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Windows & Doors

4 Common Sliding Door Repairs

By on Mar 20, 2014
4 Common Sliding Door Repairs

When homes have patios, decks or balconies, sliding doors are installed as an easy outdoor access door for homeowners. They are simple to open and close, while providing a picturesque view of outside. However, they can have problems requiring repairs or replacement, either as a DIY project or task for a professional.

1. Dirty or Broken Rollers

Sliding doors move easily because of the rollers installed on either side of the door. However, if the door gets stuck and must be pushed against to move, it’s likely the rollers have an obstruction or are failing because of wear. Dirty rollers can have various items in them—leaves, sticks, dirt—which obstructs door movement. They will need to be cleaned to be able to move again without getting stuck on the track or against one another. If they have cracks or bends, homeowners will need new rollers. This is especially true for sliding doors with metal rollers, which rust over time.

2. Wheels Out of Adjustment

If the rollers holding the sliding door jump out of the track, the whole door will move out of alignment. This will make it impossible to open or close it until the problem is fixed. A common reason for this is the screws holding the rollers against the track. They can become loose or fall out over time. In such cases, homeowners will need to screw them back in or replace the missing ones. Also consider spraying some lubricant on the rollers to help them move more easily.

3. Bent Track

What also causes rollers to jump off-track is a bent one. Bent tracks can be either inward or outward and prevent the door from moving all the way on the track. Inward bend, towards the floor, can be repaired with pliers or vise grips by pulling the bend back into place. Outward bend will require pliers, a hammer or rubber mallet to repair it by pushing it down. If a homeowner places something atop the outward bend, it will be easier for the hammer to hit that point and push the bend back into place. Be sure to tap gently and remove the door to avoid damages.

4. Broken Glass

Because of broken seals, weather, pests or a burglar, sliding door windows shatter to leave a gaping hole. Replacing a pane in a sliding door can be difficult because it requires breaking the seal around a window pane, plinking out the glass shards left over and then installing a new pane. This is a time-consuming effort that leaves a lot of room for injury and additional problems with the door if not done correctly.

Homeowners should consider hiring a door professional to repair broken windows in a sliding door to avoid these hassles.

Costs to Repair or Install

For any sliding door repairs, homeowners should weigh whether to take on the project themselves or hire a professional. While a DIY project might save money, some of these repairs have risks that could cause further problems. Professionals know how to fix doors properly because of their years of experience and can do so in a timely manner.


If homeowners want to consider hiring an expert, the average door repair cost could range between $160 and $240 according to our data, or it could be between $240 and $340 according to HomeAdvisor. Prices will vary depending on the project and the extent of the work professionals will need to do. If you need to install a sliding door, the average reported cost range is anywhere from $590, according to our door installation cost guide, to $915. Replacing the sliding door might be the best-case scenario if it’s too badly damaged.

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