Tips For Weather-Proofing Your Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors allow lots of light into the room and can even help make the space feel larger. Unfortunately, they are also vulnerable to potential heat loss from drafts and other issues. Most sliding doors aren't equipped with insulating windows, so it's important to be proactive about your weatherproofing. Here are some tips to help you prevent heat loss through your sliding glass doors.

Disassemble the Sliding Doors

The disassembling process will be slightly different from model to model, but having the basics can help you work through it. Some doors are designed to lift out of the sliding track. If that's the type of door you have, just grasp the sliding panel and move it partially toward the fixed door panel. Lift the door up high enough for the panel to clear the bottom of the door track. Then, lean the top of the door in to remove the door from the track.

If the door you have is locked in place with a set of removable screws, you'll have to use a screwdriver to pull the screws out of the top railing of the track. Then, you can remove the door panel from the track.

In either case, once you've removed the door from the track, place it flat on a soft surface. Whether you put it on a mattress or spread a quilt on the floor, just make sure that it's padded beneath so you don't damage the door.

Remove Old Weather Stripping

If there is any old weather stripping on the door, you'll want to strip it completely off. There may be some inside the grooves of the track as well. Use a razor blade or scraper tool to eliminate any residual stickiness as well.

Clean the Surfaces

Before you apply new weather stripping, make sure the track is completely clean. Debris or dirt in the track can lead to gaps in the track, which can cause air leaks. Vacuum the whole track out with a crevice tool so that you get everything out of it. Then, wipe it down with a soft rag and degreaser.

Attach New Weather Stripping

Apply fresh weather stripping to all of the areas where you removed the old stuff. Invest in a self-adhesive caulking material to help make the application easier. Make sure you cover each side of the door as well as the exposed sides of the door frame and the tracks. This ensures protection all the way around the door.

Weather stripping is a great way to reduce the drafts and temperature fluctuations caused by sliding glass doors. For more tips specific to your doors, talk with a local sliding glass door and window installation specialist.