5 Tips for Sliding Screen Door Repair

Once the warm summer weather arrives, sliding screen door repair may become a matter of urgency. Read more about 5 things you need to know about the parts of your sliding screen door in order to to repair and maintain it in top working condition.

1. Sliding Screen Door Tracks

Most sliding screen doors travel in an upper and lower track. Inspect both tracks, and clear them of dirt and obstructions. Check the track alignment thoroughly. If the track edges are bent away from the vertical, they will not hold the screen in snugly. When someone flings the door back to race to the backyard, the screen will fly out of the track.

Use a pair of strong pliers to straighten the track edges. If the track edges are bent inward toward the screen, it will jam. Pry out any track sections that have curved inward. These happen where the main glass door meets its lock mechanism, as people going in and out inadvertently step on the track.

2. Screen Door Insulation

Often the rubber strip that insulates the side of the sliding screen door will slip down into the bottom of the track. This will also cause the sliding screen to catch and jam, and can damage the rubber seal as well. The screen door will also become less watertight, which during sudden summer rains can mean wet floors or carpeting. Pull the rubber seal strip up to the midway point of the track and fasten it in place with rubber adhesive. Allow the door to dry for a few hours before moving it again.

3. Sliding Screen Door Frame

With time and hard use, the screen door frame may no longer be perfectly straight and perpendicular. Take the screen door out of the track to your deck, push it down between two deck planks and twist and bend it gently as needed to straighten the frame. Another adjustment you can make to the frame is its height. Undo the two screws at the top that hold the horizontal bar on, and pull up slightly on the screen's vertical sides. You can make the screen door frame taller by as much as 1-1/2 inches.

4. Sliding Screen Door Rollers

Clean and lubricate the four door rollers, one at each corner. Replace the rollers if any are missing. If the rollers are loose, tighten the roller screws so they sit snugly in the track.

5. Screen Damage

If the screen in your sliding screen door has popped loose from the edges of the frame, refasten them into the frame again with a handy tool called a spline roller. If the screening is torn, replace it with a sturdier type called pet screen. This metal screen is resistant to pets clawing at it, and is usually black instead of silver-colored.

To replace the screen, buy new screen material that is about 6 inches wider and longer than the inside edges of the screen frame. Inspect the spline, the black rubbery strips that hold the screen into the frame. If your screen door is over 20 years old, replace the spline to ensure a tight-fitting screen.