A professionally installed, fully finished internal bifold door should stay smooth and easy to open for years. Of course, sometimes things do go wrong. Particularly if your bifold door wasn’t aligned correctly when it was installed or the door wasn’t finished properly.
These problems are usually very small but can be irritating. And as most internal doors are used on a daily basis this irritation can quickly build to explosive annoyance and slammed doors.
Slamming is bad for any door, but it is particularly treacherous for bifold doors, as heavy impacts can damage the mechanisms that work them. So, perhaps more than with any other door, it is important to fix any issues that arise with your bifold doors quickly.
Luckily, the majority of bifold door problems are simple to fix.
How do bi-fold doors work?
In order to be able to fix your bifold door, it helps to understand how they work.
Bifold doors are made of a series of panels connected together. These panels are fitted within a track and, when they open, they concertina and fold back on themselves.
Internal bifold doors often come in pairs and are usually fitted to a track along the top of the door. These tracks can also be fitted to the bottom, but this is rarely done with internal bifold doors as it can present a trip hazard, and look ugly.
Fixing common bifold door problems
The first step to fixing your bifold door will always be identifying the exact issue affecting them. This should be relatively obvious, but if you’re struggling to put your finger on the problem, then try watching closely as you open and close the door a few times.
If it is sticking, is it catching on the carpet or is the door’s opening mechanism not working smoothly? If the door is loose, does it feel loose at the top or at the sides? Has it slipped out of its track, or is something in the track catching it?
Once you’ve identified exactly what is causing your bifold door problem, you should be able to find a quick but effective fix.
1. How do you fix a sticking bifold door?
If your door seems to stick or give resistance when opened, it could be caused by something as simple as the tracks drying out. Lubricate the tracks with a careful spray of WD40 or other suitable oil to see if this solves the issue.
2. How do you fix a bifold door that won’t open properly?
When a bifold door is opened, the ‘hangers’ of the door (small wheels that attach the door to the track) are pushed closer together in the track.
Occasionally these hangers can be knocked out of the track. Depending on how many hangers are displaced and where they sit, this can have a massive impact on how the door works or even stop it from working at all.
Luckily this is an easy enough issue to fix, and doing so should be the end of your problems
You just need to find the bracket that sits inside the track of the door and tighten the screw in the centre of it. After this, pop the hanger back into the track and it should stay there.
3. What do you do if your bifold door is catching at the bottom?
When you replace the carpets around your door, you might find that it no longer opens as smoothly as it once did.
If your new carpet has a deeper pile, it might be too thick for the door to pass over anymore. The easiest way to deal with this is to try and raise the bottom pivot pin.
If this doesn’t help or isn’t possible, your next step is to trim the door. This will require a little bit of help, as the door will have to be removed and is likely to be heavy.
You can trim your door following these steps:
Take a pencil and mark the height of the carpet against the door
Remove the bifold doors
Using a ruler or other straight edge, draw a line to join pencil marks you made
Carefully place the door on a flat surface (preferably one covered with cloth so it won’t damage the door)
Slowly trim the bottom of the door up to the line using a saw or plane
Sand the clean edge and refinish it with paint or varnish
Do I need a structural engineer for bifold doors?
When it comes to fixing your internal bifold doors, you should be able to carry out the majority of fixes yourself. You may need help or support to lift the weight of the doors, particularly if removing them, but in terms of skills, basic DIY competency should be enough.
However, one way to avoid the majority of bifold door problems is to get your bifold doors installed by a professional in the first place. Badly fitted bifold doors can cause plenty of problems that could even end up damaging the doors eventually.
If you do decide to fit them yourself, make sure you take the time to do it properly and check the doors over when you’ve finished. Our guide on hanging doors will help show you how to do it.
Preventing bifold door problems
The best way to keep your bifold doors functioning smoothly is to maintain them properly. Bifold door maintenance isn’t hard or time-consuming, and done regularly will bring plenty of benefits to your doors.
The first step is to clean your doors regularly. Glass smeared with fingerprints or speckled with dust can be hard to miss and will probably remind you to clean the surface of the door. But make sure that when you do, you clean the frame as well as the glazing. This will get rid of any oil or grime in the frame or track that might transfer into the mechanism.
Keep an eye on the tracks to make sure no dirt or dust is clogging them up. Once a month take a hoover, brush or duster to the inside of the tracks to get any tiny debris out. Do it often enough and it will never seem like you’re removing much. But if you ignore it, it can build up and prevent the door from operating as it should.