Sliding doors are useful and convenient in many ways. For instance, they allow easy entrance and exit to and from your home, while saving a lot of space and energy. They are also among the best options when you need spectacular views of your surroundings without having to go outside.
However, they do not come without a fair share of drawbacks, alongside a few hidden yet preventable dangers. To determine whether or not a sliding door is what you need in your home, it pays to be in the know about some of its pros and cons.
Moreover, understanding some of the problems your sliding door is likely to experience can let you anticipate dangers and fix the issues before they turn into a costly financial loss.
For this reason, this piece seeks to take you through the merits and demerits of sliding doors as well as common problems and how to fix them.
Sliding Doors and How They Work
A sliding door is basically a door that’s designed to open and close horizontally through sliding. When given a little push to the left or right, the door panel slides with the help of rollers through horizontal tracks/rails at the top and bottom, letting you in or out of your home or space.
Most sliding doors are designed with one sliding and a stationary or fixed door panel, but multi-panel sliding doors are also increasingly gaining popularity these days.
And while these doors are most commonly used in patios and balconies, they are also suitable for use in interior spaces like hallways, bathrooms, and even wardrobes.
The frame can be made from aluminum, steel, stainless steel, or wood, whereas the center part is usually glass, PVC, or manufactured wood.
Common Sliding Door Problems and How to Fix Them
As mentioned earlier, understanding the common problems of sliding doors can help you save time and money while extending your doors’ lifespan, increasing convenience, and boosting functionality. Among the most common problems, you should look out for may include the following.
Problem: Your Sliding Door Keeps Sticking
It is not uncommon for a sliding door to start jamming or become difficult to open or close after a considerable period of use. If you’re dealing with a frequently sticking sliding door, understanding the probable causes can get you to a solution.
Some of the probable reasons your sliding door keeps getting jammed or stuck may include:
Accumulated debris and dirt:
When accumulated in the tracks or rollers, dirt, debris, and grime and grime can keep the sliding door from operating smoothly. Check the tracks and rollers, and if this is the case, the substance causing the jam should be removed, the rails cleaned, and the rollers properly lubricated.
Damaged or problematic rollers:
For your sliding door to glide smoothly along the track during operation, the rollers need to be in good shape. If the sliding door rollers are broken or worn out they may keep causing your door to get stuck. Oftentimes, replacing severely damaged rollers will fix the problem.
Sliding door tracks are usually made of metal. This means that after a considerable period of use, the tracks may develop rust, which increases friction and deters sliding doors from operating smoothly.
This is why you should make sure to check for rusted tracks whenever your sliding door starts getting jammed. The rust can be scraped off, followed by thorough cleaning, and lubrication to rectify the problem.
Problem: Damaged Frames or Door Parts
Another commonly encountered problem among sliding doors is damage to the frames. All so often, frames sustain damage due to wear and tear, especially from forceful opening and closing of the sliding door. The risk of damage is even higher if the rails are dirty, the rollers are damaged, or the tracks are rusty enough to cause jamming as explained above.
Nonetheless, door frame damage can also emanate from door hardware that is fitted improperly, loose tracks, or bent rails. Before attempting the fix, it is also crucial to check for any damaged screws as they could be the major cause of the issue.
Problem: The Locking Mechanism Is Compromised
A compromised sliding door locking mechanism can also pose a security risk on any property.
Nonetheless, these problems are quite common, and can even be triggered by other problems like broken sliding door rollers. To solve the problem and protect your sliding door, the underlying problems may need to be fixed first. But if the latch is broken, it should be replaced as soon as possible.
Problem: Broken Glass
If your sliding door glass is broken, a lot can happen. It possesses a security danger to you and your family or the dwellers in case of commercial property. Moreover, it is a safety concern as far as safety from the elements is concerned.
Cracked or broken gas can also allow the escape of heat outside or the entry of cold inside, which could have a huge impact on your heating and cooling bills. The best solution is usually to remove and replace the broken glass from the sliding door.
Pros of Sliding Doors
As any building contractor or design professional may tell you, sliding doors provide a plethora of perks to homes and certain commercial premises.
Some of their biggest benefits or advantages include the following:
- Sliding doors are great for saving space
- They don’t use hinges to open
- Sliding doors are appealing to the eye
- They are quite easy to install (even DIY)
- They allow easy access to the outdoors
- Sliding doors are versatile
- They improve ventilation
- They allow the much-needed natural light inside
Cons of Sliding Doors
Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of sliding doors – just like any other type of door – is that they are not immune to developing problems over their lifespan, for one reason or the other.
Besides this, other downsides of sliding doors include:
- They’re a common target for intruders – Panels made using weak glass, and improperly fixed doors are a common cause of break-ins.
- They require high-level maintenance – the tracks and rollers need frequent cleaning and lubricating to keep the door operating smoothly.
- Sliding doors are not so durable – As they accumulate dirt and rust from the elements, problems like jamming can impede the operational efficiency of sliding doors.
By far, the advantages of sliding doors outweigh the disadvantages. But various sliding door problems may occur for various reasons too. The best part is that there is always a solution. Some of these fixes can even be performed DIY as long as you are well informed and have the right tools at hand!