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The Home Depot

Sliding Glass Door Repair Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Carpentry > Sliding Glass Door Repair Guide
Sliding Glass Door Repair Guide

When looking to repair sliding glass doors, there are several things to consider. Obviously, one of the most important decisions you'll need to make when anything in your home ceases to function properly is whether to repair or replace. Both paths have their benefits and downfalls, and identifying which one is the best route for your particular situation will hinge on several key factors.

  1. A lot of homeowners choose to forgo any extensive repairs for these doors and simply upgrade to better functioning models.

    1.Good Candidates for Repairs

    Sliding glass doors that are relatively new are almost always good candidates for repairs. New doors primarily lose functionality only when acted upon a specific, single incident (a stray baseball, for example, that cracks the glass of a patio door). In such a situation, the rest of the installation is likely to maintain excellent function for years to come, making repair the obvious choice.


    Additionally, any expensive, antique, or custom-made sliding doors are also going to be better candidates for repair, as having them replaced will be very costly and, in some cases, the replacement will not add the same amount of value as the original.

  2. 2.Good Candidates for Replacement

    Like all home components, these doors will eventually succumb to old age. When it is not just a single issue, but a malfunctioning track, loose joints, scuffs and scratches, and damaged locking mechanisms all at once, replacement is generally the better option.


    The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors estimates that patio door systems (though not the glass or door itself) will require replacement around the 20 year mark. However, since styles are prone to changing and the aesthetic appeal of many home components will fade after a few decades, a lot of homeowners choose to forgo any extensive repairs for these doors and simply upgrade to better-looking, more energy-efficient, and smoother functioning models.

  4. 3.Simple Sliding Glass Door Repairs

    When replacement is either uncalled for or simply out of your family's budget and calling in a pro would put undue stress on your finances, there are several simple repairs you can perform yourself on your sliding doors.


    Make Sticking Doors Operate Smoothly: Often, it is not actual wear but collected debris in a door's hardware that causes it to stick. Many of these doors are designed to be easily removed from their tracks (simply lift the moving panel up until the rollers underneath can clear the track, then pull the panel out; generally easier to do with two people). Once the rollers and track are exposed, simply clean off all the hardware, remove any debris from the track, lubricate, and replace for a more smoothly operating door.


    Straighten Bent Tracks: There are a number of ways that a track can become bent, but this problem is often caused by impact that occurs while moving a large, heavy object through the opening. Though it may be tempting to try and straighten bent tracks directly with a hammer, using a scrap block of wood as a buffer between the track and the hammer strikes will be effective and reduce the chances of causing additional damage.


    Patch Small Cracks Before They Become Big Problems: In the same manner that a tiny rock kicked up by the car in front of you may cause a tiny crack in your windshield, there are plenty of little occurrences that can cause a small crack in your sliding glass door. Similarly, the crack on your door can eventually get quite large if left unattended, but since you can't conveniently drive your door to the auto shop, this is an issue you'll have to tackle yourself. Thankfully, resin-based repair kits are readily available from just about any home improvement center. These kits are easy to use and are a very effective means of strengthening these tiny cracks and dings, preventing them from becoming large repair bills.

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