Interior pocket doors are a great feature in a home. With limited space you can have a door disappear into the wall. Need to close the door? Just slide it back and you have privacy. It is that sliding and disappearing feature that causes some special problems. In this article we will identify the problems you may encounter with a pocket door. Most problems can be repaired without too much difficulty. Can you fix a door that has gone off the track? Do you need to replace the rollers? How do you get inside the wall to fix a problem? Can you lubricate the rollers? These are all questions you may be asking. The following paragraphs will address them.
The majority of the issues with pocket doors will be related to the roller-hanger assembly. The rollers keep the door on the track, provide adjustment for the alignment of the door and carry the weight of the door. No mystery then that most repairs will involve doing something with this assembly.
Lubricating Interior Pocket Doors
For doors that are stiff and difficult to operate, lubrication is probably the answer. The door rollers are a moving part with bearings that can get stiff. Lubrication can loosen them up and save your back. A word of caution, this needs to be controlled lubrication. Don’t go out to the garage and get a grease gun, you will be sorry. Remember that this is a finished portion of your home and grease or oil running down the door will not be pretty.
Get a good quality silicone spray lubricant. You should be able to get one suitable for this purpose at a home supply or hardware store for around $5. This type of spray usually comes with a narrow plastic tube that allows you to surgically apply the lubricant. It should say on the can that it is suitable for interior home hardware applications.
For interior pocket doors, the roller-hanger assemblies are located on the top of the door near each end. You will need to have the door closed to see both of them. There is a narrow gap between the top of the door and the track. Use a flashlight if you need to, but you should be able to see the rollers. Most pocket doors have four rollers for each hanger. With a rag in hand, judiciously spray the rollers with the lubricant. You will probably need to get on both sides of the door to get at all of the rollers. Work the door back and forth until the rollers move smoothly. Add a little more spray as required, until you are satisfied with the operation.
Adjusting Interior Pocket Doors
Another major problem with interior pocket doors is alignment. Is the door rubbing on the floor? Does the latch refuse to catch? Is there a gap along the side of the door when it is closed? Yes to any of these questions means you have some alignment problems. Adjusting the pocket …