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My sliding patio Screen Door sticks

I have put together some tips on my sliding door screen repair efforts.  No matter how much I adjusted the four corner rollers the screen would not slide as smoothly as I thought it should.  The four small rollers were in good condition and I had just lubricated them with silicone (or WD-40).  So I thought I would do a more complete visual examination of the door and track.  The tracks appeared to be fine, there was some dirt but it was not obstructing the rollers.

If you just need to replace or repair a screen please see this note: BobsHowTo.com - Tips Doorway BO, Repair Screen Door.  Also please see my tip on snow and sliding glass doors in winter.

One note here, at the very ends of the track there was clearly a drainage recess that was completely plugged with dirt.  This recess led indirectly to a fine slot ( weep hole ) that appeared to be fairly clear.  So I cleared out the drainage recess, flushed with water, and hopefully dirt will not build up as quickly in the track.

Plugged Drainage Recess, one at each of door frame  Weep Hole (Slot) at bottom of sliding screen door

To the left, the drainage recess.  Above, the weep hole located below and slightly to the right of the drainage recess at the bottom of the door.

Back to the door.  I did notice signs of wear and abrasion on the sliding screen door, and the fixed glass door as well.  I also noticed at the top and bottom of the sliding screen door that the frame of the screen slightly rubbed against the track enclosure.  Also I noticed the rubber door seal along the side of the screen door had slid down and was riding on the track.

Repair Screen Door, draft stopping gasketHere you can see the door seal rubbing on the track and the abrasion that was occurring between the screen door and the fixed window in the slider.


These are all sources of friction but what seemed the most important was the screen door was slightly sprung, warped, or bowed.  This appeared to be causing the interference between the door and the track enclosure.  

Screen Door Repair, straightening the doorVery carefully I braced the screen door in a gap in the boards in my deck and gave it a very slight twist.  


This slight correction to the warp of the door made a very big difference.  It allowed the door to slide in the track enclosure without a permanent interference (rubbing).  What a difference.  Also I slid the door seal up so it no longer rubbed on the track.  Finally the door had a very slight bend at one of the glide rollers causing the inside of the door to rub against the fixed glass door.  I carefully tapped this bulge on the side of the roller with a hammer until there was a slight bulge on the opposite and outside of the door.  Now the inside no longer rubbed on the fixed glass door.

The gap at the stop of the screen doorHere is the top of the screen door and track enclosure.  Flexing the door opened this gap up very slightly.  To finish the job I carefully flexed the track enclosure slightly outward by prying between the door and the track enclosure, while sliding the door through its entire range of motion.  This seemed to be needed, although if the door was well made, perhaps it should not have been???


I have reinstalled the door using the bottom two screws to raise the screen slightly until the top of the screen door is well captured in the track enclosure and the screen is level and square with the door frame.  Here you may have to compromise; I believe my door frame is not completely square.  Tighten the upper two roller screws until you can only lift or rock the door very slightly.  If you do not do this, the door may be very smooth but the first time somebody slams the door open it will go right off the track!

With all these little fixes in place the door now glides very smoothly with little effort.

Regarding the bowing, I imagine every time you replace the screen itself you will have to recheck and reflex the door.  I am sure screen installation can add some unwanted flex.

Hope this helped!

Thanks,
Bob

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BHT Revised: 22 Oct 2016

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