Pocket doors are a charming feature that allows you to hide them in the wall to make a wide opening without any obstruction. The problem with these sliding doors is that they may need repairs from time to time. We will help you understand how to remove a pocket door and the process of fixing a pocket door without fail. Follow these tips when your hidden door needs repair.
Problems and problems with sliding doors
There are a lot of different problems that can occur with a pocket door. Some require a simple repair, while others may require a more extensive door repair. We’ve broken down the most common problems here in this handy guide so you can diagnose problems with your sliding door and know how to fix them.
One of the most general problems that happen is with the rollers. Your sliding door rollers are made up of two parts that tend to throw pocket doors off 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 can start to separate and become misaligned. However, you can easily adjust the pocket door bases and rollers and make them functional.
You may also see that one of your doors is not hanging in a straight line, which is also caused by the rollers. Unfortunately, the rollers are located on the wall in most cases, making it challenging to access. You may be wondering: how do you get a pocket door back on track in this situation?
Before you come to the conclusion that you need to cut holes in the wall, it’s always a good idea to lubricate the rollers to see if this alleviates the problem. You can use silicone spray or grease 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 bolts 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 your pocket door in as they are not strong enough to hold the weight of the door for long periods of time.
You can assume that you have a problem with the door screws if you have not used it for some time and it fails at the first opportunity to open or close repeatedly. It can also exhibit degraded performance if it is opened and closed too frequently.
Other times, you may have a roller that becomes loose over time. The rollers may require be adjusting by moving the bracket up or down aligning with the door bracket. All you can do is doing the bolt adjustment that holds them 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 your slider track starts to sink or causes the rollers to stick together. This often happens with multi-section tracks when screws or bolts loosen without warning.
Derailment of the rollers can even occur, or the track can become loose from the support pockets that are part of the roller frame. This will cause the door to rub against the floor as you open and close it. You can even see the door begin to bend or flex 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 get your power tools into the confined area and make any necessary pocket door adjustment or repair.
You may be lucky and be able to reach the problem without drilling a hole in the wall if you have the right tools or if the problem is visible outside of the pocket area. It’s not uncommon for your door hardware to fail at times, and hopefully, its repair is quick.
How to repair a pocket door
Now that you know what problems can occur, we’re going to give you some easy steps on how to repair a pocket door.
Depending on where the problem occurs, you can sometimes fix it without touching the frame. With some special tools and partially closing the door, you can sometimes repair the door without removing the frame.
You will need special angle wrenches that will fit into a small opening. They sometimes come with their doors at the time of installation for this very reason. Also, grab a utility knife.
Step 1: Remove the door frame
If you don’t have the special tools needed to fix a sliding door when it’s hung, you can start providing access by removing the trim around your door frame, just like you would a mirror frame. This will allow you to remove the door completely from its hanging position.
Typically, pocket door removal begins with removing it from the door frame. Then you will be able to solve many of the problems that arise with these types of doors.
To start removing the sliding door from the hardware system, you have to open one side of the door frame.
You can then tilt the door out of the bottom of the pocket opening. This will give you good access to the rollers and tracks directly above the door.
If you’re having trouble removing a pocket door from the track, you’ll need to examine the roller and track first. You can remove the door from the track by tilting it off the track and pulling the rollers away from the track portion of the door frame.
To gain even more access, you’ll need to carefully remove the frame trim. However, it might not be natural to remove the frame if it has already been painted or stained. Please note that it could cause some damage if not done correctly.
Start by prying the trim out of the casing. Next, you’ll need to decide whether you need to remove the side piece or the top piece, depending on which piece looks like the next attached piece was. Use a 3-inch putty knife to get under the paint or varnish and remove it from 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 trim. It is not recommended as it can cause damage to the surface of the door as well as the structure that holds the door in place.
As much as you don’t want to, you need to remove the finish work for 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 find 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 done if you don’t want to ruin the integrity of the trim around the door frame.
To cut a hole in the wall, you will need a saw, hacksaw, or demolition saw to create an opening that is 3 to 4 inches long. It should be a width that allows your hands and tools to fit into the hole to make the repair without restriction. 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 it off and replace it later or access the door from the opposite wall. Choose the method that deals the least amount of damage. Be sure to wear a pair of safety glasses to cut yourself.
Now you will be able to see exactly what is wrong with your door. The hole in the wall should not be located where it will restrict access or cut the door frame out of your pocket.
Choose an area on the wall that will allow you to reach your sliding door’s roller and track system with ease and not cause too much damage to your wall in the process.
By keeping an eye on your door’s operation, you can understand how to remove a pocket door and make necessary changes. Take some time to understand how your pocket door works. Don’t be afraid to cut a hole in the wall if you need access to the roller and track that are attached to the wall. While this may seem like an inconvenience, it is the only correct way to repair your sliding door so that it works and provides you with plenty of function for years to come.