If there’s a sliding door in your house, the doors operate via a track that enables them the ability to glide across the door. Tracks are found at the top, bottom, and sometimes at the side of the door frame. The tracks enable the doors to bypass each other for easy entry and exist. Bottom rollers carry the doors, with two channels on the top track that allows the doors to pass one another. Nylon top guides hold each of the doors in place, helping distribute the weight of the doors over the entire bottom panel track.
The tracks on the sliding door are well-built, designed to provide many years of worry-free years. However, there are problems that can cause the track to malfunction or otherwise work improperly, requiring a replacement in order to use the door again.
Broken tracks won’t open or close at all. Many of the tracks featured on sliding doors are constructed from PVC plastic materials that damage and become brittle over time, causing the breakage. Damaged tracks cause nuisance when using them and tracks that have simply succumbed to age and wear and tear are just as much of a headache.
Installation of a sliding screen door track may also be necessary if you’re installing new French doors or if the sliding glass door you’ve purchased for the home is without the tracks pre-installed. Although uncommon, some doors are sold without the tracks, but this isn’t a big concern since you can easily add the track.
Although a variety of reasons exist for the need to replace the track, it’s a simple DIY job in each case. The information below teaches you how to install a sliding screen door track using only a few tools you likely already have sitting around the house. It isn’t a time-consuming job, so finding the time to complete the job isn’t of concern.
In some situations you may be able to clean the tracks and avoid replacement, but this is only a short-term solution and the tracks will eventually need replacing. Before replacing the door tracks, use a sponge or cloth and a multi-purpose cleaner to remove dirt, grime, and other debris that’s accumulated on both the rollers and the screen door track itself.
Once this is complete, use a vacuum cleaner attachment hose to remove any remaining dirt from the track. Hopefully this resolves the problem and your work is done. If it does not resolve the issue, or if your door track is damaged or improperly working, use the following step-by-step instructions and learn how to install a sliding screen door track.
The step-by-step instructions below teach you how to install a sliding screen door track the simple way. With these detailed DIY instructions, you’ll become a home improvement repair expert in no time. Heavier doors may require a second person to help remove. If someone is around to help with this step, you’ll appreciate the hand.
To remove the track, the doors must first come off in order for you to access the track. Luckily, removal of the doors is fairly simple. To remove the doors, stand on the outside of the door and open the screen as far as possible. Now, grip it with both hands, lifting upward on the door. As you’re lifting the doors, ensure the rollers clear the track. If you pull the bottom of the door toward you while removing it, removal is easier. Repeat this process to remove the second door from the frame.
Remove the Track
Take the track to the home improvement store to ensure you purchase the right size track for replacement.
After the doors are removed, you’ll need to remove the track. There are several screws holding the track in place on both top and bottom. Remove these screws without damaging the track, as you’ll need it later when measuring the new track. Your screwdriver is sufficient enough to remove the screws.
If someone is available to help, ask them to hold down the track as you remove the screws. This prevents the track from bulking or breaking, keeping it free from damage.
Purchase a New Track
Installation instructions may be included with the track purchase. If instructions are included, follow the specific details to easily install your new track.
Visit the nearest home improvement store to purchase a new track. Although most tracks are made from stainless steel material and sold in 8-ft. Slabs, this might not always be the case, so carefully consider all the options when making the purchase. The home improvement specialist can assist in the purchase, as well as answer any questions that you might have.
Repair tracks that fit over the existing track are available from many home improvement stores, though many homeowners prefer completely removing the old track and replacing it versus covering it. If such a type of track is of interest to you, talk to the home improvement specialist to learn more.
Cut the New Track to Size
If you’ve purchased an 8-ft. Or larger track, use the hacksaw to cut the track to size, using the old track as a guide. When comparing the tracks, ensure the holes line up properly, creating marks where cuts should be made. Repeat the same process to cut the track to size for the top frame.
Attach the New Tracks
Do not attach the new tracks to the door until you’ve cleaned the rollers. Cleaning the rollers before attaching the new tracks ensures longevity with the new track, as well as ease of operation. To ensure the rollers are clean and free of debris, clean them with a brush and denatured alcohol. Adding a small amount of lubricant to the rollers is also a good idea. The lubricant ensures the rollers operate smoothly for a long time ahead. Use a cloth to remove any excess lubricant from the rollers after application.
Once you’ve cleaned and lubed the rollers, it is time to attach the tracks securely into place. To attach the tracks, simply screw the screws into the proper holes. Ensure proper alignment of the holes and screws or you risk damage or repeating the step until it properly fits the door.
Replace the Doors
Firmly grip each side of the door, raising it at an angle at the top to slide the rollers inside the track. When replacing the rollers into the track, work slowly and don’t worry if you notice a bit of resistance. This is common and expected; it is a sign that you are installing the door the right way.
Lift up on the door, using the flat screwdriver blade to help raise the door. With the door in raised position, lift each of the sliding rollers into place in the track. Place one roller inside the track at a time. When you’re done, an adjustment may be necessary if the door is hard to push.
Adjust the Screws/Door Size
Two screws are found at the bottom of the door. These screws are known as expander screws and will likely need adjusting after the door is replaced. These screws control the height of the door. If there’s a gap after you’ve replaced the door, you’ll need to adjust the screws to ensure proper height of the rollers.
The adjustment is simple. Using the Phillips head screwdriver, turn the screw clockwise until the door moves. Again check the gap at the bottom. If the gap is sealed, ensure the door runs smoothly across the track and that it is tight enough to stay in place. If the door is tight enough, tighten the expander screw to secure the door. Repeat the process on the opposite door. If there’s a gasket holding the screw in place, just remove it.
Now that you know how to install a sliding screen door track in seven simple steps, you can save money, time, and hassle without sacrificing the work you need completed around the house. Man or woman, young or mature; installing a sliding screen door track is a simple and rewarding job you’ll enjoy completing.