Forum Title: Common Patio Door Problems
Heres some of the common problems you may encounter with patio doors, both old and new. While it may not always be worthwhile to repair an old door, some problems are easy to fix. Other times they may be underlying problems described here that will affect you new door installation.Replacing RollersThe most obvious source of trouble with a patio door thatís not sliding is the rollers on the bottom of the sliding panel. The rollers are located in the bottom rail and you will need to get the operating panel out of the frame before you can attempt to replace them. If the door has an aluminum frame, often there will be two large screws, one on each side of the sliding panel, which need to be removed before the bottom rail can be pulled off.Some old aluminum doors, have screws which hold both the roller and the rail in place. These have a nylon locknut which will fall out when you remove the screw. With the screws removed, you should be able to carefully pull the bottom rail off the bottom of the door. Check for any metal tabs that may be locking the rail in place. With the rail removed, the rollers are usually held in with a single screw. On a wooden patio door, It is not necessary to remove the bottom rail. The rollers are usually tandem or double rollers, screwed into a mortise in the bottom of the door. All you should need to do is remove the screws holding the rollers.Modern Vinyl doors may present a problem. Some manufacturers seal the rollers in the frame so that you have to buy a whole new patio door when the rollers only need replacing. Others allow you to remove the bottom rail just like an aluminum door. A vinyl door is likely to have locking tabs as well as screws holding the bottom rail on. The Vinyl is also much more prone to breaking during removal.Sagging FramesIf you notice scrape marks on the top of the patio door frame, or unequal gaps when the sliding door is closed its very likely the wood frame rough opening has moved due to settling. Also if you notice cracks in the concrete sill this is evidence that the sill is no longer flat and it has pulled the patio door frame out of square. Sagging frames will wear the rollers out very quickly. In some cases the wood frames will move so much the glass in the patio door will shatter.The first step to fix a sliding door with scrape marks on the top frame is to remove the casing at the header location. If you are lucky, the sagging will be minimal and you can correct the problem by pulling out all the wooden shims along the top rail and allowing the rail to snap back into position. Then replace the shims with new, leveling the top rail as you go.If you are unlucky the sagging will be so bad that the entire header will have to be rebuilt. This will be necessary even before a new door can be installed, since its likely you wont be able to find a new door whose height is slightly less than the existing sagging rough opening.Often repairing patio doors with simple sagging frames or bad rollers will get these doors operating as good as new. So long as you can find replacement parts, repairing patio doors is a viable lower cost alternative to replacement. Knowing the problems patio doors can have is also helpful in presenting the case for patio door replacement.
Category: General Contractor Post By: RAUL FLEMING (Lee's Summit, MO), 02/08/2018

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