If your sliding screen door latch is broken or just worn out, you will need to replace it so that you can secure the screen door. Over time, and with repeated use, it is not uncommon for the simple latches to break and become loose in the plastic latch housing. Fortunately, replacing a latch on the sliding screen door is a simple DIY project and can usually be completed in less than an hour. This handy how-to guide will show you all the steps needed to replace the latch on your sliding screen door. Let's get started.
Step 1 - Remove the Sliding Screen Door
In order to replace the latch on the sliding screen door, you'll first need to remove the door. To do this, use a screwdriver to remove the retaining screw that is located on the lower sliding track of the door. Then, use both hands to grip the door and lift it out of the bottom track. Finally, tilt the door back outwards and lower it out of the upper track. Then, lay the sliding screen door down on a flat work surface.
Step 2 - Remove the Latch Assembly Housing
To remove the latch assembly, use a screwdriver to remove the two screws that hold the plastic assembly housing in place. Discard the plastic pieces.
Step 3 - Remove the Screen Door Latch
To remove the screen door latch, you simply need to pull it out of the slot that holds it in place. The slot actually runs from one side of the frame to the other and there is nothing that holds the latch in place except the assembly housing. So, you should be able to just pull it out of the slot.
Step 4 - Install the New Latch and Assembly
Install the new latch for the sliding screen door by pushing the new latch plate through the slot where you removed the old one. However, when inserting the new latch, make sure not to push it all the way in. Leave a space of about 1/2 inch or so between the edge of the latch and the frame of the sliding screen door. Then, place the two plastic pieces of the assembly house and on either side of the frame. Position the latch so that it is situated in the slot on the assembly housing and then tighten the plastic pieces together over the latch (like a sandwich) with the included screws.
Step 5 - Reinstall the Sliding Screen Door
Reinstall the sliding screen door by pushing it up into the upper track first and then sitting the door down and onto the lower track. Once the door is in place, slide it back and forth a few times to make sure that it works properly. Finally, reinsert the retaining screw and tighten it with a screwdriver.
(Tip: If the door is not opening and closing easily, spray the inside of the upper and lower tracks with some lubricant spray. This will help the sliding motion of the sliding screen door considerably.)