» DPTV Blog » Informational » How To Get a Sliding Door Back On Track: A Simple Guide

How To Get a Sliding Door Back On Track: A Simple Guide

Sliding doors are a popular feature in many homes for their aesthetic appeal, flexible convenience and practical performance. These sliding door ideas for the living room show just how much of a transformation you can achieve when you get the best out of your doors. However, when a sliding door gets off track, it can be awkward and frustrating to use. There are several different reasons why this might happen, and it is often a fairly quick and easy fix.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get a sliding door back on track if things aren’t going smoothly. You can follow this advice for internal or external sliding doors, or if you need to know how to get a sliding screen door back on track.

What Prevents a Sliding Door from Moving Properly?

A sliding door may become difficult to fully open or close, or stop running smoothly on its track, due to a range of reasons. These can include:

  • Debris On The Track

    – Dirt, dust or other blockages can gather in the track over time and obstruct the smooth operation of the doors.

Doors Plus - Image displaying debris on track

Image source: Google.com

  • Bent or Warped Track

    – The track itself can become damaged or out of shape, meaning that the doors get stuck or jammed, or come off the track when you try to slide them open or closed.

  • Damaged Rollers On The Door

    – The little rollers that allow the doors to slide along within the tracks can become damaged or worn, so the doors stick or need more force to open or close.

Doors Plus - Image displaying worn out rollers

Image source: Google.com

  • Expired/Insufficient Lubricant

    – It may be that the tracks need oiling to reduce friction and encourage a smooth glide when the doors are opened or closed.

First, Remove The Door

The first step for how to get a sliding door back on track is to remove the door from its frame so that you have full access to the tracks, and to the rollers on the door.

This can be done by lifting the door off the rollers or by unscrewing the rollers from the bottom of the door. Depending on the type of door and framework, you may need to remove any moulding at the top of the frame and/or release a latch at the top of the door before you are able to remove it. Angle the door at the bottom, and lift it up off the track. If you’re unsure, read more about how to take sliding door off.

You will now be able to properly inspect the track and rollers, checking for obstructions, accumulated dirt, damage, or lack of lubrication. Once you have diagnosed the issue, you can set about rectifying it. If you think there may be a problem with the frame itself, find out more about how to frame a glass sliding door.

How To Clean and Oil Tracks

If you think the problem is dirt in the track, or a lack of lubrication, you can follow these simple steps for how to get a sliding door back on track in no time:

  • Step 1: Remove any obvious obstructions by hand.
  • Step 2: Use the small head on your vacuum cleaner, or a hand vacuum, to clear out any other dirt, dust and debris.
  • Step 3: Spray the tracks with an all-purpose household cleaning spray and wipe with a cloth or soft-bristled brush.
  • Step 4: After cleaning, lubricate the tracks with a silicone spray or silicone-based oil to reduce friction.

Doors Plus - Image displaying clean tracks

How To Replace Damaged Tracks

It may be that you have a more serious issue than a build up of dirt and you may need to repair or replace your track for your door to function properly. You can do this as follows:

  • Step 1: Examine the track for signs of damage – if it is bent, broken or worn, you will need to replace it.
  • Step 2: Remove any screws or nails holding the old tracks in place so that you can lift them out.
  • Step 3: Replace with new tracks of the same size and shape, attaching them to the frame.
  • Step 4: Check that your new tracks are flat using a spirit level. You can make adjustments by tightening the screws.
  • Step 5: Re-install the door into the track and test that it rolls smoothly.
  • Step 6: Maintain the track with regular cleaning and lubricating.

Doors Plus - Sliding glass door

When replacing tracks, it may be helpful to know about the standard sliding glass door widths and heights.

Tips to Replace Damaged Rollers 

Rollers on sliding doors can become worn over time, or may get bent or broken and prevent the door from functioning properly. Sometimes a clean and repair will fix the problem, but if not you can usually buy replacement rollers from the original manufacturer, from a hardware store, or online.

  • Step 1: Diagnose the problem – are the rollers actually broken or worn out, or are they simply dirty or loose?
  • Step 2: Clean the rollers with a cloth and tighten the screws.
  • Step 3: If the rollers are broken, bent or worn down, remove them from the door and replace with new rollers of the same size and shape so that they fit snugly in the track.

Does Your Sliding Door Need More than Repairs?

If your sliding door has been off track for a while or is damaged beyond repair, it may be time to replace it. Your doors should be appealing to look at and pleasing to use, but it’s also a question of insulation and security. If your sliding doors are not firmly on track and are not functioning properly, you may be leaving your home exposed and vulnerable.

Cleaning, repairing or replacing the track will ensure that your doors can stand up to the task, as well as improving their aesthetic appeal. You can also learn more about how to decorate glass sliding doors to give them even more of a style boost. But if you have followed these steps for how to get sliding doors back on track and the issue is not resolved, it may be time for brand new doors.

Doors Plus - Sliding doors in patio

At Doors Plus, we are experts in sliding doors and have an extensive range of materials, designs, glass options and finishes to choose from. Our sliding doors can be standard sized or made to measure, and we have something for every budget. Our team can give you ideas for sliding glass doors and help you envision your new doors in your home.

Visit your nearest Doors Plus showroom and let us help you find your match.

Doors Plus