Pocket doors are a lovely feature that is used in many homes. However, they may need maintenances frequently. This can leave many homeowners wondering how to fix pocket door scratching or something they can’t see because it’s hidden in the wall. We will give you some ways to fix a pocket door without fail. Follow these tips when the hidden door of your home needs repair.
Problems with pocket doors
There are various problems that can happen with a pocket door. Some require a simple repair, while others may need a more extensive door repair. We’ve broken down the most common issues here in this handy guide so you can diagnose the problems with your sliding door and know how to fix them.
Problems with rollers
One of the most common problems that occur is with rollers. The rollers of your sliding door are made up of two parts that tend to divert the pocket doors from the track. The roller is attached to the base, which is attached to the door. As you use the pocket door over time, these parts may begin to separate and misalign. However, you can easily adjust the bases and rollers of pocket doors and make them functional.
You may also notice that one of your doors doesn’t hang straight, which is also caused by rollers. Unfortunately, the rollers are located on the wall in most cases, which represents a challenge to access them. Then, how to fix a pocket door track?
- Before you come to the conclusion that you need to cut holes in the wall, it is always a good idea to lubricate the rollers to see if this alleviates the problem. You can use silicone or grease spray as a lubricant and apply it generously.
- You may also want to inspect the screws that were used to hold the sliding door in place. Many times, these screws do not have the proper threading to hold the weight for a long time.
- Sometimes, even metal masonry screws are used. These are not the right screws to hold the pocket door, as they are not strong enough for the weight of the door for long periods of time.
You may assume that you have a problem with the door screws if you have not used them for some time and fail at the first opportunity to open or close repeatedly. It can also exhibit degraded performance if it is opened and closed too often.
Other times, you may have a roller that loosens over time. You may need to adjust the roller bracket against the door bracket. You can adjust the bolt that holds the rollers in place. You will need to disassemble the frame or cut a hole in the wall to access the door hardware (roller and tracks).
Sometimes the track of your slider starts to sink or causes the rollers to come together. This usually occurs with multi-section tracks when screws or bolts loosen without warning.
Even a derailment of the rollers can occur, or the track can loosen from the support pockets that are part of the roller frame. This will cause the door to rub against the ground when opened and closed. You can even see the door start bending or flexing on the track as it moves.
All of these pocket door repair scenarios require you to have access to the track and roller system. That way, you can insert your power tools into the confined area and perform the necessary adjustment or repair of the pocket door.
You may be lucky and able to reach the problem without having to make a hole in the wall if you have the right tools or if the problem is visible outside the pocket area. It’s not uncommon for your door hardware to fail sometimes, and hopefully, its repair is fast.
How to repair a pocket door
Now that you know what problems can occur, we’ll give you some simple steps on how to repair a pocket door.
Depending on where the problem occurs, sometimes you can fix it without touching the frame. With some special tools and closing the door partially, you can sometimes repair the door without removing the frame.
You will need special angle wrenches that fit in a small opening. Sometimes they come with their doors at the time of installation for this very reason. Also, take a general-purpose knife.
Step 1: Remove the door frame
If you don’t have the special tools that are needed to fix a sliding door when it’s hanging, you can start providing access by removing the molding around your door frame, just like you would with a mirror frame. This will allow you to remove the door completely from its hanging position.
Usually, removing the pocket door starts with removing it from the door frame. Then, you will be able to fix many of the problems that arise with these types of doors.
- To begin removing the sliding door from the system, you need to open one side of the door frame.
- You can then tilt the door out of the bottom of the pocket opening. This will provide access to the tracks and rollers that are above the door.
If you have trouble removing a pocket door from the track, you will first need to examine the roller and track. This should provide you some hints of how these mechanisms work. You can remove the track door by tilting it off the track and separating the rollers from the track part of the door frame.
To get even more access, you will need to carefully remove the trim from the frame. Yet, it may not be intuitive to eliminate the frame if it has been painted or stained. Keep in mind that it could cause some damage if not done correctly.
Start by removing the molding from the housing. Next, you’ll need to decide whether you need to remove the side or top part, depending on what the next attached piece looks like it was. Use a 3-inch spatula to get under the paint or varnish and take it off the wall. Remove the last piece to expose the inner workings of the door frame.
You may have also wondered how to remove a pocket door without removing the edge. It is not recommended, as it can cause damage to the surface of the door, as well as to the structure that holds the door in place.
As much as you don’t want to, you need to remove the finishing work to get the easiest and most effective way to get the door out. This will keep the structure safe and prevent damage from occurring.
Step 2: Provide Wall Access
If you realize after removing the door frame that you can no longer access the rollers and track where you need it, you may have to cut a hole in the wall to access the proper pocket door components. This can also be achieved if you do not want to ruin the integrity of the molding around the door frame.
To make a hole in the wall, you will need a saw, a metal saw, or a demolition saw to create an opening 3 to 4 inches long. It should have a width that allows your hands and tools to enter the hole to make the repair without restrictions. This will give you a proper view of the inner workings of the door.
If you have wallpaper on the walls, you will need to cut and replace it later or access the door from the opposite wall. Choose the method that causes the least amount of damage. Be sure to wear a pair of safety glasses to cut yourself.
Now you can see exactly what the problem occurred with your door. The wall hole should not be located in a place where you restrict access or cut the door frame from your pocket.
Choose an area on the wall that allows you to reach the roller and track system of your sliding door with ease and not cause too much damage to your wall in the process.
How to adjust a pocket door
Now that you have completed the creation of access to your rail and door roller system, you can see if you need an adjustment. Understanding how to fit a pocket door will be helpful, as this is a very common problem that occurs over time.
To adjust the door, you will need to have a wrench handy to adjust the door hangers. You’ll find a nut on the hanger in your pocket. In most cases, there are two hangers that may need adjustments. You need to double check both hangers, as you have full access at this point.
Start by turning the nut with a plug in each hanger clockwise. This will raise the door. If the door is too low, you can lower it by turning the nut counterclockwise.
Be sure to turn both nuts the same amount to make sure the slider stays level during operation. If you do not adjust both suspension nuts in the same amount, you will have a door that is crooked when opening and closing.
You need to adjust the nuts one turn and then check the door height. Keep in mind that you will only be able to lift the door to a certain extent. Too much height upwards can cause the pocket latch to become misaligned, making it impossible to operate the door effectively.
Another adjustment option for the pocket door is to adapt the lateral movements. You need to examine the space along the sides of the door. The door can rub as it opens and closes, and that can cause damage to the surface of the door.
Do a quick examination of the door to identify gaps. There may be a large space at the top of the door or at the bottom of it. Upper recesses require a door lift.
Start by adjusting the hanger on the door that is furthest from the door latch. Use a pocket door key to turn the hanger a quarter of a turn at a time until the door is parallel to the jamb.
If you have a gap at the bottom of the door that is causing rubbing towards the top of the door, you can lower it by adjusting the hanger that is furthest from the door latch.
As you adjust the hanger, you will see that the bottom of the door approaches the jamb. This should eliminate the gap. You will have to move it a quarter shift until it is correctly aligned.
Now that you know all the common door repair issues, you should have no trouble understanding how to care for a pocket door. By keeping an eye on the operation of your door, you can remedy most of the problems that occur before they become a real problem that requires more significant pocket door repairs.
Take your time to understand how your pocket door works. Don’t be afraid to make a hole in the wall if you need access to the roller and track that are placed on the wall. While this may seem like an inconvenience, it’s the only right way to repair your sliding door to make it work and provide you with plenty of function for years to come.
When it comes to decoration, you can always use a scrolling saw pattern to add a Christmas accent piece for the holidays and hang it next to or on the door.