If you have sliding glass doors in your home, you know how attractive and convenient they are. This type of door gives you a wide view of the outdoors and allows lots of sunshine and light into the room. Despite their perks, sliding glass doors can also have their fair share of problems, including broken glass, stiff rollers, and energy inefficiency.
There are many reasons why homeowners decide to have their sliding glass doors repaired or replaced, and the process can vary. Sometimes, it is just a matter of replacing some of the moving parts, such as rollers, that wear and tear over the years. Other times, if the door is too old to repair, it can be replaced with a new door altogether.
If you notice any of the following signs, repairing or replacing your sliding glass doors should be a part of your home maintenance schedule:
1. Dirty or broken rollers
Sliding glass doors operate smoothly thanks to rollers that are fixed on either side of the door. However, if the door gets jammed, or it is very stiff to move, it is likely the rollers have an obstruction or are failing because of wear. This is especially true for metal rollers, which can rust over time.
Rollers need to be cleaned frequently to prevent problems and obstructions. Common obstructions include leaves, dirt, and sticks. When you vacuum your floors, take a few minutes to clean the rollers with a brush attachment to prevent any debris from building up. While cleaning the rollers can be a solution, if a crack or bend occurs, it’s best to replace them with new rollers.
2. Misaligned door
If the rollers supporting the sliding door move off the track, then the whole door will move out of alignment. This makes the door very difficult to open or close until the problem is fixed. The major cause of this has to do with the screws that hold the rollers against the track. These screws can fall out, or become stripped, over time. In such cases, the solution is to screw them back in or replace them with new ones.
To check if your sliding glass door is aligned properly, stand back and look at the door from the outside. You should notice a uniform space between the door and the exterior wall along both the top and bottom of the door. If the spacing appears to be off, your door is probably misaligned, and should be replaced.
3. Bent track
Tracks can bend either inwards or outwards and prevent the door from running smoothly. Bent tracks can also cause doors to jump off the track when the door is opened or closed. Bent tracks can be repaired by a professional, or on your own with the appropriate tools. An inward bend can be repaired by using pliers or vise grips to pull the bend back into place. An outward curve requires pliers, a hammer, or a rubber mallet to push the curve back into place.
4. Broken or damaged glass
The glass in sliding glass doors can become foggy, broken, cracked, or chipped due to environmental causes and everyday accidents. Even minor cracks and scratches should be addressed promptly, because they have the potential to get bigger and lead to the glass needing to be replaced completely.
Replacing the glass in a sliding glass door can be difficult and should be left to a professional, to avoid any injuries to yourself or others. You should work with a licensed glass repair company to replace the glass in your sliding glass door.
5. Gaps in the door
If you notice a gap between your sliding glass door and the framework surrounding it, you’re likely losing money on your energy bills. Your home’s heating and cooling system works harder when there is air escaping to the outside. Older sliding glass doors are especially energy inefficient, as they were installed before the current standards and technology that make energy efficiency possible. Gaps in the door can also allow dirt and insects to enter your home undeterred.
If you are having a hard time finding any gaps, there’s an easy way to tell. At night, have someone stand outside and shine a flashlight at the door, while you stand inside. You can identify any gaps by looking to see any areas where light is streaming in. Once you’ve identified the gaps, you can plan to have your door repaired or replaced.
Even if you don’t see any gaps in your door, you could still experience drafts that can cause you to spend more to heat or cool your home. Any drafts or temperature differences near your sliding glass door should prompt you to replace them. For example, during the summer, you shouldn’t feel heat radiating from the door—and in the winter, you shouldn’t feel a burst of cold air whenever you walk by.
Fixing drafts can save you a significant amount on your energy bills, as well as improve the level of comfort you feel in your home. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that fixing drafts can save you anywhere from 10% to 20% on your energy bills annually.
7. Difficulty opening and closing
There are several reasons why a sliding glass door can become difficult to operate. This can be the result of a poor-quality installation job, problems with the tracks, or damage to the rollers. Whatever the case, it can be annoying, and even dangerous, to be unable to operate your door when you need it. For example, in the case of an emergency, your sliding glass door couldn’t reliably serve as an exit.
In most cases, the best course of action is to have the door replaced, especially if the problem is the result of a poor-quality installation job, or if the rollers are too worn out to repair.
Trust True View for repairs and replacements
Repairing or replacing your sliding glass door is one of the most affordable home improvements. Investing in improvements to your sliding glass door can pay off for years to come in the form of savings on your energy bills. Not sure where to start? The experts at True View can help. Our technicians specialize in restoring your door with replacement parts designed to maximize its efficiency, as well as installing a new sliding glass door if necessary.
Get started today by contacting us. With free over-the-phone quotes, it’s easy to start any project with True View.