Last updated on June 28th, 2019 at 03:14 pm
Sliding doors make a great addition to any home. They look great and they are a huge convenience during the summer months. However, like anything else with moving parts, they do need to be looked after. The good news is that if you take a few minutes to perform some basic maintenance tasks, your patio doors will last you for many years.
The most important maintenance tasks are:
Just like traditional hinged external doors, sliding doors need to be weather treated. Wooden doors should be re-painted every few years (when the paint or varnish starts to crack and peel). If you are lucky enough to live in an area that gets relatively mild weather then you may be able to go for several years between paintings. If you live near the coast or in an area that sees a lot of wind and rain then you will need to treat the door more often.
Even UPVC doors will need some weather treatment, however. Before the summer starts, inspect your door’s weather stripping for signs of cracking and decay. If the weather stripping looks worn, remove it using a screwdriver and some pliers, and replace it with some fresh stripping. Replacing stripping is a simple case of sliding the new strip into place and affixing it with some plastic adhesive.
The tracks on external sliding doors tend to attract dirt and dust, and you should try to keep them clean so that the runner moves smoothly. If you are pro-active about keeping the tracks clean throughout the year then you should not need to clean the rollers often. However, if it feels like the rollers are sticking, then you can clean them by pulling the rollers out of the door and scraping the dirt off the wheels. Wipe down the wheels with a rag dipped in denatured alcohol, and clean the track with a similar solution, then vacuum the track to remove any remaining traces of dust or dirt.
One final maintenance task is lubrication. It is a good idea to lubricate your rollers after you clean them. The best kind of lubricant to use is a silicone spray, because this does not hold dirt. Stay away from other kinds of lubricants because they will cause the runners to collect dust, and eventually make them stick or jam. Use the silicone spray on the roller wheels and the runner itself. Lubricate both the top and the bottom track. Note that the bottom track requires more lubricant than the top one.
In addition to applying silicone to the track, rub the track with a block of paraffin wax, applying it quite generously, to ensure that the track moves freely.
Sliding doors are relatively easy to look after, as long as you remember to perform these basic maintenance tasks before the door starts to stick. As with anything else in your home, preventative maintenance is key to ensuring your door stays in good condition for a long time.