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Home Improvement Replacement Doors

5 Ways to Maximize the Performance of Your Sliding Patio Door

4 min read

If you’re like most homeowners in Muscle Shoals, your patio door gets a lot of use year-round. When your sliding glass door sticks or is just plain hard to open, it’s frustrating and may even be dangerous in the case of an emergency.

If you’re having trouble with your patio door, consider replacing it with a new patio door from Window World of Muscle Shoals. Our patio doors are engineered for easy operation, energy efficiency, and curb appeal.

Now let’s look at how a sliding patio door functions and you might have trouble opening and closing it.

Why Does Your Sliding Glass Door Stick?

The way a patio door operates is simple: the door frames are fitting into tracks at the top and bottom. To help them slide, they have rollers on the top and bottom (sometimes bottom only). 

So, when your patio door is hard to slide, it’s usually a problem with the tracks or the rollers. Luckily, this is usually pretty easy to remedy!

Man entering house through sliding patio door

How to Make Your Patio Door Easier to Open

Here are five ways to make your sliding door easier to open:

1. Make Sure Your Door is Aligned

When your sliding glass door is off the tracks, it can be nearly impossible to slide. The door doesn’t have to be completely off the tracks for this to become a problem, either. Your door and the track are made to fit together perfectly so if it becomes off by just a bit, you’ll notice that it’s significantly harder to open and close.

To fix it, simply check the tracks on the top and bottom to make sure your door is sitting in them correctly. If your door is off the bottom track, gently lift the door frame up and place it back on the tracks. If it is off kilter at the top, it is easiest to carefully remove the door from the track and reinsert it. When replacing it, align it at the top and then “walk” the door in on the bottom until it is aligned.

2. Clean the Tracks

Over time, things like dirt, dust, and pet hair can gather in the tracks of your sliding glass doors. If the tracks aren’t regularly cleaned, this buildup can cause your patio door to stick. Luckily, this is an easy problem to solve!

Start by vacuuming the tracks with your vacuum’s hose attachment to get rid of any loose dirt. Then use an all-purpose cleaner and a paper towel or microfiber cloth to clean the tracks. Scrub stubborn spots of stuck-on grime with an old toothbrush. When you’re done scrubbing, wipe it clean with a dry cloth. In addition to looking squeaky clean, your doors should be easier to open and close. 

3. Lubricate the Tracks

Cleaned the tracks, but still having trouble opening and closing your patio door? They may just need a little lubrication. Simply spray a little silicone lubricant on the tracks and open and close the door a few times to ensure the lubricant covers as much of the track and rollers as possible. You may need to repeat this step more than once, but be careful not to overdo it.

4. Inspect The Rollers

If your sliding glass doors are on the tracks and you’ve cleaned and lubricated the tracks but you’re still finding them difficult to open and close, the problem may be with your rollers. You can inspect the rollers yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

If you’re DIY-minded and want to check your rollers yourself, carefully remove the door from the frame and lay it down in a place that allows easy access to the bottom of the door. Near the bottom rollers, you should see small holes on the side or bottom. Using a screwdriver, remove the screws in these holes and take the rollers out. If they are cracked, rusted, broken, or just worn out, replace them. 

5. Replace Your Patio Door

If you’ve tried the tips above, but your door is still hard to open, it might be time to replace your door altogether. A new patio door is also a good idea if your current door is over 15-20 years old. Modern sliding glass doors are more energy-efficient than older doors, which will save you money on your energy bills each month while keeping your home more comfortable year round.

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Patio doors from Window World of Muscle Shoals are built for durability and easy operation with a strong tandem roller system. In addition to classic patio doors, we offer French rail doors that combine the convenience of patio doors with the beauty of French doors.

Upgrade Your Patio Door with Window World of Muscle Shoals

If you’re ready to enjoy interior comfort year round and enhance your outdoor space, choose a new patio door from Window World of Muscle Shoals. Explore our patio door styles and request your free consultation today!