As attractive and functional as bi-folding doors may be, they can fail. After years of daily use, doors can fall out of alignment or refuse to lock properly. This is particularly likely if you live in an area prone to harsh or diverse climates, which could cause your house to move.
If you have bi-folding doors in your home, it’s handy to know how to adjust them. Thankfully, however, it's far from a difficult or complicated skill to master. Often it can simply be little more than a case of shifting them up, down, left or right a little, until they slot back into place. Even in this scenario, however, it's important to understand exactly how your doors work and why they require adjustment.
The first step in any fix should always be to identify the problem. Most often, this is that your bi-folding doors won’t lock or close. In this case, it's probably because the doors have fallen out of alignment with the tracking and will require readjustment.
If this isn’t the case, your bi-fold doors have probably dropped, and will need to be lifted back into the system. The exact adjustments you need to make will depend on whether your doors are top hung or bottom rolling. This refers to how and where the weight of the doors is distributed when the doors are folding. With top hung doors, the doors are effectively suspended from the top tracks, whereas with bottom rolling doors, they will roll along a bottom track.
The second step, before you get started on any adjustments, should be to quantify if your doors actually can be adjusted, or if they need replacing entirely. This will depend largely on the age of the doors and how severe the damage is (if there is any damage, of course).
As they are external doors, they will have been exposed to the elements so will almost certainly have worn to some degree (this is especially likely if the doors are constructed from a less durable material, such as uPVC). The weather is not the only contributing factor, however, as general use might have worn down the tracking hardware. If the doors are practically falling out of the hardware, or have been weather damaged to the extent that they appear beyond saving, you might be better off replacing them. Otherwise, read on.
Here we'll guide you through the process of diagnosing the problem and fixing it via readjustment, removal and/or repair. Note that every job will be unique, but these points should provide you with a good foundation upon how to fix your bi-fold door.
If you have gone through the steps above and your bi-folding doors are still not sitting right, you may need to make some more intricate repairs.
One of the most common repairs involves fixing the bottom pin, which might have been worn out of its seat. This is often the case if your doors appear wobbly, as the pin that guides the doors into the tracking system might be loose in its hole.
The most obvious fix here is to remove the pin, fill it in with filler and drill a new hole for it. If the pin itself is the problem, however, it might need replacing.
If the above section seems a little daunting, don't be afraid to reach out to a handyman or more experienced friend. Rest assured, however, that more often than not your bi-folding doors can be saved with just a few minor adjustments. As long as you check up on them every so often (particularly after a bout of severe weather) and you keep your wits and patience on standby, you should be more than capable of adjusting and maintaining your bi-fold doors.
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