Patio Door Track Resurfacing
One of the most popular repair services we offer our customers involve replacing the rollers and resurfacing the track cap (or bead) on sliding glass patio doors. While the two services are often combined, roller replacement and track resurfacing are in fact separate services. Here’s why.
Below The Surface
After fighting and dragging a broken patio door for many years, customers are often elated to know that getting a set of new rollers alone will give them a fully operational door. Sometimes the problem lies solely in broken or defective rollers and new ones are all that is required. So if ain’t broke…
But in most cases, damaged rollers almost always equals a damaged track. A patio door panel covers most of the track it rolls on, so the damage is not always obvious just by looking at the track bead. Once the glass door panel is removed, the extent of the damage to both the rollers and track bead become very apparent. Having a clear view of both sliding door components allows the service tech to assess what is required to make the appropriate repairs. Understanding what caused the damage is a critical aspect to making the correct diagnosis – and choosing the right solution.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
The most common damage to a sliding door track occurs when there is metal-to-metal contact that results in the track bead getting worn down. In cases where the rollers have failed and the aluminum door frame now sits on the track, that heavy frame will literally grind or shave down the track bead each time someone ‘drags’ the door open. The same effect happens when one or both wheels of the roller assembly have ceased to roll, but the door remains active by the use of force. The natural reaction to ease this problem is to apply generous amounts of lubrication to the track in the form of WD40 – or cooking oil for some. This will actually soften the metal and help to accelerate the damage. There are others, but these are the main reasons that a patio door track becomes damaged when the rollers fail. Much like peanut butter and jelly, track and rollers – in damage and repair alike – seem to go together.
Pay Now or Pay Later
It’s tempting to forgo the track resurfacing service in order to save money and keep repair costs to a minimum. It may even seem silly to spend so much on an old door when you plan to just replace it soon anyway. This is a mistake. Consider how long that ‘old door’ has held up over time and yet remains functional. Even more so now, after the rollers have been replaced by a superior product, it’s reasonable to expect that it will continue to operate nicely, barring any accidents. Resurfacing the track with a stainless steel unit provides an equally hard rolling surface that will withstand the weight and friction of the new steel wheels and heavy door. Without the resurfacing, the deteriorating track cap will continue to wear down over time, leading to an even more expensive repair solution: replacing the entire patio door track.