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How to fix bifold doors: not closing

Bifold doors offer a wide range of benefits when installed in your home. Although they’re a long term and hardwearing solution for your home, you may find every now and again that you have a problem with your bifold doors.

There are many common problems that can occur with bifold doors as a result of long-term use and wear and tear but they’re usually fixable and do not require outside help. One common problem is that bifold doors won’t close properly but this is usually something you can resolve and fix yourself.

How to fix bifold doors that won’t close

Sometimes bifold doors can get stuck and will not close properly. When this happens, it can be a concern, especially for an external bifold door that will not close. An inability to close and lock it can be a great security risk.

When you find that your bifold doors won’t close properly, it’s important to assess the doors and find out what the problem is before you try and fix it. The good news is, this is a common bifold door problem and is something you can often solve and fix yourself.

Of course, the starting point is to always buy from a reputable supplier of high-quality bifold doors. This provides assurance of a superb fit and mechanisms that are long-lasting.

Even bifold door systems from reputable suppliers can encounter problems from time to time as a result of wear and tear, being knocked out of sync or the system being blocked somewhere.

Fixing your bifold doors: Step-by-step

fixing a bifold door

This is a step-by-step guide to fixing your bifold door:

Step one

The first step to fixing your bifold doors is diagnosing any obstacles or broken parts. Inspect the bifold door carefully, opening and closing it to see if you can spot the likely source of the issue. Then follow one or more of these next steps.

Step two

Check the door seals for damage, as bulges may create a ‘buffer’ to proper closure.

Step three

Check the unit for dirt or debris that may be interfering with the roller mechanism, track or hinges. This can happen with bifold doors, as the bifold panels rely on gliding easily to open and close. There could be something small wedged in that stops the door from moving properly, or from creating a complete seal with the door frame.

Step four

Clean out and lubricate the mechanisms, including the lock, to see if that eases the bifold door into closing more efficiently and securely. Spray lubricants that are suitable for your locks onto the lock and use the key to make sure the lubricant is spread to the inside.

Step five

Check to see if the track hinges are aligned. If not, these are easy to adjust with a standard Allen key to realign your door and ensure that you can close it.

Step six

If the door is not creating a smooth seal with the frame, you may need to adjust the height of the panels. You can do this by loosening the door hinge bolts and manipulating the structure until you find the perfect alignment with the frame.

Step seven

Don’t forget to inspect the frame! Check the door’s threshold, door jamb and other supporting structures. Or, have the sills sustained damage? Such as a dent from having something heavy dragged across.

If a simple adjustment is not enough

Addressing the above steps can often help to sort the problem out but, if not, you may need to dig deeper into why your bifolding doors won’t unfold or fit securely in their outer frame.

To diagnose and rectify the issue, you may need to remove the doors from the track. You can then replace them following repairs. This is also a great way to thoroughly check and clean the tracks and the underside of your bifold doors.

Your manufacturer can provide detailed advice on how to do this. Usually, it involves pressing down hard on the spring-loaded pin holding them in place, while firmly supporting the panels, ready for when they come loose.

How to prevent this problem

The best bifold doors are designed and engineered to be durable, as well as beautiful and, with a few simple maintenance tasks, they will last for years to come. There are a number of measures you can take to prevent problems such as the doors not closing properly from happening.

Clean and lubricate mechanisms

Cleaning and lubricating any mechanisms, including the lock, should be done regularly. Make sure you use the right oil for household fixtures and fittings such as these, as some varieties can damage your door seals.

Check tracks

The same applies to checking the track for pollutants and cleaning it out periodically. Especially in autumn and winter when dead leaves, road salt and all manner of potentially corrosive materials can be dragged in on the bottom of shows. This will help to keep the movement of the panels smooth and prevent any damage from panel repeatedly travelling across debris.

Check drainage

For exterior bifold doors, ensure rain and other moisture is draining away efficiently, to stop it from pooling in the sills. There are drainage holes in the door frames for this purpose, and they can become clogged. Check that all of the other elements of your doors are still watertight too, including woodwork in the outer frame.

Inspect seals

You should also regularly inspect seals for any signs of cracks or tears that could create a breach or an obstacle to proper closing.

What if the problem can’t be fixed?

The next stage in resolving this issue if you can’t fix it yourself would be to contact the manufacturer for advice. Or see if you can find any online troubleshooting information. This is also a great way to find out how you can adjust your bifold doors.

If you try all of these ways to fix your bifold doors when they won’t close properly and it is still not working, you will need to ask an expert who will assess the track, hinges, handles and frames and make changes where needed.

If you have an old bifold door that has stood the test of time and extensive use, it might be irreparable. One of the clearest indicators is that a failure to close properly becomes a regular occurrence. In this case, your old door may need replacing with new bifolding doors.

To find out more about fixing your bifold doors or purchasing a new set of doors, please contact our expert team today.