How to Fix a Sliding Door Without Taking It Down

Once in a while, it is common for sliding doors to grind like an old crankshaft or refuse to open at all. This can happen quite often, especially if you have kids or pets and they’re going in and out of your doors constantly. 

Like any other home device, the more you use it, the faster it will wear down. And in addition, in the process, a lot of dirt and other elements accumulate around the tracks and the rollers, making it not run as smoothly.  

The internet is filled with guides on fixing this problem, but most immediately start telling you to ‘remove the door.’ However, this article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to fix sliding glass doors with your sliding door still in place. 

Fix a Sliding Door Without Taking It Down

Step 1: Inspect the Railing

Most glass sliding doors run on tracks — as a train runs on railway tracks. Hence, if your glass door is grinding or not moving at all, there is a high chance that it has jumped off its rails. 

Therefore, the first logical step to troubleshoot this problem is to check whether the door is correctly laying on the tracks. To do this, inspect both sides of the door to see if the door aligns with the rail. 

If you notice a deviation, you can easily fix it by lifting the door slightly and putting it back into place. To do this, push the door far enough that both sides are grabbable, then gently lift them and maneuver them back to place. 

Step 2: Check for Dirt and Debris

If you confirm that the doors are on the rails, the problem might be due to filthy tracks and the rollers. Sliding door tracks are on the floor and therefore easily attract debris from the outside or from all the action by people and animals using the door.  

Therefore, the next sliding door repair trick is to inspect and clean any possible dirt around the tracks. To do this, use a small brush to dislodge and clean grime around the tracks and the rollers, and then use a vacuum cleaner to clean it all off. Ensure to move the door around to reach every corner. 

Once you are done cleaning, you can spray a silicone lubricant to keep the door lubricated. 

Pro Tip: Silicone lubricant does not attract dirt. 

Step 3: Adjust the Wheel Height

If the glass door is clean and on its railing, check if the wheels are uneven. Uneven wheels might be the reason the door is struggling to go on its course. 

The sliding door fix trick here is to look at the base of your door for holes or circular plugs. There must be circular rubber behind which there are adjustment screws that help adjust the height of the wheels. Once you find them, carefully use a screwdriver to adjust the wheels up or down (clockwise to lift the door up and counterclockwise to bring it down). 

Try each option, in turn, to see what best works for your door. 

Sliding door wheels height

Step 4: Time for Professionals

If your door is still grinding or refusing to open even after trying all the above, then the problem might be bigger. Maybe the sliding door has other malfunctions that need a professional eye to discern. 

You will probably have to take the door off for further inspection and get a professional to help with sliding glass door repairs. Contact 24hr Door and Frame Service at (877) 999-6362 for expert help for your sliding doors.