What are the most common type defects found in sliding doors?


Poorly fitted and maintained patio doors are a common defect found during our house surveys.  All patio doors have similar working parts leading to similar defects.

A patio door has two sides, a fixed stationary side and the opening sliding section. Both the door handle and locking system are normally located on the sliding door section of the door. During the survey, sliding the patio glass door should be a simply task when the door operates correctly. The patio door when working correctly should easily move when opened and closed. The wheels and track on which the patio door slides are located on the underside of the sliding door, this is what allows the patio door to slide.  Over time and as a result of wear and tear and lack of maintenance, it is expected that the building surveyor will find some sort of fault on most patio doors or sliding window defects.

The typical types of patio door repairs that building surveyors find are:

  • The patio door does not slide easily. When the sliding door won’t slide easily the wheels may need to be lubricated or replaced. Occasionally the entire track under the sliding door may need to be replaced.
  • The door lock is stiff to turn or will not engage with the receiver on the door frame.  The patio door wheels might need to be raised or lowered, the door lock or receiver may need to be adjusted or the lock may need to be replaced.
  • The key will not turn in patio door lock after the lever is moved. The door lock cylinder need to be replaced.
  • The Glass is cracked or is misted between panes.  Toughened glass should only be used in patio sliding doors, a crack in the glass would indicate that toughened glass was not used. The glass needs to be replaced.
  • Patio door may fall off track very easily. The patio door wheels need to be replaced or the track may need to be replaced.

If the sliding wheels where installed too low in the first place the sliding door will over time shave the patio door track, this will wear out the track over time.  This will also lead to the door lock not lining up with door receiver, resulting in the patio door being difficult to close.

Most sliding door wheels carry a lot of weight in addition to getting a lot of use. When patio doors become more difficult to slide, it is mostly the patio door wheels that are causing the problem. The door wheels get dirty and can wear out with normal use.  Like all other areas within your property, it is important to service the patio door wheels, before they begin to wear out your track. Repairing or replacing the sliding door track is more time consuming and difficult then replacing the sliding door wheels.

As with all aspects of your property, most defects can be repaired without the more costly option of replacement. The important thing is to repair any defects as early as possible to avoid a more serious and costly issues from arising in the long run.