How to Maintain Your Patio Door? 8 Sliding Door Maintenance Tips

Fatima Buzdar

September 3, 2023

A close-up view of the top portion of an open sliding glass door with a metal frame, leading to an outdoor area with trees and a clear sky visible. The door is slightly ajar, revealing the track mechanism at the top—a detail any locksmith would appreciate for its precision and security design.

Sliding doors are a stylish and fantastic addition to any house patio. They not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space but also invite plenty of sunshine into your home.

But to ensure that your sliding door remains both attractive and fully functional, are you giving it the proper care it needs? Neglecting to maintain house doors can lead to various issues, including less—than—smooth sliding problems and expensive sliding door repairs.

In this article, we’ll offer you 8 easy and effective sliding door maintenance tips to keep your sliding doors operating smoothly for years to come! Keep in mind that you should consider getting in touch with a door repair specialist if your door is already exhibiting issues.

1. Clean the Glass

Have you ever noticed how quickly your sliding door’s glass can go from squeaky clean to covered in smudges and dirt? Whether it’s dust, grime, fingerprints, or even sea mist, dirty glass is unattractive and can obstruct your view. A simple routine of cleaning every couple of months can make a world of difference, so make sure to clean your sliding door glass frequently!

First, wipe away any loose debris using a soft cloth. Then prepare a homemade solution of vinegar and water at a 1:1 ratio. Dampen a microfiber cloth in the solution and gently clean the glass in circular motions. If you encounter stubborn marks, use a non—abrasive sponge or, if necessary, a specialized glass scraper.

After you’ve finished cleaning the glass, use a lint—free cloth to dry it.

2. Clean the Tracks

The sliding door tracks are the rails secured on the top and bottom on which the sliding door slides. Dirty door tracks can make your sliding patio door hard to open and close. Dirt and grime can clog up the works and cause your door to become annoyingly sticky. To prevent this from happening, thoroughly clean the bottom track and top track every couple of months and keep them in a neat, smooth condition.

Start by using a vacuum cleaner to suck up any loose dirt and debris. Then mix warm soapy water or prepare a 1:1 water and vinegar solution. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the tracks. For hard—to—reach grime, use a toothbrush or even a butter knife wrapped in cloth to scrub it away.

When you’re done cleaning, make sure to dry it thoroughly with paper towels or a lint—free cloth. After cleaning the tracks, it’s also recommended to lubricate them, as the cleaning process can dry them out and cause friction.

However, it’s important to note that in some cases, it may be necessary to remove the door to clean the tracks and rollers thoroughly. This is best left to a professional.

Bottom rails of a sliding door

3. Lubricate the Tracks

Lack of lubrication can also make your door stick due to friction. So make sure your routine for maintaining house doors includes lubrication to keep your doors sliding smoothly! But before you grab your handy WD—40, hold on! Oil—based lubricants can actually attract more dirt and grime. Instead, use graphite or silicone—based lubricants.

You should also make sure you clean the door following the aforementioned steps before applying any lubricant. This is to ensure that you’re not trapping dirt or debris under the lubrication, which can make the problem worse. Additionally, keep in mind that lubrication for aluminum sliding tracks isn’t generally recommended, as it can gum them up.

With that in mind, apply the appropriate lubricant directly to the clean tracks and then slide the door back and forth several times to distribute the lubricant evenly. If you still notice any friction, then apply some more lubricant and test again.

4. Replace Worn Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping not only helps maintain your house’s temperature and conserve energy but also keeps elements and insects at bay. Over time, it wears down, its barrier weakening. Depending on its type and exposure to harsh weather conditions, weatherstripping may need replacement after 1—5 years, so make sure your routine for sliding door maintenance includes checking on it.

If you notice any drafts near the door or see an unusual spike in your energy bill, check your door’s weatherstripping for any damage, such as cracks and gaps. If you notice anything off, then it’s time to have the weatherstripping replaced by an expert as soon as possible to regain the protective insulating barrier for your home.

5. Check for Proper Alignment of the Door

A misaligned door can be a real pain. It can cause the door to wear down faster and can affect the insulation. Check if the door is properly aligned within the door frame. If not, use a screwdriver to adjust the screws that hold the door in place. Be gentle to prevent any further damage. If this doesn’t do the work, then you may need to get a door specialist to correct the alignment.

6. Address Damaged Rollers

Rollers are essential components that allow the door to move smoothly along the track. Damaged or rusted door rollers can seriously impact your door’s life and operation. The door can get difficult to open and its security can even be compromised. If you notice your door doesn’t slide smoothly due to the damage, call an expert to replace the rollers promptly.

7. Resolve Sagging Tracks

If the top of the door track is sagging, you could experience a lot of resistance when you try to slide the door. The sagging can also lead to other problems like misalignment and compromised insulation. The same goes for a sagging track located at the bottom of the door. If it drags on the floor, it can damage both the door and the flooring.

In either case, timely adjustment or repair by a professional is necessary to keep the door functioning normally and not suffer further damage.

8. Be Quick to Repair Issues

Don’t let issues fester! They can end up becoming big problems that inconvenience you or even leave your sliding door insecure. This can also make the sliding door repairs even more expensive. If you’re not comfortable with DIY solutions or encounter something beyond simple repairs, don’t hesitate to call the pros.

A door specialist installing a sliding door

Top Sliding Patio Door Repair and Maintenance Solutions at Your Service

Make sure to frequently clean and lubricate your sliding doors to keep them functioning in a neat and smooth condition. Check and replace worn—down weatherstripping to ensure your house is insulated and keeps elements and bugs at bay. Lastly, be quick to resolve issues like door misalignment, damaged rollers, and sagging tracks, so that your door doesn’t suffer extensive damage.

By following these tips for sliding door maintenance, you can help your sliding doors remain in tip—top shape for a long time. So roll up those sleeves and give your sliding glass door the care it deserves!

Need pros for sliding door repairs? We got you covered! Our experts have extensive experience in repairing sliding doors and replacing components or the entire doors if needed. Get in touch now to regain the top—notch condition of your sliding doors and help maintain your house doors!

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