DIY Tips for UPVC Sliding Door Repairs

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Sliding glass doors offer a cheap, light, and effective way to let air and light into the house. The doors also offer unhindered access to your room without taking up much space while providing a waterproof barrier in case of rain or snow. The common materials used to make the sliding glass door include aluminum, UPVC, and solution doors. The most common of the three are uPVC doors due to their light weight, durability, ease of design, and more.

However, the UPVC doors are only useful if working in optimal conditions. The common failing points are tracks, rollers, and screens or completely broken sliding glass doors. While a professional comes in handy, repairing sliding glass doors common issues can be DIY projects. Read on for the UPVC description, common issues, and DIY tips for UPVC sliding glass doors repairs. Most take less than one hour to fix.

What are UPVC Sliding Doors

UPVC stands for unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, an increasingly popular building material due to its high strength compared to its weight properties. The UPVC forms the sliding door frames for the glass panels, typically two or more sashes placed on a horizontal sliding door track.

Installed rain tracks and sill insulation keep the rain and snow from creeping into the interior and damaging the door. The types of sliding doors include bypass doors, pocket doors, arcadia designs, and french sliding doors. Some of the reasons homeowners prefer a UPVC sliding door include the following:

  • Affordability- the material offers a cheaper yet more effective material than timber or aluminum.
  • Energy efficiency-uPVC as a material is a good insulator, and combined with double-glazed glass panels for the exterior effectively saves energy bills and ensures a comfortable interior environment.
  • Low maintenance requirements as long as the moving parts are functional, the only maintenance requirement is wiping, unlike wooden doors, which need polishing and sealing chipped areas.
  • Security – the flexibility in design accords solid security properties in uPVC sliding doors. Typical technology include internally beaded double-glaze designs, multi-point lock systems, and toughened laminated glass.

Common UPVC Sliding Door Issues

The following are common issues to expect with your UPVC sliding doors.

Alignment Issues

Most alignment issues occur when you open the door using too much force regularly, causing it to come off the tracks. When moving the door, the adjustment screws at the top and bottom of the track loosen or come off completely.

Sticking Track

Especially for sliding doors facing the exterior, regular use results in a build-up of dirt, snow, mud, and other debris on the tracks and the grooves. The debris impairs the slide functionality of the door on the track, increased friction, bent tracks,  and misalignments, causing operational failure.

Malfunctioning Rollers

The primary roller issues include wearing out, chipping, and breaking, prompting inefficiency or complete inability to glide on the tracks. If unrepaired on time, the rollers can damage other sliding door components, such as the slide tracks.

Faulty Locking System

All sliding doors, especially exterior doors, come equipped with a locking system for security. When there is misalignment, the sliding glass doors comes off the track, or the forceful use of the lock may damage the locking mechanism.

DIY Tips for UPVC Sliding Doors 

For the above-highlighted issues, there are workable and some quick-fix DIY solutions. Consider the following before calling in a professional service provider.


Clogged tracks do not function properly and may damage parts due to rigidity and rust. Use silicon-based lubricants for UPVC sliding doors, as they attract and hold less dirt and makes the door slide easier.

Door Realignment

The feasible DIY solution is to remove the door to realign the door. Check the congruence of the point of contact at the track to ensure it is straight, and the rollers are in good working condition. If you don’t see the adjustment screws at first glance, look closer, as most have a filler plug installed that matches the door’s color.

The plugs are removable by coxing them out with your fingernail or the tip of a flat screwdriver. Start with the roller at the top first, then slide the bottom of the door gently as you push the top of the screen door into the track.

While doing this, rotate the adjustment screws at the top to allow for movement, and once the door is in place, readjust the screws. The sequence of events means that, as much as it’s a DIY, you might need a hand for the sliding door repair task.

Sliding Glass Door Rollers Repair

Despite cleaning the tracks, the UPVC sliding door sometimes does not slide in properly. Common scenarios include the bottom roller wheels getting stuck, rubbing against the track or the top rollers eroding, thus exerting weight on the bottom rollers and track. The slump results in grinding against the sliding door track and cracked rollers.

To pull down the roller wheels, use the adjusting screws at the top and bottom by removing the spruce tops on the screws and turning clockwise to tighten. Slide the door to check for improvement. If none, turn the screws anti-clockwise to lower the door, test, and clockwise to raise it and test again.

Lastly, adjust both sides of the door for a precise adjustment and test again. If all fails, it is time for a DIY replacement. For the DIY, for an excellent job, you need a 4-in-1 screwdriver, a wrench, a drill, and replacement roller wheels for the following repairing sliding doors process;

  • Unscrew the stop molding.
  • Remove the door by slanting it into the room by about 12 inches. Lift the door and remove it from the sliding door track.
  • Unscrew the spoilt rollers and replace them with new ones.
  • Ensure that the screws are tight, then return the door in place on the tracks.

If dirt is the culprit for impeding proper roller function, when repairing sliding doors, locate the adjustment screw slots on the bottom side and, using a screwdriver, turn the screws anti-clockwise for as far as they can go. Hold both sides of the door, and ease the door out of the tracks starting with the top part.

For the second step of the sliding door repair process, place the door on a flat surface, preferably a workbench, saw horses, or countertop.

Then turn the screws clockwise to extend the rollers, and using a screwdriver tip, coax the first set of rollers out of the door frame. Repeat the process for the opposite side of the sliding patio door.

Thirdly, use a cotton ball or a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol to clean the rollers. Wipe down the greasy and discolored sections while rewetting the cloth when necessary. For stubborn build-up, consider denatured alcohol. Wait for the alcohol to evaporate before reassembling sliding patio door.

Using a little force, install the roller wheels back into the sliding glass doors track on the button part of the door. Line the top part, press straight, snap them into place, and secure them into the retracted position by turning the adjustment screws at the bottom fully counterclockwise. Guide the sliding patio door into the track, starting with the top, and guide the lower edge until it rests on the bottom sliding glass door tracks.

Lift the door slightly and guide it fully on the sliding door tracks. Keep going until the door is seated squarely on the tracks. Close and open severally to confirm alignment and effortless gliding.

Door Latch Sliding Door Repair

First, check the sliding door locks to decipher the causative issue. If you have difficulty turning any, stop fighting it, as there might be caked debris inside. Squeeze in some lubricant. If the simple oil-up does not fix the locks, it might need a completely new door latch as there may be broken hardware inside.

Using the right set of tools, remove the lock by unbolting the holding screws while ensuring you do not drop it or knock on the sliding screen door. Incorrect tools may damage the sliding glass door replacement components, especially the bolts and screw heads, and threads. For compatibility assurance, take the sliding glass door lock with you to the local hardware. If purchased online, share a picture of the locks and relevant details such as name and serial number if available. Most sliding doors have the details on the sliding screen door locks.

Once purchased, inspect and familiarize yourself with the broken hardware replacement components, and match them up with the provided list and installation manual. Install the replacement door locking cylinders in the patio door frame and test by sliding a key. Insert the other components in place and screw them in. Close the screen door and test for smooth operation and sliding.

Shattered Glass Repair

If the frame is in good condition for shattered sliding glass door repair, the glass replacement is an easy DIY project and should take less than an hour. If the door frame is damaged, consult a professional for the sliding door glass repair services and installation and quality work for same day service, unless you are a DIY repair expert. For sliding glass door repair in case of shattered glass screen;

  • Remove the trim around the broken glass and any broken glass remnants from the sliding glass door as they pose a safety risk.
  • Measure the height and width of the door opening, then deduct a quarter of an inch from each measurement.
  • Order the new screen glass for the door. For a brick-and-mortar store, you can carry a piece of glass for reference for a free estimate on the replacement or sliding door repair costs. Some stores offer delivery or a mobile service in case you need a hand for the sliding screen door repair.
  • Install the new screen glass and add caulking.
  • Replace the trim, and secure with tacks.
  • Clean up the excess caulk and broken screen glass.

Broken Seals

Functional UPVC sliding door seals keep the weather elements away, especially water, moisture, and heat. Depending on the design, loosen the stripping staples around the glass using a screwdriver to fix broken seals and pull the seal away. You might need to pry it with a putty knife. Scrub any residue glue, and staples. The seal is now ready to be replaced.

Then, install the seal around the glass and frame as per the directions while ensuring the flaps orient correctly. Secure the flange using the screws along the door edge, and glue the jamb side strip with a plastic adhesive. Finally, after it has been replaced, clean up the excess adhesive and wipe down the smudges on the door and test the slide functionality and pat yourself on the back for the excellent job done on the sliding door repair DIY project.



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