How to Fix Sliding Patio Door Rollers

Lead Image for How to Fix Sliding Patio Door Rollers
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-40
What You'll Need
Flathead Screwdriver
Philipshead Screwdriver
Replacement Rollers

A sliding patio door cannot operate properly if the door's rollers malfunction. Improperly installed, maintained, or simply worn-out rollers can make it difficult to close and open your sliding door. Repair or replacement of rollers is a relatively simple DIY job that requires everyday household tools and can save a significant amount of money for the DIY homeowner.

Check and Adjust the Frame:

If there are scrapes or worn edges where the patio door meets the top of the door's frame, the house may have settled and distorted the wooden frame. To fix this problem, you will need to remove the trim surrounding the door on the top portion of your patio door. The header and the top of the patio door should then be exposed. There will be several sets of wooden shims crewed into the header.

Try removing the screws and pulling out the shims. If the frame springs back into its original position, you have solved your problem. Test your patio door to see if it opens and closes properly. If not, you may need to re-frame your doors.

Adjusting the Rollers:

A patio door that rubs on the bottom plate will be noticeable because the plate will be worn from the constant scraping. The patio door roller housing may break, or an axle may wear through, resulting in the door dropping down. The easiest way to solve this problem is by locating the roller adjustment screws. The roller adjustment screws determine how high the roller sits from the track.

Tightening these screws can resolve many roller problems. There is usually a small access hole near the bottom edge of the patio door, and that's where the adjustment screw will be located. Do not remove the screw, or you risk having the assembly fall apart. Use a screwdriver wedged beneath the patio door to remove the weight from the rollers by lifting the door up 1/4 inch. Tighten the screws and remove the screwdriver from beneath the sliding door.

Replacing the Rollers:

If your rollers require replacement, you will need a helper. One person should stand to the left of the door, the other to the right. Lift the door up as high as it will go in the frame, and pull the bottom out of the frame's track. Remove the screws that fix the rollers to the doors, and replace the rollers. While you have the door out, it's a good time to do some maintenance on the frame.

Clear out any debris or grime that may have built up—it will extend the life of the new rollers. Apply a lubricant or grease to the track to ensure smooth sailing. Replace the patio door by lifting the top end into the frame and tilting it carefully back in, raising it up as high as possible to allow clearance for the rollers on the bottom.