How to Adjust a Sliding Glass Door

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Sliding doors are amazing when they work well. They can instantly open up your home towards your patio, allowing a seamless flow from inside to outside. It’s almost as if your house grows more spacious as soon as you open them. But when they are not working as they should, they are a big pain. If they stick when they slide, or jump out of their tracks when you move them, they are likely to become useless white elephants that you avoid opening. Thankfully it’s very easy to adjust and maintain them yourself, and get them back to optimal functionality within only a few short minutes.


The tools you will need

You don’t need a lot of tools to adjust your sliding doors. The following should do the trick:

  • Old toothbrush or wire brush
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Silicon-based lubricant

Improving the slide

The easiest way to get your sliding glass doors to slide better, is to start inspecting them from the bottom.

  1. Clean the bottom rail: Dirt on the sliding rail at the bottom is most often the cause of sticking doors. Debris can collect there over time, and cause the rollers to get stuck. Simply clean the rail with an old toothbrush or wire brush, and vacuum up the loosened dirt.
  2. Lubricate: Spray a silicon-based lubricant on the sliding rail, and wipe off the excess spray around the rail. This kind of lubricant doesn’t attract dust, so don’t just whip out any kind of oil.
  3. Adjust the alignment: The next most common cause of a sticking sliding door is misalignment of the rollers. To check the alignment, open the door slightly, and stand back a few steps. Compare the gap between the frame and the door at the top to the gap at the bottom. It needs to be the same in order for the door to slide smoothly. If that isn’t the case, you need to make a few easy adjustments. Locate the adjustment screws at both sides of the bottom of the door. They are sometimes located behind a dust plug, which you will need to pry out with something like a knife. Use a screwdriver to adjust the screws. If the gap at the bottom is bigger than at the top, turn the adjustment screw on that side clockwise to raise the door. If the gap at the bottom is smaller than at the top, turn the screw anticlockwise to lower the door. Once the gap is consistent from top to bottom, give the door a few test slides to see if it’s better. If it still sticks, adjust the screws on the opposite side as well.
  4. Lubricate or replace the rollers (optional): Once everything is fine, move onto the next step. If the door still sticks, it may be necessary to have the rollers replaced. This will require you to remove the door by lifting it up and tilting it out of its tracks. This will allow access to the rollers, which you can clean and lubricate if they are in good condition, or replace if they are severely worn down.

About the Author

Apex Window Werks is a home window & door repair and replacement company. It offers the following services: wooden window and door repair, window defogging, broken glass replacement and more. Visit their website for more details about Apex Window Werks and to get a free estimation.


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