a damaged track and allows the door to slide evenly once again, stopping any hang-ups it may have had before.
Well that will do it if you had any track or roller damage, but what if your problem is a broken piece of glass? Ah, read on my friend, we are about to tell you.
How to repair a broken glass panel in your sliding glass door
Firstly, it is recommended that you hire a glass installer for replacing any broken glass because it may be more of a project then you want to take on for such an inexpensive job.
But, if your glass people want to much or you just want to do it yourself, you may be able to, so we’ll explain. First of all it is against the law to install anything but safety glass in a sliding glass door so people don’t go through them and loose a limb!
Steps for Replacing the Glass
1. Find out what size piece of glass you need. Most doors in regular homes are a standard six feet wide by six feet eight inches tall. The glass in each panel will be 34 by 76 inches. You can confirm this by measuring across where the glass goes into the frame. It should be around 33 inches. That means the glass goes about a half inch into the frame on each side. Likewise, the height should measure about 75 inches. If you have a small five foot wide door, the glass will be 28 by 76. A seven foot door will be 40 by 76, and an eight foot door will be 46 by 76 inches. However, if you have a mobile home or trailer, the glass is more likely to be 33 by 72 inches and you will need to order a piece of glass that is 34 by 73 inches. So be careful to get the right size glass for your door. If you are not sure about the size after reading this, you need to hire someone to come in and do it. The thickness is also important, so the easiest way to check that is to measure a piece of the broken piece and take that measurement with you to buy your glass.
2. Remove the door with the broken panel. If it is the moving part of the door then follow the instructions for #1 above for removing rollers. If it is the stationary side, then you need to first remove the screen door if you have one. Then you need to locate the piece of metal that is designed to keep intruders from prying out your door at the bottom near the track. You need to get a tool into the crack where the piece meets the side jamb, and pry up. Once that piece is off, go inside and remove the screws where the fixed panel frame goes into the side jamb. Now lift up on the bottom so that the door comes out of the track. Then with the bottom out, slide it out towards you until there is enough space to slide it out of the top track as well. Be sure to remember exactly how it goes so you can get it back together.
3. Find an area where you can work on the door that is big enough to support the door and you can let one side of the door hang over the edge(like a large table). Set the door on the surface. You may want to lay a blanket down first because the old glass is likely to drop out and the new glass may also be damaged if it is a harder surface.
4. Now remove the screw from opposite corners. For example, if you start on the top right corner then also take the screws out of the bottom left corner.
5. Remove the rubber edge piece that goes all the way around the glass.
6. Now lay out the new piece of glass with one long and one short edge hanging off the table or surface you are working on.
7. Install the rubber piece onto only the two sides hanging off the edge.
8. Take one of your L-Shaped frame pieces and tap it gently over the rubber and glass edges. Start at the corner. Do the short side then the long side. Use a rubber mallet or piece of wood.
9. Slide the glass so that the opposite two edges are hanging off of the work surface and repeat steps 7 and 8 using the other L-Shaped frame piece.
10. Screw the screws back into the corners of the frame.
11. Replace the door and the metal piece to keep out intruders, then you are done!
Okay, there you have it, three solutions for three major sliding glass door problems. We have covered what to do if you need new rollers, have a bad track or even a broken pane of glass in your sliding glass door. Hopefully that is enough to help you with your sliding glass door problem. Happy fixing and be careful working with glass.
Photo by Jim Moore, Creative Commons Attribution