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Sliding Glass Door Repairs You Can Do Yourself

If your sliding glass door is getting old, and doesn't work as well as it used to, you're not alone.  Many homeowners face this same problem.  But before you shop for a new door, you should know that there are some simple and easy repairs you can do yourself.

Sliding glass doors are very common in U.S. homes, usually as entry doors to a backyard, deck, or patio area.  If you are like many homeowners who live in older homes, you may find that your sliding glass door is in need of some basic repairs.  In this article, we'll address some of the most common problems afflicting older sliding glass doors, as well as some simple and low cost repairs you can do yourself.

Houses will often settle with age and become slightly out of square.  This is a natural result of changes in the soil around your home's foundation.  However, when a home settles, it sometimes results in doors that don't open and close well, including sliding glass doors.  If your sliding glass door no longer slides properly, you should inspect it to see if it has fallen out of square.  Look at the top and bottom of the door.  If it's out of square, you may notice a slight crack at the top or bottom, especially when you are attempting to slide the door back and forth.

The first and most simple solution to an out-of-square door is to adjust the door's rolling wheels.  With most sliding doors, there are two roller wheel assemblies under the door, allowing the door to move back and forth easily in its track.  To adjust these wheels, look for small holes in the face of the lower frame.  Sometimes these holes will be plugged with small caps that are easily removed.  You can insert a screwdriver in these holes to turn the adjustment screws, moving the wheels higher or lower, as needed.

If this doesn't correct the problem, another option is to shim the door.  This is slightly more work, because it involves removing the interior trim around the door.  Once the moldings are removed, you'll see that the patio door frame was installed and shimmed into the opening.  You'll probably also see that it is no longer perfectly in square.  You can take out or loosen the screws that secure the door frame in place, and then re-square the door, shimming it out as needed.  Once the door frame is square again, screw it back in place, and then you'll be ready to reattach the trim molding again.  Re-squaring your door will not only make it operate more smoothly, but it will also make it more energy efficient, as this will eliminate small cracks that let in cold or hot air from outdoors.

Another common problem afflicting old patio doors is that the handle and latch mechanism may be worn or even broken.  A sliding glass door handle is very easy to replace, once you find the correct hardware.  If you cannot find the correct replacement handle at your local hardware store, look online or in specialty catalogs.  You may have to remove the old handle on your door and take some critical measurements to determine the correct replacement parts.  The important areas to measure are door thickness, the distance between holes drilled in the door, and the style of strike in the door jamb.  Replacing your old worn out hardware might also give you an opportunity to upgrade of a higher security handle and lock, if that is of importance to you and your family.

Lastly, older sliding glass doors can receive a much needed face-lift with some simple cleaning.  If your door's frame is looking dull and worn, first get out the garden hose and wash it down.  Use a soft bristled brush and some lukewarm soapy water to remove the dirt from the exterior frame.  On the inside, the door frame can be wiped down with a damp rag, and the roller track can be vacuumed out and then wiped as well, which will also improve roller function.  Finally, if you wish, wax the frame with a good grade of automotive wax to bring back the door's original luster.

Keeping your sliding glass door in good condition is one important part of maintaining your home.  And since repairing a patio door is far less expensive than buying a replacement, it only makes good sense to maintain your door for as long as possible.  With some basic preventative maintenance and occasional repair workPsychology Articles, anyone can keep their sliding glass door in good condition for many years.

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