How to Repair a Patio Glider

What You'll Need
Paint or varnish

Patio gliders are a pleasant, smooth-moving piece of furniture to relax on, until they fall out of alignment or just don't ‘hang’ right. Often the cause of the problem is not immediately obvious, so you have to go looking for it.

Step 1: Isolate the Problem

Examine the glider carefully to see what is wrong. The most likely source of problem will be the mechanism by which the glider is suspended. Check the suspension bearing arm. This takes most of the strain when the glider is in use. Pay particular attention to the bearings at either end of the arm. If the glider has casters that work with the suspension arm, check that they are positioned correctly and pay particular attention to their bearings.

If the bearing arm swings through a narrow gap, check that there is nothing blocking the gap and checking the swing. If the problem is with the fabric of the glider, check the timber and any cushions for all damage so that it can all be repaired at the same time.

Step 2: Suspension Bearing Arm

If the suspension bearing arm needs to be replaced, you will need to check the owner's manual  for the correct part number and the removal and fitting instructions. There are several different ways that these bearing arms are fitted but they are often held on by a simple nut or a split pin.

Step 3: Casters

The casters are usually held in place by screws or bolts. If the caster bearing has jammed, it is quicker to buy a new one than to try to repair the old one.

Step 4: Find the Cause of the Damage

Before you discard the old bearing arm or caster try to find out why they failed. If you discover, for example, that the bearings were full of grit or sand, you could find a way to prevent that happening to the new parts.

Step 5: The Glider Fabric

If a part of the glider has broken, it will need to be replaced or repaired.

The part that has most wear and tear is the glider track. Examine this carefully for splits and any sign of warping out of shape. Not all gliders have a recognizable glider track because of the way the seat is suspended. With most gliders the various elements of the construction can be removed with a screwdriver or spanner. Remove the broken part and use it as a template to make a new piece to complete the patio furniture repair.

Step 6: Weather Damage

Patio furniture is exposed to the weather and you might find that some of the damage is caused by rust or wooden parts swelling. Clean off the rust and dry out the wooden parts and then weatherproof the glider with paint or varnish.

Once you have repaired your glider you should introduce a regular maintenance routine to prevent unnecessary repairs in future. Check all fasteners on a monthly basis and tighten up any that are loose.