The lightly falling snow of winter can make for a beautiful outdoor scene, but when colder temperatures arrive the last thing you want is for that scene to make its way inside through your sliding glass door.
Glass patio doors allow for outdoor views which are second to none, and because insulated glass (multiple panes) are good insulators of heat you can enjoy the view no matter the weather. Many of today’s modern patio doors – including Sunview’s – are manufactured using multiple panes of glass.
However, in the depths of winter, even the highest quality patio door can struggle to retain heat when faced with bone-chilling temperatures as low as -30º C. In such cases, you’ll want to winterize your patio door, adding an extra layer of protection from the harsh outdoors.
Winterize Your Patio Door
Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of four simple ways to winterize your sliding glass door. Don’t get left out or in the cold this winter! Stick to this easy-to-follow guide and keep warm. consult your manufacturer prior to replacing/removing any weatherstripping on your doors
1. Clean the Track
The first step you should take to winterize your patio door is to make sure the existing seals aren’t compromised. Every time a person passes through a sliding glass door, there is a possibility that dirt, small rocks or other particulates will land in the door track. Regardless of winterizing or not, throughout the year you should periodically clean out the track so that nothing obstructs or dislodges the door’s bottom seal.
The easiest way to clean the door track is to vacuum along the track itself. This should remove most of the particulates, but if that doesn’t quite do it, take a damp cloth and wipe the track clear of any remaining debris. Click here for more information on how to effectively clean your patio door. While you should do this every so often throughout the year, you’ll certainly want to clear the track before you continue with further winterization steps.
2. Weather Stripping
In cases where the door remains drafty even when the track is clean, weather stripping is an effective and inexpensive solution that adds an extra layer of protection. If you’re using a patio door manufactured by Sunview Patio Doors, your sliding glass door is most likely already sealed with weather strips.
If your patio door is not from Sunview, you’ll have to do a little more research to determine what kind of weather stripping fits best with your particular door; there are many different types of weather stripping available, so it might be best to contact the manufacturer or seller of the door to determine which works with your door.
If your sliding door is equipped with weather strips but they appear to be dirty, obstructed or cracked, you’ll want to clean or replace them. First, inspect the weather stripping around the edges of your patio door. If you notice any strips that are missing, torn, cracked or brittle, these should be replaced.
If the weather-stripping looks intact but dirty, use water and dish soap with a damp cloth to wipe them. Rinse the strips with a damp cloth in warm water, and dry thoroughly. This will keep your door’s weather strips looking and functioning as if they were new! We strongly recommend consulting your manufacturer prior to replacing/removing any weatherstripping on your doors.
3. Rubber Compression Strips
As an alternative or in addition to weather stripping, you can also use rubber compression strips to aid in the insulation of your patio door. These strips are commonly made from the synthetic rubber neoprene. Neoprene is a highly durable material that is resistant to both moisture and chemical erosion making it long-lasting when used to weather-proof your patio door. In addition, neoprene maintains its flexibility over a wide temperature range; unlike some rubber materials, neoprene does not contract or become rigid in colder temperatures, continuing to insulate heat when other materials would fail.
Depending on your patio door’s existing weather stripping, you may be able to use both types in combination, or else you’ll have to choose one over the other. In this case it may be best to speak with the door’s manufacturer or re-seller to gauge which form of weather stripping is better for heat insulation. Rubber compression strips are purchased in large rolls and can be cut down to size depending on the dimensions of your door.
4. Insulation Kits
If you don’t plan on using your patio door through the winter months – either because your door opens onto an area that is inaccessible in winter weather, or because an alternative entrance exists – you may consider using a semi-permanent insulation kit. These kits use shrink wrap and, when applied correctly, they create a fully sealed, yet still see-through barrier between your home and the cold outdoors.
Kits can be purchased from most hardware stores and applied using everyday materials you find at home (e.g., most often, a source of heat like a hair dryer). But remember – these kits are applied at the beginning of winter and aren’t removed until spring, so only use this option if you know you won’t be using your patio door at all throughout the winter months.
Keep Warm and Enjoy the View
If you stick to these tips, you’ll fully winterize your patio door and your home will be better insulated from the harsh outdoors – keeping your home warm and lowering your heating bill. While it is impossible to entirely eliminate heat loss through an entryway of any kind, you can mitigate the amount of heat loss so you and your loved ones stay warm even on the coldest days.
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