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Question DetailsAsked on 8/24/2016

The aluminum covering is coming off the bottom edge of our patio sliding door.

It's on the half that does not slide, along the bottom edge where it meets the track. This causes the sliding screen to catch and not open without rubbing on the area that's letting loose. Is there a way to get this piece back on the wood or is this something that can't be repaired without getting a new door? This door is less than 6 years old and used very lightly.

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1 Answer


How easy it is to fix depends on how it is built - may be able to just screw it back on if a surface mount panel and just coming loose - some are built so the entire door unit or at least that panel has to be taken out, which may just involve removing the screen door track and tilting it out, may involve removing the entire unit.

Also depends on whether it is "coming loose" or being forced out by swelling wood because water is getting in behind it.

Simplest fix, if just coming loose but can be pushed back in by hand so it is in its proper position - assuming the screen d (commonly used in appliances) to put it back in. Bear in mind the glass and glazing unit cannot be touched by the screws so you have to either be sure they stay well clear of the glass in depth, or stay well clear of the glazing unit laterally and vertically - which can be recessed from 1/4-1" or so into the wood frame, so MUCH safer to just use more short screws that will not penetrate to the glazing unit. Truss head screws look like this -

will allow screen door to slide past them easier than other types because they do not have a raised edge. A wood screw with predrilling a clearance hole in the aluminum will work - or a self-tapping sheet metal screw which will drill itself through the aluminum (at least with a power driver) and into the wood.

Of course, if the aluminum is sticking out because the wood is swollen, then it needs to come off and the wood be dried out and planed back flush before reinstalling the aluminum facing - which may or may not require removal of the unit.

Of course, when reinstalling or tightening it down, I would use a water-cleanup latex caulk to seal around the ends and top edge to keep water out - water cleanup type so when it squeezes out as you tighten the screws it cleans up nicely and does not leave a smeared mess.

Another quick and dirty solution - if this is just a facing piece and not an integral part of the doorframe, cut it off, caulk the interface at the cut, and use exterior stain and clear finish or paint as applicable to protect the now exposed wood at the base. Will need several good coats to protect against water damage from splash or direct rain impact.

Professionally - a Door contractor, though it can be hard to find one who will tix something small like this - though if it will require unit removal and replacement to fix it priobably easier to get on because you are typically talking $400-600 range cost. If able to just press it back into place so it clears well, a Handyman could do it for probably $50-100 range - be sure he knows to bring truss head screws and you will have to tell him how far the glass is back from the front of the aluminum piece, minus say 1/8", so he does not have to make a separate run to the store for some.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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