Old style aluminium sliding doors are probably the most common sliding doors to be found on garden patios in the UK. Generally they will be in the original Aluminium or a white paint. A lot of these doors would have been installed over 20 to 30 years ago and though they are very robust, ageing and the British weather eventually take their toll. Once the wheels or tracks become worn or damaged this can go on to create other problems with alignment or the locks and handles. When repairing sliding doors the first point of call is always to diagnose the problem.
It is important to know how the wheels on the sliding glass doors operate before determining what the problems might be. In this article we attempt to explain this.
How the sliding glass door runners work
The Track and Wheels
- On the bottom track is a long solid steel raised curved spine that sits midway along the length of the track.
- The wheels if looked at from a side elevation there is concave curvature around the circumference which then allows the wheels to sit on the steel spine of the track without sliding off because the wheels are held in position by the above weight of the door.
- The pressure from the weight of the above door over time may cause the wheel to crack at the middle from the circumference curvature inwards.
- The central spindle that holds the wheels within the housing unit may have broken thereby causing the wheels to collapse within and get jammed up against the roof of the housing unit not turning anymore.
The patio door is dragging or scraping as it slides when trying to open or close
- Is it the track or the wheel? In order to determine which of these are damaged and causing the drag. The most obvious thing first is to check the track for any breaks, dents or splitting along the spine.
- If the track seems okay then the next obvious cause would be the wheels. There are two sets of runners under each end of the sliding door. When sliding the door back and forth, the damaged runners will drag along the track and the dragging wheels will tilt the door upwards on the opposite side where which the wheels are functioning. This gives us an idea of which set of wheels need changing or repairing.
- Drag can also be caused by draft excluding brush seals which are usually situated along the top of the sliding doors but the effect of this would be minimal.
Sliding Patio door not locking
- If the sliding door when in the shut position does not lock then this might be due to misalignment. The locking mechanisms of old style aluminium doors usually consist of two to four bolts that slide up and down into positioned holes within the frame. If the door is not sliding into the correct position for the bolts to align then it will not lock.
- To check whether the sliding door locking mechanism is damaged or if it is an alignment issue. open the door and check if the bolts are moving up and down with the handle. If so then it is clearly an alignment issue.
- If the bolts are not moving then there is a problem with the locking mechanism.
Good Upkeep and Maintaining Aluminium Sliding Doors
Keeping the sliding aluminium door tracks clean
- Because the tracks are exposed to the weather, over time dirt, leaves etc. will get into the tracks. Eventually these elements will get into the wheels and start to jam, preventing them from turning. It is advisable to clean the track three or four times a year making sure that dirt does not get a chance to gather.
Keep moving parts lubricated
- Spray lubricants such as WD40 or GT85 should be used on the wheels and also the locking bolts periodically to prevent rusting and jamming.
Using the sliding door correctly
- When closing the door do not slam but push gently into position.
- When closing and before locking make sure the door is firmly shut and in position. This will prevent the locks and bolt being forced and damaged if not in the correct closing position.
- If the handle or lock is hard to turn when closing then do not force as this is an early sign that something is not right or one of the closing parts are out of position. Get it looked at by a sliding door specialist. This could prevent hefty future costs.
Our Engineers are happy to give any advice on the phone that you may need or we can arrange a time to survey your sliding doors and give a no obligation quote for repairs.
Call us on 0782 436 0689
Our Sliding Patio door repair specialists cover the whole of London and surrounding areas including –
Isle of Dogs , Docklands , Hammersmith and Fulham , Kensington and Chelsea , Waltham Forest , Newham , Richmond upon Thames , Slough , Hillingdon , Hounslow , Ealing , Camden , Redbridge , Bromley , Croydon , Sutton , Merton , Kingston upon Thames Islington , Haringey , Brent , Harrow , Tower Hamlets , Southwark , Lambeth , Wandsworth , Hackney , Westminster , Barnet , Hertfordshire , Enfield , City of London , Potters Bar , Cheshunt , St Albans Barking and Dagenham , Havering , Bexley , Greenwich , Lewisham