DIY tips to repair a patio door

patio doors

Patio doors that offer great views of the garden outdoors can maximize your space, as they don’t open outwards. While garden doors come with just one lock, sliding patio doors prevent unwanted break-ins with the integration of an optional security bar or kick locks. However, as sliding glass doors are used frequently, there are chances that they could get damaged or jammed. The rollers can become sticky and get noisy when slid or the glass can crack. Replacing your garden patio door can be expensive. Instead, try these simple DIY tips to fix it and save money.

Replacing the Broken Glass

To replace broken glass in a patio door, you will need gloves, a hammer, a small pry bar, a putty knife, measuring tape, a permanent marker, replacement glass, a glass cutter, and caulk.

  • Remove the trim around the broken glass and the nails in the trim using the putty knife, pry bar and hammer and keep it aside in a safe area.
  • Remove the broken glass from the opening and rub off any glass fragments stuck to the original caulk using the putty knife
  • Using the measuring tape, measure the opening from left to right and top to bottom and reduce ¼ inch from both measurements. This will be the actual size of your new glass piece.
  • Choose a large surface that can hold your new piece of glass and mark your measurements using a permanent marker. Gently cut across the line and make several gentle lines using the glass cutter. Avoid using heavy pressure as it will cause the glass to crack.
  • Apply a small amount of silicone caulk around the edges of the glass opening and gently place the piece of glass into the caulk. Then apply a line of caulk around the inside edges of the installed glass and replace the trim using the same size nails and the same nail holes.

Repairing Sliding Glass Door Rollers

Sliding glass doors get more difficult to open and close over time mainly because the rollers they slide on wear out. Here are some tips to mend damaged rollers.

  • First, clean the track or vacuum it to remove dust. If that doesn’t work, try adjusting the rollers. Adjusting the rollers sometimes helps, though it is usually an indication that they are wearing out and will have to be replaced in the future.
  • If adjusting the rollers doesn’t work, you will have to replace them. This requires removing the door.  To do this, raise the door further into the top track and pull the bottom towards the inside. Continue the process until the top of the door comes free from the upper track and removal is complete. A sliding glass door is usually heavy and a pry bar may be needed to lift it.
  • There are chances that the floor and ceiling have become warped over time, which would make it difficult to clear the bottom track even with a pry bar. If this is the case, use a small grinder to carefully remove a small amount of metal from the bottom track.
  • Find the screw(s) that hold the assembly in the bottom of the door. Remove the roller assembly by removing screws that hold the assembly in place. Now replace the entire assembly or just the roller, as required. Use a drill to drill out the rivet holding the current roller in place and fit the new rollers into the assembly. Remember to take exact measurements before buying the rollers or the entire assembly so that they will fit into the door frame.
  • Put the fastening screws back into the frame. To make the door installation easier, adjust the rollers up into the door as far as possible.
  • Re-install the door by inserting it into the upper track and sliding the bottom of the door over the lower track.
  • Finally, adjust the door rollers using a screwdriver. Turn the adjustment screw until the door itself is raised just slightly off the bottom track. This process pushes the actual roller wheel down and pushes the door up. Adjust the roller until the door is square with the door frame.

It can happen that the problem with your sliding door is neither the track nor the rollers, but the catch. If the catch is bent, remove it and use a hammer or pliers to set it right. If the catch is broken, buy the same model. Replace it and check how it works. Check whether the latch clicks as the door closes and whether it gets depressed fully for the door to open.

So the next time you have a problem with your patio garden door, try repairing it yourself before you call for professional help. DIY costs less money and also helps you develop new skills.