Can’t Get Sliding Screen Door Back On Track—What To Do?

A well-functioning sliding screen door is an excellent complement to your home as it allows for easy outdoor access and lets light into your home. However, when your door gets off track, it may be challenging to close. Therefore, you may need to do some minor repairs. You are probably wondering how you can get the sliding door back on track. We consulted technical experts on the matter, and this is what they have to say.

You may be facing issues such as wear and tear of the rollers, a bent track, or accumulated dirt on the track itself. Getting your sliding screen door back on track is a relatively straightforward exercise. Once you determine why your screen door is off track, follow these simple steps to troubleshoot the problem:

  • Remove the screen door from the track.
  • Inspect the track for dents, and straighten the track to enable smooth sliding.
  • Inspect the rollers to ensure that they are in good shape and rotate freely, then replace any broken rollers.
  • Clean the track to remove any accumulated dirt, and secure the door back in position.

Performing a simple maintenance routine on your sliding screen door will ensure that it serves you effectively for the long haul. Read further to find out why your door may not function as expected and how to resolve each issue.

Hands of person removed the old door screen and fitting the new one, Can't Get Sliding Screen Door Back On Track—What To Do?

Why Is My Sliding Screen Door So Hard To Open?

Your sliding screen door may be hard to open due to some of these common challenges:

Wear And Tear Of The Rollers

Rather than glide, a sliding door has wheels that ride the track when you open or close the door. When these rollers break, the sliding capacity of the door is compromised because the broken wheels will not rotate freely. As a result, opening the sliding door becomes very hard.

The wheels of your sliding door can also lose alignment, resulting in the door going off track. The misalignment mainly happens when the screws holding the wheels against the track wear out.

Bent Track

A good quality sliding track ensures that your door serves you efficiently for the long haul. When the track has dents, your sliding door will be hard to open. There won't be enough room for the roller wheels if the track bends inwards since the path becomes narrow.

On the other hand, if the track curves outwards, the rollers are not held in place. Consequently, you may accidentally pull the door off the track.

Accumulated Dirt On The Track

If the sliding door makes some noise when you open or close it, and chances are, the track might be dirty. Dirt impedes the ability of the wheels on your sliding door to move smoothly. Moreover, if the grime is left unattended, you may damage the door hardware by repeatedly forcing it to open or close.

How To Get Your Sliding Screen Door Back On Track

You can efficiently address the hindrances to your sliding screen door opening quickly by following any of these simple steps:

Remove The Sliding Screen Door From The Track

Removing the sliding door from its track will make identifying and resolving the issue easier. To remove the screen door from the track, use a screwdriver to turn the adjustment screws on the door frame counterclockwise.

Adjusting the screws will enable you to heave the door wheels, thus lifting the door from the track.

Straighten Dents On The Track

If your sliding door track is bent inwards, use a pair of firm pliers to realign the track. On the other hand, if the track is bent outwards, support the bent section against a small piece of timber and carefully hammer the track back to place.

Inspect The Rollers

Rotate the wheels to check whether they are in good condition and they revolve freely. If they are broken, replace them with good-quality wheels.

To replace the rollers, follow these simple steps:

  1. Use a Phillips screwdriver to turn the roller screws anticlockwise till the rollers are separated from the door.
  2. Carefully pull out the wheels from the door.
  3. Note down the type of rollers you will need to replace the damaged ones. You can either take a picture or bring the ones you removed to the store when purchasing new ones.
  4. Fit the new rollers. Align the holes on the door to those on the rollers and fasten them in place.
  5. Turning the rollerscrews clockwise to hold the rollers tight. Ensure that they spin freely before reinstalling your door.

If the rollers are misaligned, realign them by tightening the screws holding the rollers on track. Also, check for any missing screws and replace them.

Clean The Track

To address dirt on the track, you do not need costly supplies. Furthermore, cleaning the track does not involve complications. We will discuss how best to clean the sliding door track below.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Sliding Door Tracks?

Cleaning a sliding door track is a simple maintenance routine that may result in prolonged functional life for your door. You can use supplies readily available in the home to remove debris and any other accumulated dirt.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Water
  • Piece of cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Mild household cleaner
  • Paper towels

How To Clean The Sliding Door Track

You will need to remove the sliding door from the frame to deep clean the track. Once you remove the door, follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Vacuum the inside of the track to remove all the debris.
  2. Make a cleaning solution by mixing equal portions of the white vinegar and water.
  3. Spray the cleaning solution along the door track and wipe with a clean piece of cloth. Alternatively, you can add the mild household cleaner to warm water and use the mixture to clean the track.
  4. Use an old toothbrush to scrub at the dirt in the track as it helps to loosen the debris. Ensure that you scrub the corners as well to remove as much grime as you can.
  5. Use the paper towels to soak off any excess moisture on the track.
  6. Apply a thin lubricant on the track as this enables the door slide easier.

Ensure that you clean the door jamb and rollers before reinstalling the door. You can either use warm water and soap or the cleaning solution from vinegar and water to clean the frame and wheels. Cleaning them will ensure that the door jamb and rollers do not transfer dirt back to the track.

Once you address all the issues, work backward and hang the sliding screen door.

What Is The Best Way To Lubricate A Sliding Glass Door?

Lubricating your sliding door ascertains that the door opens and closes easily, safely, and smoothly since it reduces friction between the rollers and the track.

The lubricant you choose should be able to withstand extreme temperatures without altering the functionality of your door because sliding glass doors link the inside of your house to the outside. Additionally, you will need a thin lubricant as it will not result in an avoidable accumulation of dirt on the track.

You should lubricate the sliding glass door after cleaning the door, its rollers, and the sliding track. Therefore, it is advisable to lubricate the sliding door after deep cleaning and before mounting the door back to its frame.

A non-stick silicone-based lubricant is long-lasting. You won't need to lubricate your door regularly. Moreover, the lubricant dries very fast. As a result, it does not attract dirt to the track.

Evenly spray your lubricant on the track and wheels of your door. Ensure that you spread the lubricant properly on the track. You can achieve this by sliding the door repeatedly along the trail.

Alternatively, you can get a lubricant that has a straw applicator option, as this will enable you to lubricate the hard-to-reach areas.

Can I Use WD-40 On My Sliding Glass Door?

WD 40 logo on some of their water displacer sprays for sale

You can use WD-40 lubricant on your sliding glass door. The WD 40 specialist gel lube is ideal since it doesn't drip and it lubricates the top door jamb. Additionally, it is specially adapted to displace moisture, thus preventing the track or wheels from rusting. Furthermore, it offers non-fling, which is ideal for the rollers of your sliding door.

The gel lube can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -100 °F to 500 °F. As such, the lubricant will certainly remain effective through the various seasons of the year.

Final Remarks

Your sliding door can get off track for various reasons, such as a dented track, accumulated debris on the track, or misaligned rollers. Once you identify the actual cause, restoring the sliding door on track is relatively straightforward.

Performing a regular maintenance routine on your sliding door, such as cleaning the track often, will ensure that your door remains on track.

You can also read this article to find out how to adjust the height of your sliding door.

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