Can You Replace One Side of a Sliding Glass Door?

Before replacing a sliding door, you must check several things to ascertain the problem. But can you replace just one side of a sliding glass door? Of course, you can, but it largely depends on your expertise. This guide highlights some common reasons for replacing sliding glass doors and whether or not you can replace just one side of the glass door.

Reasons for Replacing Sliding Glass Doors

There could be several issues that could necessitate the replacement of the door, including: 

1. Rollers that Don’t Work or Are Broken

Each of the sliding doors operates on rollers that help in moving the doors. If your sliding doors jam, the rollers could be a problem. The rollers might have jammed. These rollers jam due to dust or dirt accumulating on the roller pathway obstructing movement. If this is the problem with your sliding door, it is important to clean, dust, and grease the rollers. The easiest and most effective way to clean them is using a brush. 

2. The Sliding door Could be Twisted

Sometimes the door movement might be hindered by the fact that the door is twisted. The rollers cannot move on a twisted door, making it difficult to open and close it. It is important to have the door fixed immediately. Loose screws might cause this situation. 

To fix the problem:

  1. Screw the rollers back.
  2. Ensure to tighten the screws to put the rollers back onto the rails.
  3. If you notice spaces between the door and the wall, plan to have a technician fix the door if you cannot do it yourself. 

3. The Tracks Might Be Bent

Bent tracks might cause the door to break as it hinders the smooth movement of the sliding door. Reach out to a professional to help fix the door. However, if you have the know-how, try using a vise grip and pliers to fix the door by pulling it back on track. You need to exercise caution while doing this to avoid breaking the door altogether.

4. Damaged or Broken Glass

Broken particles or glass can hinder the movement of the glass door. It is important to find out whether the glass is broken. Check whether there are any cracks on the glass door. If so, call in the experts to fix the door. Take caution not to injure yourself or any members of your family.

5. Gap In the Window

Check whether there are any gaps in the window. You could ascertain this by using a torch at night. Let someone light up a touch and aim at the glass door from outside. At the same time, have someone in the house check whether the light passes through the glass door. If it does, get an expert to fix the sliding door. Gaps on the window give wind an easier chance of depositing dirt in the house. It will also interfere with the warming and cooling of the house, lowering your home’s energy efficiency!

Sliding glass door in a bedroom
Sliding glass door in a bedroom

Can You Replace Just One Panel of a Sliding Glass Door?

Yes, you can. It depends on the condition of the frame of the sliding glass door and how badly damaged it is. Sometimes you can’t get only one side of a patio door from your local store, so you have to replace it. Some patio doors are very hard to get again; it may be difficult to find new versions of old patio doors. With time, there are more new options available from different brands.

If you can find the broken part of the sliding glass door easily, you can replace just the damaged pane. Otherwise, you have to replace the whole door. There are a number of reasons for the replacement of glass panels on your sliding door. They include:

  • Out of date style.
  • The design does not fit your home architecture.
  • Damage to the panels.
  • Leaking.
  • Discoloration.
  • Condensation between panes.

But can you replace a sliding glass door without necessarily replacing the entire frame? Yes. You can replace a door without replacing the frame. However, this can only be done if the frame is in good shape and not bent, twisted, or worn out.

Can You Remove Fixed Panel of a Sliding Glass Door?

Yes, you can. However, replacing the entire panel is often easier than replacing just the glass pane within the panel. Replacing a fixed sliding glass door panel is done for numerous reasons. The most common is damage to the glass. Another reason for replacing the entire sliding glass door is old age. This is mostly done to increase energy efficiency. Removing the panel requires only a few basic tools and an assistant to help safely move the large pane of glass. 

To get started, remove the threshold placed in front of the fixed sliding glass door panel. A flat-head screwdriver should help you remove the threshold from the floor. Then remove the anchoring screws holding the panel in place using a screwdriver. Slide the door panel through the gliding tracks towards the center of the unit until it is free of the retaining frame. Finally, remove the panel by lifting it up with the help of an assistant.

Sliding glass in a patio
Sliding glass patio door

How to Replace the Entire Sliding Glass Door

The intention of having the sliding door is to have it close and open with ease! To replace the entire sliding glass door:

  1. Start by removing the old door. You will do this by taking off the interior and exterior trim.
  2. Score the caulking and paintwork with a knife so as not to damage the walls when taking out the trim pieces.
  3. Slide a putty knife in the joint where the trim joins the door frame and gently pry off the trim piece. If this is carefully done, you should be able to reuse these pieces later.

Next, remove the sliding door panel. With the trim out of the way, the nailing fins on the exterior will be exposed, and the door can easily be removed. Next, lift the sliding panel out of the door and remove the nails in the nailing flange with a cat’s paw. Also, remove the screws from the sill. With all the nails and screws out of the way, pull out the old door and frame. Put it aside carefully.

Take measurements for the rough opening and check that it’s level and plumb while ensuring that the rough openings do not differ. It is important to buy a door that fits well. This will be easy if you present the correct measurements at the purchasing store. The new door will come with detailed instructions on how to fix it. Follow the instructions to ensure that the new door is properly secured. Pay attention to ensure that the door is properly caulked and insulated to prevent water and air infiltration.

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