Just a few months ago I went over to repair a pocket door that was closing at a weird angle. This was the first time I had ran into this sort of situation and was definitely confused. I got a flashlight and started looking inside the pocket door frame. I had a hard time finding the problem but when I did it was obvious.
As the pocket door was sliding closed it would work perfectly but when you went to open it the bottom of the door would stick out about an inch and a half passed the door jam. The problem turned out to be the track was missing a screw in the very back and as the door slid back into the frame the tracking would hang down at an angle from the weight of the door. There was no way to reach the screw because it was at that very back of the pocket door frame near the framing itself.
In order to fix the pocket door problem I was going to have to remove a good sized area of the plastered wall at the upper right hand corner of the pocket door frame. This was the only thing I could think of and would require a simple wall patch and some paint to make the repair complete.
This job took me about one hour to cut the hole and replaced the screw that had fallen out of the pocket door tracking. I then use some fast setting drywall plaster and some fiberglass drywall tape to repair the wall. This took another hour to finish the drywall properly.
Some pocket door problems are a little easier to repair than this one. Most pocket doors seemed to have problems sliding and eventually are left closed, never to be used again.
Painting the doors over and over again can actually add to the thickness of the door or excessive moisture in the home over long periods of time can also cause the door to swell preventing it from opening properly.
Painting the rollers themselves or the track that the rollers ride in can create a problem with rolling the door easily and effortlessly. If the pocket door rollers or tracking is damaged they will have to be repaired or replaced, obviously. Some people actually spray silicon on the rollers or grease the pocket door wheels and over time the track becomes caked with dried grease and dirt making the door hard to open and close
Here's one most people don't ever think about and yet I have faced this problem more than once. “The Dreaded Picture Hanger". Most people don't realize that the pocket door will not operate very well with a nail driven through it. I have had people complain about their pocket door not operating properly but they can wiggle it a little.
When I come upon a situation like this it usually just requires removing the nail that the picture is hung upon.
I have also seen instances where the home has been remodeled and new floor trim or door trim has been installed. The finish carpenter using his nail gun without changing to a shorter nail has himself nailed the pocket door shut. This could be a big problem because the nails are so thin they could be hard to remove.
Well that's all I can think of for pocket door problems that I have ran into for now. Until the next article have fun remodeling your home.
Greg Vanden Berge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He is currently working on more Building and Remodeling Library and adding useful content to help solve problems created by the lack of construction knowledge in the building industry.
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