Your sliding glass door should work effortlessly, but in some cases it may need a tune-up. Luckily, with some DIY acumen and a free afternoon, you can easily tune-up your sliding glass door. You just need the right supplies — here’s what you need:
1. Flathead Screwdriver
In order to tune-up your sliding glass door, you need to remove it. The door is heavy, and you need to be careful, but luckily, the only tool you need is a simple screw driver. To get started, look for two plugs near the base of your door.
The plugs are the same vinyl material as your door, and once you find them, you should be able to easily pop them out with one end of your flat head screwdriver. Once the plugs are removed, use the flathead to loosen the roller adjustment screw that’s behind the plug. As you are loosening, turn your screwdriver counter-clockwise.
This encourages the rollers to retract up into the door, and as a result, the door is no longer held securely in place, and you should brace it carefully. Ideally, you may want to do this job with a partner so you don’t risk dropping the door. Finally, lift the base of the door up toward you as you pull the top of the door out of its track.
2. Silicone Spray
Once you have removed the door, it’s time to clean the rollers — use your screwdriver to pry the rollers out of the door. If cleaning the rollers feels too daunting, simply throw them out and buy a new set. Make sure you choose the type of roller designed for you with your make and model of door. If you’re not sure what to buy, talk with a sliding glass door repair person first.
If you decide to clean the rollers, you should use a gentle cleaner that also removes oil. A bit of dish soap dissolved in water works perfectly. Let the rollers dry, and finally, spray them with silicone spray. This allows them to move easily up and down the tracks once you reinstall your door.
Finally, spray the top of the sliding glass door with some silicone to help it move more easily as well.
Before reinstalling your glass door, you need to remove dirt and debris from the tracks. Use the thinnest attachment on your vacuum and try to get all of the debris from the crevices on your track. Use a wet cloth to mop up any stuck-on gunk that you cannot remove with the vacuum.
Once the track is clean and dry, you need to lubricate it as well. You can use silicone spray if you like, but for extra glide, you should use wax To apply the wax, grab a tapered candle, hold it in your hand to warm it, and then, rub it in the tracks. It should leave a thin, nearly invisible layer of wax in your sliding door tracks.
5. Weather Stripping
In addition to ensuring your sliding glass door slides smoothly, you should also make sure it closes tightly, and weather stripping is key. Typically, on sliding glass doors, the weather stripping is between the fixed panel and the sliding panel.
If your weather stripping looks worn, cracked or frayed, use a screwdriver to pull it loose from your door. Then, take the new weather stripping out of its box, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding which way the flap of the weather stripping should be oriented. Finally, glue it in place with the included adhesive. If your weather stripping does not come in a kit with adhesive included, talk with a professional glass door repair person about which type of adhesive to use.
Once you have taken all of these steps, you can replace your sliding glass door. It now has everything it needs to open and close smoothly as well as new weather stripping. If your door needs more than a tune-up, contact a sliding glass door professional.