Fixing sliding closet door rollers can be a challenging task because every problem is unique. From broken rollers to bits of crayon jammed into the track, this DIY project requires a creative approach and lots of patience.
Pinpoint the Problem
In order to fix your closet door rollers, it's necessary to be sure of the exact nature of the problem. Are the rollers off the track? Is there an item stuck in the track? Is the roller itself detached or damaged? Examine your closet door rollers to determine the answer to this problem by checking the condition of the track and the roller itself. If the roller is simply off the track, there is usually a screw that can be loosened to take it back to the end of the track and get things back to working smoothly. If a bit of crayon is stuck in the track, a screwdriver can usually mash it into more manageable and easily vacuumed pieces. If it's a more complicated problem, you may need to get further access to work.
Specialized angle wrenches are often used to access bolts on pocket doors. If the area is still inaccessible, removing the surrounding molding may be your only option. Avoid this option if at all possible—better to take time with a difficult reach than to damage your molding, or have to repaint the entire area. If something less manageable than a crayon is stuck in the track, you may be able to use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove it, or to gently bend the tracking away and extract it. Be very gentle with the tracking, as replacing tracking on pocket doors is quite a hassle.
Adjusting the Rollers
When pocket door rollers are installed, contractors often use drywall screws that are not strong enough to support the weight of the doors over time. Often, repairing a door that doesn't hang straight or has come off of its top roller is as simple as using larger screws with better anchors to affix the slider mechanism. Use grease or a lubricant spray to keep the rollers in good condition to avoid cracking or damage that could warrant replacement. Tighten the screws on the tracks to prevent sagging and roller damage, and to help the rollers slide open and shut easily.
When to Replace Rollers
When the rollers themselves are already cracked or damaged beyond repair or rehanging, they will need to be replaced. Remove the door from its rail and remove the rollers from the door. Take them to any major hardware store, and find a compatible replacement. Screw the new rollers into the fixtures for the old ones, and carefully put your door back into the frame. Again, this process may require removal of the surrounding molding to gain access, so it should be used as a last resort if none of the other techniques resolved the problem.