Is Your Sliding Door Sticking? Here’s How to Fix It

Patio doors are a great feature for any home and help open up the house with a clear view to the outdoors. They’re meant to be convenient and easy to use. However, many homeowners experience a sliding door that sticks.

sliding door sticking


A sticking sliding door may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it gets to be a real big pain sooner rather than later. Plus, if you let the problem proceed, it could damage other parts of your patio door which can end up being costly to repair or you might have to replace the whole door.

In this article, we’ll go over how you can fix a sliding door that sticks so you can enjoy your patio or deck without being annoyed every time you open and close your door.

Find the Cause of Your Sticking Sliding Door

There are a few things you can check on your sliding door to see why it’s sticking. The cause of the problem is usually an easy fix that almost any homeowner can resolve.

Below, we’ll go over what you should check on your sliding patio door in order to find where the problem is coming from.

Check Your Door’s Alignment

Your sliding door operates on a track to open and close. In order for smooth and easy operation, there is some slack that can potentially cause your door to come off the track.

If you can feel your door moving in a direction other than completely straight from left to right, then your sticking door can be caused by a misalignment.

Since there’s some play to the door on the track, you should be able to easily lift it and place it back on the center of the track. You’ll be able to tell if it’s in the center of the track if your door opens and closes smoothly.

In order to help prevent this from happening again, be sure to never slam your sliding door. Doing this can easily cause your door to come off of the tracks and cause your door to stick again.

Dirty or Blocked Tracks

Chances are your patio door undergoes a lot of traffic. Over time, it’s very likely that your sliding door has gotten dirty and the tracks become clogged and blocked.

When the tracks aren’t clean, it can cause your sliding door to stick. Dirty tracks are one of the most common causes for a sliding door sticking.

Luckily, this is a very easy fix. All you need to do is clean off the tracks of any dirt, dust or debris and your door will go back to opening and closing smoothly.

In order to prevent this, remember to clean your screen door about once a month or whenever you perform a good house cleaning. You can use a vacuum to get any loose debris in the tracks and use a cleaning solution and rag to wipe up any remaining dust or grime on them.

Inspect the Rollers

Sliding doors move along the tracks using a set of rollers. These rollers can become damaged, dirty or broken as the years go by and cause your door to stick.

Most of the time, the problem stems from dirty and dried up rollers. To fix this, remove your door from the tracks, clean out the rollers and spray them with a lubricant, such as WD-40.

If after doing this your door still sticks, the real problem may be that the rollers are damaged or broken. The only solution to damaged or broken rollers is to replace them.

Another problem that can lie within the rollers is if they need to be readjusted. Usually, this is only needed if your door became misaligned or came off the tracks at some point.

If your sliding door is sticking or dragging along the tracks making a grinding noise, the springs in the rollers could have become loose causing it to sag. To fix this, you can adjust the height of the rollers by the screws on the rollers.

Your Door Is Old and Worn Out

Sometimes, a sliding door sticking can be caused by the door simply being too old and has underwent years of wear and tear. If after inspecting the track, rollers and alignment and your door is still difficult to open and close, it may be time for replacement.

If your sliding door is made of wood, it might have experienced swelling or warping and there’s no solution to fixing that. Aluminum doors are easily dented and damaged which can lead to difficult operation.

One of the main reasons why homeowners have sliding doors is for their ease of use and when it’s sticking, that defeats the entire purpose.

In order to enjoy years and years of easy operation and beautiful views, we recommend replacing your old sliding door with an energy efficient and durable vinyl sliding door.

Unlike wood and aluminum, vinyl sliding doors will never rot, swell or warp and can withstand anything the weather throws at them.

Keep Your Sliding Door From Sticking

Since sliding doors are made to be easy to use, they’re not that hard to maintain or diagnose any problems. Whether your sliding door is sticking because of dirt and dust on the track or the rollers need to be replaced, it’s fairly easy to spot the cause of the problem. If you follow our tips above, you should have a patio door that slides like hockey skates on ice.

However, sometimes your door may be past its prime. In such a case, you can count on Feldco for the best sliding glass doors in the Midwest. For over 40 years, we’ve served over 400,000 homeowners in the Midwest.

If you want a sliding patio door that’ll stand true year in and year out, get a free quote now from Feldco for the best replacement around.

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