Common Barn Door Problems (+How To Solve)

Posted by The Barn Door Hardware Store on Mar 15th 2024

Whether your barn doors are actually on a barn or you’ve taken them on as an attractive and functional addition to your home, some common issues can arise wherever barn doors are found.

Barn doors are a rustic addition to your home and a core feature of barns for centuries!

That long pedigree means that for any issue your barn doors face, there is a solution ready for you.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the primary issues you may find with barn doors and give you realistic and achievable remedies to rectify them, including:

  • Issues with hardware and alignment and where to make the necessary repairs or replacements
  • Wear and tear issues and what to do for maintenance,
  • How to keep your barn door working its best for years to come.

Let’s get started exploring common barn door problems and keep them under control!


Common Barn Door Problems

Sticking or Jamming

Just like any door, barn doors can suffer from issues of sticking or jamming during operation.

Since barn doors run on tracks, one of the most common causes of sticking or jamming can be debris building up in those tracks and stopping the rollers functioning properly or setting them off course.

Over time and regular use, this debris will naturally settle in the tracks.

The first way to resolve basic issues of sticking is to inspect the tracks regularly and keep them free of any foreign objects that might obstruct the wheels – a simple fix for a simple problem.

Sticking or jamming, however, can be exacerbated by misalignment of the door from its runners.

This can be the result of improper installation or long-term use and natural warping.

If the issue stems from improper installation, it may require reinstallation to solve.

Warping is similarly best left to a professional to rectify as it may require repair or replacement of parts.

Misalignment can be solved by adjusting the mounting hardware, if you are skilled and have the proper tools to do so!

Other simple ways to address sticking or jamming include inspecting the tracks for damage and lubricating the tracks and wheels with silicone-based lubricant.


Misalignment is a problem all its own, but also one that can negatively impact other issues with barn doors. That’s what makes misalignment one of the key issues you need to be aware of in your barn door.

Misalignment often stems from either poor installation or subtle shifts in the shape and hang of the doors over time.

If the hardware holding your door in place is of a low quality or improperly installed, it can cause the door to misaligned over time and therefore stop running cleanly or accurately.

First, check if any of the door’s hardware is off-line, out of place, loose, or in need of repair or replacement. Tighten up any screws or bolts and ensure every component is securely in place.

If misalignment persists, strategically adding shims between the mounting hardware and the door can help restore a level position.

Further, checking the door for any signs of warping or damage is crucial as these issues can contribute to misalignment.

If these methods are unsuccessful in resolving misalignment, then speak to a professional about undertaking full repairs of your door!

Noisy Operation

Not only is noisy operation often an annoying issue with your barn door, but it can also be an indication of more serious issues.

Often, excess noise is the result of loose or ill-fitting fixtures creating a lot of friction.

Lack of lubrication can be one of the main causes of noise, so being sure to keep rollers and tracks lubricated with a silicone-based lubricant will go a long way to ensuring smooth and soundless operation.

Inspect your door and its hardware for loose screws or bolts and tighten them if any are present. Loose fixtures can cause rattling or misalignment which can make the other parts of the door scrape together loudly.

Making sure your barn door hardware is in good working order will reduce noise.


Barn door warping is a common issue, especially for doors made of wood, and it often occurs due to changes in humidity and temperature.

Wood is sensitive to environmental changes and absorbs or releases moisture, which can lead to deformations over time that will warp the door and make its operation more difficult.

It's crucial to maintain a stable indoor environment to prevent your barn door from warping, though it is something that should be expected over long periods of time.

Wood naturally warps and shifts, so a wooden barn door will naturally do the same over a long enough duration. Regulating humidity levels can help prevent extreme fluctuations and minimize the risk of warping.

In cases where warping has already occurred, a detailed solution involves sanding and refinishing the affected areas.

This not only improves the door's appearance but also helps rectify minor warping issues!

Applying a sealant to both sides of the door is a strong preventive measure, creating a barrier against moisture absorption.

To keep on top of warping, regularly inspect the door for signs of warping and address any issues before they become too severe.

Hardware Issues

Barn door hardware carries the full weight of the barn door and is put under a lot of tension and pressure during day-to-day operation, so is often the part of the door most likely to suffer damage through wear and tear.

Malfunctions in components like rollers and tracks can significantly impact the door's stability and function.

Rollers will wear and tear over time, leading to difficulties in smooth door movement. The tracks, on the other hand, might face issues such as misalignment or damage.

To solve these hardware issues (and to catch them before they are too severe), regular inspection is again the best option. Replacing any damaged or worn-out rollers is crucial for maintaining operation.

For tracks, ensuring they are securely attached and aligned correctly is key. Lubricating the rollers and tracks with a suitable lubricant can minimize friction, prevent premature wear, and reduce noise during operation.

Difficulty Latching and Locking

Difficulty in latching or locking is a common issue with barn doors and can compromise the security and privacy they are designed to provide.

This problem is another that can be attributed to misalignment or wear and tear in the door's hardware.

Inspect the latch or locking mechanism for any misalignment with the strike plate.

Adjustments to the latch position or the strike plate may be necessary in cases of warping or general wear and tear and is luckily not a major repair.

Shifting these components slightly will ensure that they line up and can perform their proper function.

Wear and tear on the latch or hinges can also be a cause of issues. Lubricate these components occasionally. In cases where wear is significant, replace the latch or hinges to ensure the safety of the system.

Issues with locks and latches can also be caused by problems in the door and its frame. Any warping or misalignment of the door itself can impact the alignment of the latch and lock.


Sagging can make for a very irritating barn door problem caused by the size and weight of the door on its hardware.

When a barn door sags, it not only looks ugly but also puts undue pressure on the hardware and frame – risking more serious damage.

Sagging is primarily caused by uneven weight distribution or an imbalance in the way the door is hung.

Over time, this imbalance puts extra pressure on the hanging hardware. The door will eventually begin to sage, and if left long enough, will collapse.

Additional support hardware can be an effective means of controlling sagging, reinforcing the trouble spots, and keeping the door from sagging further.

New brackets and hangers of higher quality can also be retrofitted to replace older hardware that has caused sagging.

Once a door is already sagging, it can be best to take it completely off, readjust or replace the hardware, and then refit the door on its rollers – checking all the time for proper alignment and weight distribution.

Wear and Tear on Finish

Wear and tear is a common and totally expected issue with barn doors that will naturally happen over time with regular use.

Finish wear and tear can ruin the appeal of your barn doors, so part of regular maintenance is refinishing your doors.

Exposure to the environment, regular wear, and tear, spills, or accidental damage can all cause damage to the door’s finish.

A protective finish on a door can help extend the time between refinishing processes, but eventually, you will need to sand the finish off and reapply it!

Regular cleaning can also extend the lasting time of the finish meaning you will need to finish the door less often.

Inadequate Installation

Inadequate installation is not an issue that will suddenly crop up, but it can cause many of the issues we have covered in this article.

Inadequate installations can leave your door misaligned, overhanging, not latching or locking properly, and myriad other issues.

Inadequate installation can only be solved by reinstallation. If you are able to do this yourself, that’s great – but if you don’t have the skills of your own you should reach out to a professional to reinstall your door!

Lack of Proper Maintenance

You need to always be aware of the regular maintenance you should be carrying out on your door. From cleaning to lubrication to occasional refinishing, regular maintenance will prevent more major issues from cropping up.

Be sure to set up an occasional maintenance schedule to prevent you from dealing with the greater costs of replacement parts or full reinstallation.


As you can see, there are a range of issues that can befall barn doors!

Luckily, they are often very simple to rectify and even more simple to prevent. Keep an eye on your barn door hardware and make the necessary adjustments or changes the first time you notice a problem.