Standard aluminium sliding glass doors aren’t properly secured. In case you lock yourself outside, these doors will offer a great re-entry option.
Some sliding doors come with a simple lock mechanism comprising of a small bracket. The bracket features a hook that locks the door. You can easily undo the lock with the help of a pry bar or screwdriver.
Luckily, you can easily replace the hook after breaking it. Depending on the configuration of your door, it’ll be more ideal to work on the fixed panel rather than the sliding one.
Exterior or Interior Panel
Sliding doors feature two main design configurations: an interior fixed door panel and an exterior slider panel. The exterior panel is more ideal for prying open than the interior one.
The interior sliding panel is more difficult to open from outside. Thus, if you value security, always have the sliding panel installed inside.
Exterior Mounted Slider
The bracket, also known as a door striker plate or ball catch on regular door configurations, is a simple brace or hole. The door latch fits into the bracket to keep the door locked. Typically, the latch features a pivot that faces downward.
You can pry it open by inserting a pry bar or screwdriver between the exterior door and the frame, about 6” from the bottom corner of the slider and diagonal to the latch. Then pry it up. Once done, tilt the door to lower the latch. That way, the door will be released from the lock.
In case the latch comes with a pivot that faces downward rather than upward, you’ll need to pry it open differently. In this case, you may have to use more force to pivot or bend the bracket or latch to detach it from the lock.
In case the door is stubborn, wiggle it to release the bracket and latch. You may have to replace the latch after prying it off. The bracket may also require replacement.
Prying off the lock from an inside-mounted slider panel requires using a different approach. In this case, you can’t access the slider since it’s fitted on the inside.
The only solution is to work on the fixed panel to open the door. First, check where the fixed panel terminates at the corners of the bottom and top track. Next, locate the bumpers, brackets, or screws securing the panel in place. Use a screwdriver to remove them.
Just like a sliding panel, the stationary panel is fitted in the bottom and top tracks. Grasp the stationary panel. Then slide it open. In case it fails to budge, you may have to pry and lift it. In this case, grasp it and try to lift it.
Once the panel gets detached from the bottom frame, tilt it towards your feet. That way, it’ll come off the bottom track. Then pull it down to detach it from the top track.
In case it fails to get detached, you’ll need to apply more force when lifting it. Insert a flathead screwdriver or pry bar between the bottom part of the door and the track. Pry the door upward to get it off the track.
In some cases, a jammed door can be fixed by prying it. For instance, sliding doors with aluminium tracks may get jammed once the metal wears out. If the sliding panel jumps off a worn track, place a screwdriver between the bottom area of the affected panel and the track.
Then lift the panel to slide it back into the track. Worn aluminium tracks are hardly replaceable. Thus, you may have to replace the frame once the tracks wear out. Nevertheless, you can install a cap to prevent the sliding panel from jamming.
Newer sliding door tracks may collect debris, hair, and dirt around the wheels. The wheels may also wear out over time. In either case, the door may jam. You can fix it by turning the adjustment screws counterclockwise.
That way, the door will be lowered. You can find the adjustment screws on the interior bottom area of the sliding door. Next, detach the top brackets. Then slope the door towards your feet.
Next, detach the door off the track. Inspect the status of the wheels and clean or replace them if needed. Then attach the door back into the track.
How to Prevent Tampering Problems
You can prevent tampering problems by fitting a stick or a thin piece of wood between the top section of the fixed panel and the track. That way, it’ll be difficult to lift the panel.
You can also place the handle of a broom or a stick within the bottom door track from the inside. While this method is effective, the door can still be lifted.
You can prevent the doors from being pried and lifted by installing a mortise lock cylinder. Simply drill the lock into the door frame to mount it in place.
Another great option is installing an anti-theft lock mechanism. You’ll need to mount the lock from the inside. An anti-theft lock will prevent the panels from sliding open or being forced off the track.
If a burglar wants to break into the house, they can only break the glass. You can further deter burglars by installing an anti-theft or safety film over the glass. The film will slow down the penetration of a sharp object. Sometimes, the film may discourage burglars.
Update Your Home in Sydney with Aluminium Sliding Glass Doors
Aluminium sliding doors are a popular option among many homeowners in Sydney. Our company can supply and install high quality aluminium sliding doors for your property in Sydney. For more information, reach out to us over here aluminiumwindowsanddoors.net.au/sliding-doors-sydney.
Also read: A Guide for Removing Sliding Glass Doors