SlidersUSA, under the direction of Charlie Scott, formally an award-winning international engineer, trains and licenses contractors in the Midwest to provide the periodic maintenance required of residential sliding patio doors. This involves those pesky sliding patio doors that annually become more difficult to operate. Thinking they need new doors for thousands of dollars, few homeowners realize that sliding doors just need a little attention now and then. But, until Sliders, there were no companies to provide the skilled workmanship and readily available parts to fill the void in the metropolitan Chicago
Make sure the weather-seals on and around your sliding patio door are NOT painted. If the weather-seal is painted it will affect the integrity of the seal and the dried paint can be heard scraping each time the door is moved. Weather-seals encrusted with dried paint can be easily replaced. Also, you will notice that the painter cannot reach the vertical parts between the frames where the panels interlock. These areas can only be painted when the door is removed. You may become accustomed to the fact that these areas are not painted, but your
Our experience has shown that the elderly have more difficulty opening the sliding door to their patio or balcony than any other door they would encounter shopping downtown. That’s because all the downtown businesses conform to the A.D.A. requirements that specify no more than five pounds of pressure is required to open or close any door. We make sliding patio doors complaint with A.D.A. (actually exceeding their requirements) in your own home. Our special tool shows the results.
Experts will tell you little things are important to prospective buyers… A neat interior, clean carpeting, a nice kitchen and a pleasant aroma of coffee or cookies. But, there are less obvious areas that are often overlooked… home idiosyncrasies to which you have become accustomed can subconsciously be a turn-off to someone new. You wouldn’t think something that costs only a few bucks to improve could put the kibosh on a sale. But, it can. A squeaking hinge, a toilet that “runs”, a slightly torn screen, an encrusted shower head
All sliding doors require periodic maintenance and cleaning. Each manufacturer provides detailed information about how their products are best maintained. http://www.steinerhomesltd.com/manuals/windows/jeldwen_vinyl_windows_care.pdf Unfortunately, home owners rarely take the time to access such information.
Millions of homeowners struggle every day to move the sliding door accessing their patio, deck or pool. Their sliding doors have not been easy to open or close for many years. And the recommendations from friends to coat the track with grease, silicone or WD-40 has provided only temporary relief. A lubricant would help if the doors really did slide, but they don’t. Sliding patio doors, produced by hundreds of different manufacturers since the middle of the last century actually roll on wheels. These “rollers” are hidden in the bottom
Since a sliding patio door always rolls the same distance open and closed, the rollers in the bottom of the door make a complete revolution at the same place on the track consistently. Now, if over time, a ball bearing in a roller sticks at one point during the revolution, the roller will stop rotating for a split-second and the roller will “slide” along the track for up to an inch before it begins rolling again. Then, as it again revolves to the same rotation spot, it happens again and again and again.
In the winter, are you a bit chilly when you sit near your sliding patio door? We’ll be very happy to explain why. Over the years, weatherstripping around the doors can wear and the doors can become mis-aligned allowing air to seep through where the panels interlock when closed. Replacing the worn weatherstripping and aligning the operating door will take care of these concerns. Sometimes, aligning the door by adjusting the rollers may not be possible due to deterioration of the rollers themselves and then roller replacement is necessary. This situation is often quite
Cloudy Glass? There are a few small businesses, which have the ability to remove the moisture from between the thermal panes of glass in windows for less than $150 each. Using a special tool, they drill a small hole in the glass at two opposite corners, pump in some chemicals, rinse with a drying agent and plug the holes. They claim the moisture will not reappear for at least 20 years. It is important that the business have enough liability insurance to cover the cost of glass replacement should a crack or chip in
In the last decade, there seems to have been a large number of all-vinyl sliding doors installed in our area. Most have been manufactured by virtually unknown companies who sell to builders’ supply distributors for resale to independent contractors looking for a product they can sell for less to the consumer. Even some major manufactures have developed an all-vinyl line to compete. The selling features are… 1. Vinyl is a good insulating material. 2. They are cheap. Our company is usually called upon to maintain sliding patio door systems that have been in service for 25-35 years or more.
Maintenance reports verify that repairs to sliding patio doors within some room additions can be the most expensive. The main reason is that the typical room addition is too often not built to the same standards as the original home and will eventually sag, shift and sink enough to make any sliding door repairs difficult at best. When bare minimum foundation, footings, framing and support beams are used, (to underbid the competition) the stability of a room addition over the years may not meet the owner’s expectations.
Thieves love patio doors! Since most residential sliding patio doors lead to a patio, deck or back yard, they are a preferred point of entry for burglars. These patio doors are rarely visible to neighbors and street traffic as they are usually behind the residence. Also, they can be camouflaged by fences, trees, BBQ grills, furniture and bushes. In times of economic stress, residential thefts often increase… and, making patio door security a top priority should be emphasized. Although a sophisticated alarm system can provide optimum security, there are many
When your sliding patio door was new, it moved left and right along a level track. But, now it sinks in the middle and on one end. The track is so low at one point that there is now an air gap at the top of the door. And, every time the door moves across a low point it scrapes. This type of situation is not uncommon and could have been prevented with $4 worth of caulk. Now, it will take hundreds of dollars to fix. The sinking of the
If your floor or carpeting gets wet near your sliding patio door every time it rains, there is a little maintenance procedure that might help. Your sliding patio door actually “rolls” on a raised center track. On either side of the track rail there are usually “walls” at least an inch high. An inside wall and an outside wall. The outside wall should have “weep holes”… little slits at the bottom of the wall several feet apart. These weep holes are to drain the water in the track when the rain cascades down
A common situation with metal framed sliding doors occurs after a few years when the house has shifted slightly during settling. It’s hard to open. Metal framed sliding patio doors are designed to open with ease and close snuggly between fiber weatherstrips in the vertical channel on the jamb. But, if the jamb tilts just 1/16 of an inch, the channel can be cockeyed just enough to “squeeze” the door more tightly than originally designed. Now, when you unlatch the door and attempt to open it, it takes a real hard tug
First of all, “sliding doors” don’t slide! And therefore, don’t need grease. They Actually Roll ! Built into the bottom frame of the door, there are two to four wheel assemblies with ball bearings, called “rollers”. There are over 300 different combinations of roller material, designs, sizes and styles for the various sliding doors that have been manufactured over the last fifty years. The ball bearings in the center of each wheel last longer when lubricated with dry Teflon. (This dry lubricant will not attract dirt, hair and fur or get gummy with age.) IT IS
WHY DOES MY SLIDING PATIO DOOR SCRAPE AT THE TOP AND DIFFICULT (if not impossible) TO MOVE? When a new home is being built, an opening is often framed out for the sliding patio door assembly. But, before it can be inserted into the opening, a substantial “header” support beam is placed in the wall above to prevent the weight of the second floor or roof from putting pressure on the door as the house settles. Years ago, this was a steel I-beam. You will often see the edge of
YOUR HANDLE KNOWS… 90% of all sliding patio door handles are designed to only withstand the normal pressure of opening and closing the door when the door itself is in good operating condition. A loose or broken handle is the first sign that something else is not right. If you replace the handle without determining the underlying cause, which is usually improving the ease at which your door moves, you will be buying another handle in the near future. A few of the common handle designs can be found at your local home center and
Once the style and color of extruded aluminum framing is selected and precise measurements have been taken, the mitered components are delivered to the job and the screening jig erected for final assembly. The frame is pressure fit at all four corners. It is important that all corners be square. The frame assembly is complete. Now for the insect screen mesh. The correct spline diameter is selected. The mesh is rolled into place. The spline is pressed into place. The mesh is neatly trimmed and the handles installed. Final adjustments
If your solid wood core sliding patio door is in close proximity to a pool, pond, fountain, stream, river, lake, waterfall or ocean… it will eventually rot. It doesn’t matter whether your door has external cladding or not. The deterioration and swelling of the wood core is most apparent at the bottom frame of the operating door(s) and/or stationary panel(s) and, although it can be apparent within 10 years, in most cases, it can take over 20 years for the softened wood to no longer support the rollers. However, wood rot has been found to be severe in less than ten years with some Pella
Some brand new sliding patio doors (usually solid wood core) have been found to leak air where the operating door interlocks with the stationary panel. This often does not become apparent to the owner until cold weather sets in. The reason cold air is felt blowing in around this interlock area is because the doors are not fully interlocked and the weather seal is not fully engaged. This can occur even if the operating door is fully closed and securely locked. The cause is due to the fact that the
Some sliding patio door systems have experienced the problem of rain water seeping behind the exterior cladding at the bottom of the glass. To prevent such problems, we recommend running a bead of clear silicone caulk along the horizontal seam where the bottom of the glass meets the cladding. If the water has saturated the wood beneath for some time, the wood will swell and the cladding will bulge out. This can cause the operating door to scrape the cladding at this point. To remedy this situation, it is recommended that the
Sliding doors don’t slide… they roll. And, the rolling part is a main factor in all patio door problems including drafts, misalignment, loose handles, scraping noises and dragging. The secret is hidden in the base of your sliding patio door. In a slot or wide groove (out of sight) in the bottom horizontal frame of the operating door (the one that moves) are a pair of adjustable steel housings, axles, bearings and grooved zinc plated steel wheels called “rollers”. (Some can be nylon or stainless) In the first twenty years
The immovable stationary panel(s) of a wood-core sliding patio door system should be secured to the jamb, however, over the years, if not secured properly, it can work its’ way out of the jamb revealing an air gap. These panels are usually kept in place by angle brackets at the top and bottom of the panel edge where it meets the movable sliding door. Often, these angle brackets are missing, broken or bent. Small galvanized angle brackets found at the hardware store may not be a sufficient replacement to secure the panel.
The majority of sliding screen doors have rollers (wheels) that ride upon a raised track rail and the door itself is merely held onto the track rail with gravity. Occasionally, there may be some spring-loaded rollers or devices at the top of the screen door to provide additional downward pressure. If the screen keeps popping off the track, it usually needs new rollers. However, there is another common situation which causes the screen to pop off… even when the rollers are new. The stationary panel of the glass patio door
It can be a little chilly near your glass sliding patio door during our Midwest winters, so here are three things that could help warm things up a bit. 1. When your door is closed, the sides keep out drafts by being wedged between strips of weatherseal. Over the years this material wears down and air can seep in. It is relatively inexpensive to have these strips replaced. 2. If your weatherseal is OK and you still feel a draft from the right or left side of the door, open
If you are feeling a draft from under your sliding patio door on those icy winter nights, it is likely that your weatherseal has worn away or been stolen by gremlins. The solution can be as simple as replacing the weatherseal for less money than it is costing you in heating bills each year. Here are two images of work that was done to replace old defective rollers and missing weatherseal. BEFORE AFTER
When new flooring is installed in a room with a sliding patio door, there can be a problem if the installers do not provide an “expansion gap” adjacent to the door track. This thin gap should run the entire length of the door track and is often concealed by a thin strip of matching trim, such as a quarter round. This gap is to allow for the seasonal expansion and contraction of the flooring. But, if the installers do not make provisions for such a gap, the flooring will force
It is not unusual for someone with a big heel to step on the composition molded track of a sliding patio door system and break off a chunk. Compatible replacement tracks are virtually impossible to find. But, alas, these tracks can be repaired in less than an hour and be twice as strong as the original. You will need just a few things… A length of “stainless track cover” cut to the length of the existing track, a 5-Minute epoxy syringe, a tube of steel-filled epoxy putty, several screws, a painter’s
Multi-Point locking mechanisms used on sliding patio doors have been manufactured by Truth, Marvin, Fuhr, Hoppe or a half dozen others. When the door is fully closed, the thumb turn latches at two, three or more points into keepers or around strikes in the jamb. Fifty percent of the time, maintenance issues with these high-security style locks can be contributed to the keepers, which may just be out of adjustment or alignment. With these designs, the thumb turn cannot move the latches until the door is completely closed and a “plunger”, protruding from the jam, presses
When the operating (moving) sliding patio door closes and locks, the other end should interlock with the stationary door (fixed panel) to seal out wind and drafts. There can be several reasons why this interlock may not perform as designed… 1. The weather seal has worn and needs to be replaced. 2. One of the doors, usually the operating door, is warped. 3. The stationary door (fixed panel) has moved away from the jamb slightly and does not allow for a good seal at the other side where the doors
History Insulated glass, sometimes called by the old LOF trade name Thermopane, has been sold in the United States since the 1950s. Since then, the fundamental concept hasn’t really changed. Design Insulated glass still consists of two or more pieces of glass that are bonded to, yet separated from one another through the use of a spacer on all sides. The space between them insulates as “dead air space”. This sandwich is glued together with sealant designed to keep the glass together and moisture out. The spacer contains a dessicant that
There is something you should know before you call a painter to spruce up your sliding patio door. If the operating door is not removed prior to painting, it will be difficult for the painter not to get paint on the weather-seal and this will adversely affect the ability of your door to keep out the cold. And, after the paint hardens onto the weather-seal, you will likely notice a scrapping sound as the door is moved open and closed. First removing the door will actually save the painter a little time as
At SLIDERS®, we take our responsibility to have a positive influence on the environment very seriously. 1. Our service vehicles are four-cylinder, regularly maintained and our appointments are scheduled to reduce travel time whenever possible. 2. When addressing sliding patio door concerns, weather-stripping and caulking are important areas of concentration to reduce air infiltration. Ignoring such conditions can increase heating and air conditioning costs. 3. During the track and glass cleaning portion of our service call, only non-toxic, environmentally friendly products are used. All our aerosols are non-chlorinated with a
The old, rusty and disintegrated weather seal has been removed from the bottom of this old wooden sliding patio door along with the rollers to be replaced. Tiny nail holes are drilled about every ten inches along one leg of two lengths of 1/16″ x 3/8″ x 3/8″ aluminum L stock. The other leg of each length is wiped clean with Acetone. Self-adhesive fiber weather-stripping is added to the newly cleaned surface. Using small brads, the first length is nailed along the bottom edge. And, then the final length is installed the same way along
Caulking, when exposed to the weather for a number of years, can dry out and chip away. If you don’t re-caulk the outside edge of your sliding patio door track where it meets the cement, rain water will seep in and rot the wood below. As the wood softens, the track sinks about 3/4″, just enough for the door to clear the track above. Then, when you open the 200 lb door, it falls on you! We have seen this more than once. If your patio door track feels a little squishy when