Common Reasons Why Your Sliding Glass Door Is Difficult to Open and Close

December 21, 2023
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Need help with a sliding glass door that’s hard to open? Sliding doors are essential for bringing in natural light, which is crucial for your well-being. If yours is stuck, here’s what you can do:

  1. Assess weather impact
  2. Inspect and clean the track
  3. Remove the door
  4. Look for any obstructions or damage
  5. Verify alignment 
  6. Evaluate rollers
  7. Check the handles

If searching “my sliding glass door is hard to open and close” hasn’t yielded results, Kryger Glass is here to help. Our experts specialize in all aspects of glass and sliding door solutions. Inquire about our residential glass services for professional assistance.

1.) Is the weather extreme? 

When your sliding door is hard to slide, it might not signal a severe problem; sometimes, it’s just the weather playing its part. Remember, metal expands under extreme heat and contracts in cold conditions. So, if it’s the season’s first heatwave, that expansion might make your door stick on its track, making it hard to slide.

Conversely, during a cold spell or the first heavy snowfall, you might notice your sliding door isn’t sealing properly due to contraction. In such cases, as the temperature normalizes, your sliding door should start sliding smoothly again. So, if your sliding door is hard to slide only during certain weather conditions, it’s likely a temporary issue that will self-correct.

2.) Inspect and clean the track

Check the track when dealing with a sliding glass door that won’t budge. It’s not always extreme weather that’s to blame. Over time, the track can become clogged with dirt and debris, obstructing the door’s glide. A thorough cleaning can often resolve this. Start with a soft bristle brush to dislodge any loose dirt, and for more stubborn grime, use soapy water on a rag. Regular track maintenance, such as monthly cleaning, is essential to avoid these build-ups.

Inspect the track for any physical deformities if the door remains stuck even after a good clean. A bent or damaged groove might be impeding the door’s movement. While minor bends might be fixable with pliers, a professional residential sliding glass door service should handle significant track damage. They have the expertise to repair or replace the track as needed. Finally, applying a silicone lubricant after cleaning can help keep the track running smoothly and reduce future dirt accumulation.

3.) Remove the door

You should remove the door to get to the root of the problem if it is not due to weather and dirt. 

  • Use a screwdriver to unscrew the rollers.
  • Place the door on a raised surface for a closer inspection of the rollers.
  • Clean the track and rollers more deeply, removing any hidden debris like rocks or dust you may have missed initially.
  • Reinstall the door.

5.) Is there an obstruction?

Next, check for obstructions preventing your sliding door from fully opening or closing. Small items like bugs, rocks, grass, or twigs can get caught under the door’s rollers. Carefully remove any such debris to ensure the door can slide smoothly again.

When obstructions go unnoticed, they pose a massive threat to the glass door and become dangerous. For example, when you tug hard enough on the door (worst case scenario), it will hit the blockage and jump the track, causing the glass to shatter and injure someone.

6.) Out of alignment? 

There should be a uniform gap along the edges of the door. Open your sliding door as far as it can go and check this distance between the frame and the door. If the door leans too far to one side or the gap is nonexistent, then the door will stick.

Luckily this is an easy fix and requires you to turn the adjustment screws hidden at the bottom of the door. Tighten or loosen depending on the gap’s width. 

7.) Are the rollers bent? 

Sliding glass doors rely on the rollers for a smooth slide, which becomes complicated when that breaks. Listen for a scraping sound when you try to open the door. This is a valuable indicator as to whether the rollers are damaged. 

8.) Broken handle or lock

Lastly, the problem might be something other than the door itself but rather the handle or lock. If you need to learn how to fix sliding glass doors with lock issues, ask a professional to take a look. 

Call Us Today

No matter why your shower door won’t close, Kryger Glass is available to help. We offer glass services for windows, cars, and bathrooms. So please don’t wait! Experience their superb customer service and join many satisfied customers. In no time, you’ll know how to fix a sliding glass door that won’t slide.

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