How To Fix Your Stuck Sliding Glass Door

You should be able to easily open and close your sliding glass door. If your sliding glass door keeps getting stuck on the track every time you try open it, or you have to wiggle and jiggle your door to keep it open, your sliding glass door needs a little attention. In order to get your sliding glass door working smoothly again, you need to repair the roller.

Lower Your Sliding Glass Door

The first thing you need to do is lower your sliding glass door inside of its frame. On the bottom of your door, there should be two plugs that are used to cover up a set of screws. These screws are the roller adjustment screws. Once you pop off the plugs covering up these screws, use a flathead screwdriver to turn the screws counterclockwise. 

Doing this will retract the rollers on your door and will lower it down in its frame.

Remove Your Head Stop

Remove any shades or drapes that go over your sliding glass door so you have more room to work with.

Set up two sawhorses outside and put pads or blankets on them. You are going to remove the door and need a safe place to put it. 

Open your door all the way. The head stop is located across the top frame of your door. Remove it by taking out the screws with a drill or screwdriver. Have someone hold the sliding door as you remove the head stop. Your door may become unstable during this step as the head stop helps keep your door in place.

Remove the Sliding Glass Door

Stand inside of your house, and lean the top of your sliding glass door panel towards you and then lift it up and away from the bottom track. Your sliding glass door is extremely heavy. Have someone assist you or spot you as you complete this step. Remember to use your legs and not your back. 

Take the glass door and place it on the two sawhorses that you set up. 

Inspect The Rollers

When your sliding glass door is balanced on two sawhorses, the rollers should be on the bottom side of your door in a slot. They look like mini-wheels. If the wheels are bent sideways or broken, you'll need to pry them out of place using a flathead screwdriver and replace them with new roller assemblies.

They should come out relatively easily, so they are primarily held in place by the weight of your door and the friction it creates with the frame. However, if they get stuck, spray some lubricant on them to make them easier to remove. 

Clean The Rollers

If your rollers are not bent or broken, just dirty, you'll want to remove them and clean them. Use a rag to wipe away any dirt on the wheels, and then clean it with some rubbing alcohol. 

Once they are clean, spray them with a little silicone lubricant. Silicone lubricant doesn't hold onto dirt, which is why you should use that specific type of lubricant.

Place the rollers back in their slots and make sure that the screw lines up with the access hole. You may need to place a wood block across the wheels/rollers and gently hammer them in place. The hammer will protect the wheels from becoming damaged. 

Clean The Track

With your sliding glass door off, now is a great time to really clean the track. Start by using a vacuum to suck up any loose dirt that is stuck in the bottom of the track. 

Take rubbing alcohol and wipe down the bottom track and head track (located on the top of the frame). The rubbing alcohol should dissolve any remaining debris. Spray with silicone lubricant. 

For the bottom track, you also need to rub a block of paraffin wax over it to ensure that your track is adequately lubricated. 

Inspect The Weather Strip

While your door is down, you should also inspect the weather strip. If it is cracked or torn, you should replace it at this time. The weather strip is located where the sliding and fixed panels overlap on your sliding door. 

If your weather strip is stapled in place, use a screwdriver or pliers to remove the staples. Then, use a putty knife to pry the weather strip off. 

Place the new weather strip into place where the old one was located. Staple or screw the weather strip into place. 

Put The Door Back In Place

Now it is time to set the door back in place. You may want someone to assist you with this step. 

First, place the door back into the bottom track. Tilt the door up and have someone hold the door in place for you. While they are holding the door in place, reattach the head stop you took out earlier. Then, tilt the door up into place.

Continue to have your partner hold the door as you readjust the roller adjustment screws so that they are parallel with the door jam. Make sure that the door lines up with the latch and lock. 

You should be able to complete this entire job in a couple of hours. If you don't feel comfortable removing your sliding glass door, call a window installation repair technician, like one from Cheaper Window Glass, to come out and complete this job for you.