How to Fix Sliding metal or wooden Door. Rollers, tracks, and weatherstrip (AVOID Doing This!)

Although sliding doors are sleek and easy to use when they’re first installed, they might start getting heavy or stuck at some point, which happens due to elements of weather and continuous use.

If you want to know how to fix sliding door issues without having to spend a lot of money, this guide is for you!


Today, we’ll walk you through a brief guide that helps you address and fix the most common sliding door issues to return it as new. Let’s dive right in!

Step 1: Prepare the Tools Necessary for the Job: metal and wooden sliding door

If you want to save yourself the hassle of going back and forth while fixing your sliding it’s always recommended that you prepare all the necessary tools beforehand. This also helps you save a lot of time and reattach the door immediately when you’re done.

Although this guide can help you fix a lot of problems, most of them can be done with a small number of tools. Ideally, for this project, you mainly need a screwdriver, whether it’s a manual Philips one or an electronic one with a Philips head.

Additionally, you need a good lubricant and a mild solvent (such as rubbing alcohol) or cleaner to remove the dust from the tracks. 

You also need a set of clean rags as well as welding clamps if you’re going to straighten the tracks.

Step 2: Remove the Sliding Door from the Guides

The first thing you need to do to fix your sliding doors is to get the door removed from the guides.

To remove the door, make sure that you remove any special keepers that are attached to the floor. However, in most cases, there shouldn’t be any.

For standard glass sliding doors, you’ll need to find the screws responsible for holding the door onto the rollers. 

Loosen the screws with some WD40 if necessary, then turn them anticlockwise until the door comes off the track.

To remove the door, carefully hold the door with both hands on either side then lift it up at a slight angle of 15 to 30 degrees. You might need a second person to help you with this. After removing the door, lay it on a safe carpeted floor or rest it on a wall.

Step 3: Inspect the Rollers 

The roller assembly on a sliding door is found at the bottom of the door. They’re usually held in using screws or by friction against the track. 

In either case, you’ll need to check the rollers and make sure that no dirt or dust is obstructing the motion of the wheels, which can be done by a simple hand roll.

If the roller isn’t functioning properly, try cleaning the rollers by removing any dust or debris using a mild solvent cleaner that won’t damage the rollers. 

If the rollers are flattened or damaged already, you’ll need to replace them with new ones by removing them using a screwdriver and installing a new identical set.

Step 4: Clean Sliding Door Tracks

The tracks accumulate a lot of dirt with time, so it’s always important that you check the tracks and clean them while you’re at it.

For loose dust and debris, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of most particles in the way. Additionally, you might want to use a clean rag and some alcohol in addition to a wire brush to scrape off any stuck debris.

Step 5: Straighten the Sliding Door Tracks

Now that the tracks are clean, you might want to check whether the tracks are level and straight. There are plenty of ways to address that problem, whether the track is bending horizontally or vertically.

You can check that the track is straight by using a welding clamp to hold on the tracks, then pulling on them in order to correct their path. You can also do this step while one door is installed to test it out and adjust accordingly.

If your tracks are not level vertically, you can even them out using a wooden block and a mallet, then tap on the tracks until they’re level.

Step 6: Address Roller Height Issues

Most sliding doors have specific screws that are adjusted to control the height of the door. If your sliding doors are scratching or getting stuck sometimes, you might need to spin these roller screws clockwise or counterclockwise to fix the problem.

Step 7: Reseal the Sliding Door with Weatherstripping

If the weatherstripping is damaged and the door lets in a lot of noise and outdoor weather, you can pry off the weatherstripping by loosening its seal. 

Make sure that you also remove any staples or glue residue using some alcohol and a rag before you install the new one.

Most new weatherstripping is designed like tape, so you can easily apply it by following directions on the package.

Step 8: Lubricate All Moving Parts

One last thing to do before putting everything back together is to re-oil all the moving parts to reduce friction and extend their life.

To do that, apply some WD40 or silicone spray to the tracks as well as the rollers. After installing the doors, make sure that you open and close the doors several times to allow the lubricant to spread evenly.

Step 9: Reattach the Door

With everything properly tended to, all that’s left is to reattach the sliding doors. To do that, carefully lift off the door from where you lift it and place it at the tracks so that the door is aligned properly while being tilted towards you at a 15 to 30 degree angle.

Once the door is in place, place it so that it stands perpendicular to the head stop, then allow the door to sit in the tacks. After that, use your screwdriver to reattach any screws that are responsible for holding the door.

Wrap Up

This concludes today’s guide on how to fix sliding doors and address the most common issues associated with them.

By following this guide, you’ll be able to fix most doors that use rollers and tracks to slide. However, if the door still doesn’t move, there’s a good chance that the rollers are broken and require replacement.

In that case, check the roller’s model and get a similar one or a compatible model and adjust it to a suitable height, then reattach the door using the steps above.