Thursday, December 31, 2009


Sliding doors don’t slide… they roll. And, the rolling part is a main factor in all patio door problems including drafts, misalignment, loose handles, scraping noises and dragging.

The secret is hidden in the base of your sliding patio door. In a slot or wide groove (out of sight) in the bottom horizontal frame of the operating door (the one that moves) are a pair of adjustable steel housings, axles, bearings and grooved zinc plated steel wheels called “rollers”. (Some can be nylon or stainless)

In the first twenty years of life, these roller assemblies deteriorate… the zinc plating wears and the metal rusts, the bearings wear and reduce (or stop) wheel rotation. The axles wear and can allow the door to shift and scrape the track walls… and the concave groove in each roller can flatten and create a misalignment of the door and gouging of the track rail.

As the above conditions gradually become more severe, the door becomes more difficult to move, the handles can break from the strain and drafts are common. It is not that the door is heavy or old… it’s the rollers!

When the rollers don’t roll, then the door “slides”… and, spreading grease or oil on the track will give you some relief for only about a day or two.

Bottom line, you just need to change the rollers.

There are over 300 different types of roller assemblies for the many patio doors that have been manufactured over the last 50 years. Some door rollers are extinct and new versions need to be skillfully retrofitted.

Regardless, changing the rollers is very cost-effective and is typically less than 10% of the cost of a new patio door system.  This only needs to be done every 15-20 years.

Because of the various conditions caused by roller failure, just changing them may not completely solve all the issues. Therefore, someone with inexperience may find themselves in over their head.


Unknown said...

Because they are located underneath the patio doors, it is most likely that you will have to remove the doors if you need to replace the rollers. This is the perfect opportunity for you to look for other issues wearing on the doors. Also, take the time to clean the surface where the rollers rest, as they contribute to the deterioration of the rollers. If you found out that the doors have more problems than the rollers, it’s better to have them replaced instead.

Shawnda Nix

Unknown said...

Thanks for clarifying how sliding doors really work. To add some information, particles like mud, food, and even hair are large contributors to roller damage. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the base of your sliding door is regularly cleaned to prevent these materials from accumulating and clogging the roller. If your sliding door still doesn’t work properly even when there’s no clogging, it could mean that it’s poorly installed or that there are underlying structural problems that you need to look at.

Nancy Ferdinand

Sliders said...

Both previous comments are correct. When a sliding patio door system is in place, there is NEVER the need to put any oil or grease ANYWHERE. When the door is out, the new roller bearings should be lubricated with a dry PTFE aerosol. (available everywhere and shake well) This product can also be used to reduce the friction in the channels of vinyl doors that are too tight.

Home Windows said...

thanks a lot for sharing this informative site, i find it very interesting and this is such a big helped for all of us.

Best Sliding Patio Doors
Entry Door With Window

شركات خدمات منزلية said...

شركة رش مبيدات بالقصيم

Unknown said...

Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us.
Replacement Sliding Doors
Windows And Doors Phoenix
Sliding Patio Door Replacement
Glass Sliding Door Replacement