Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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How to Repair a Sliding Glass Door

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Does your sliding door stick? Is it hard to operate? It may need to be cleaned, or it might need an adjustment.

I was at a friend’s house when I discovered that I could not get out to the backyard, because the sliding glass door was sticking. Oh yeah, it has been like that, he said; you have to lift up on the handle, and nudge it along. This happens to my door as well, and it is a simple fix that we forget to do.
   The door has a groove in the top of the frame and in the bottom of the frame. The frame in the opening has raised rails that the door rides on. The top rail guides the door. The bottom rail is the one that the sliding door rides on. If this bottom rail is covered in debris, the wheels inside the door will stick, making it hard to move the door. I take the sliding door out of the frame to clean the rail and the wheels in the door. To remove the door, you lift the door up into the top rail. This will give you space to move the bottom of the door frame over the bottom rail. By lowering the door after you are out of the bottom rail, you can remove the door from the frame. There will be two slots for the wheels, one on each end. Clean out the wheel hub and the rail. If the wheels are damaged, you can replace them. That sit on a shaft, which has a screw on the door frame to hold it in place. Unscrew the shaft, and you can remove the wheel. Hardware stores and home center will sell the wheels. They are fairly standard. I feel that the metal ones last longer than the plastic.
    Pretty basic stuff, is it not? I think that we do not think to do it sometimes, because we think it will be a great hassle. Frequently, it just needs to be cleaned. I have had a case in a home inspection where the sliding glass door was being effected by the foundation. The sliding door was from the bedroom to a porch. The home had a problem along one wall. This caused the door frame to become racked out of position, so the door would not shut squarely. The frame had become too slanted.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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