How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Patio Doors
If you have a patio or deck attached to your house, chances are high that you have some sort of glass sliding or french doors that allow you to transition from interior to exterior living, while also bringing light into your home.
Glass patio doors are great because they allow you to enjoy a view of the backyard, the pool, or even just the wide-open blue sky, while simultaneously increasing the sense of spaciousness in your interior living space.
These doors are probably a cherished and noteworthy feature of your living room (or whatever space they’re in), but occasionally, you will need to replace them. So how can you tell when the time is right to replace your patio doors? There are a few simple signs you can look for, ranging from the numbers on your energy bill to the physical appearance of the door itself, in order to determine if it’s the right time to replace those patio doors.
If you’re having trouble opening the door, that’s a good sign that it may need to be replaced, especially if it’s a sliding door; perhaps the rollers are damaged beyond repair, or maybe the door has become misaligned from the track.
It’s also possible that adverse weather (such as rain, snow, and even excessive sunlight) have damaged the frame, or perhaps an initially poor installation job is the ancestral culprit that eventually evolved into a stubborn sliding door.
The difficulty you might have in sliding the door open or closed is more than an annoying hinderance—it could also be dangerous in the event of an emergency if you and your family need to make a quick exit from the house.
If you’re having a barbecue or some other social event in the yard, a non-functional sliding glass door can be an embarrassment and an inconvenience if guests need to circle around your home to use the restroom or restock on drinks from the fridge.
Moreover, a door that won’t lock properly is also not safe from potential burglars, who may view the patio door as an already easy-to-access entrance to your home—after all, it’s certainly an easy place from which one can scope out the goods.
The Thermal Thief
Baby, it’s cold outside…and inside—is not a song you want to be singing in your living room in the middle of January or February (for those ones on the west coast reading this article, those are cold months back east). Also, during the summer, you don’t want to be feeling like the room is uncomfortably warm. Have you considered that your patio door might be the culprit?
Oftentimes when it comes to the transfer of undesirable thermal energies (whether its unwanted heat in the summer or unwanted cold in the winter) the open spaces in your walls are important to examine—that is, your doors and windows, and a patio door usually combines both of these elements, making it especially susceptible to falling into the role of an energy culprit.
If you want to confirm whether or not the patio door is contributing to the undesired rise or fall of temperature in your home, stand by the door. Do you feel a noticeable difference in the temperature? If you don’t feel sensitive enough to use your own skin as a thermometer, grab an incense stick and raise a little smoke by the door.
Does a mysterious force seem to pull the smoke toward the edges of the door, between the glass and the frame? It’s actually a type of wind force you’ve probably heard of called a draft—and it’s an indicator that your patio door is a leaky-air culprit.
Another indicator you can use to determine whether or not you might want to get a new patio door is your heating bill (or electric bill, especially in the summer when you’re cranking the AC). If your bills are mysteriously high and getting higher every month, it’s not because another ice age is approaching: it’s because your home is poorly insulated, and windows and doors are probably making a significant contribution to that problem.
Defend the Gap!
Inclement weather may contribute to warping the frame and/or sash over time, and as aforementioned, it’s also quite possible the door wasn’t properly installed in the first place. You may start to even notice gaps between the door and the frame, and if so, then it’s necessary to replace the doors, for insulation, safety, and aesthetic purposes.
If droplets of rain, sleet or snow are finding their way into your living space through the crack in your door, it’s a good indicator that it’s time to get a new door (or set of doors), because that type of problem is not going to get better…that’s right, the door is not going to grow back into its old shape, sorry.
London Fog…Between the Panes
There might also be a problem with the panes of glass. If you find that condensation has built up on the inside of the squares (on a French door) or just within the single large glass pane of a sliding door, it’s possible that the seal is compromised, allowing air and moisture to get between the panes, and indicating that their insulating status is no longer a factor in determining the energy efficiency of your home.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to replace the door unit entirely. Of course, if the glass is cracked, it’s a nearly unarguable safety requirement that you replace the door, especially given the danger of children or animals running into it by accident.
Another reason to replace the patio doors might be purely aesthetic. If you’re looking to remodel the exterior of your home and possibly sell it in the near future, a new sliding glass door or a pair of French doors can really add some dollar value to the appearance of your patio, your yard, and even your interior.
Of course, if your doors have any of the problems we outlined above (difficult to open, gaps, foggy panes, cracked glass) you’ll definitely want to replace them in your overall effort to minimize eyesores in the view of potential buyers. It’s a huge turnoff when your agent tries to lead a couple into the backyard to show off your awesome patio, only to find that this door…just…won’t…budge!
There you have it…whether you’re patio doors just won’t open, they have a gap between the sash and the frame, or the glass is cracked or undesirably frosted from condensation, it’s time to replace your patio doors. For safety, convenience, resale value, thermal protection, and enjoyment of your own living space, it’s important to get new patio door when the old ones need replacing.
Thankfully there a are a number of styles to suit every need and taste, from conventional sliding glass doors to classical-looking pairs of French doors. You won’t regret the aesthetic benefit they bring to your yard and your home, and chances are they’ll pay for themselves over time with the reduction in your energy bill.
Replace Your Patio Doors With Feldco
Turn to Feldco for your patio door replacement. We have Sliding and French patio doors that provide great views to the outdoors and are made to be energy efficient and easy to operate. In Feldco, we have great products and price, we’re local, and we offer professional installation to ensure that you’re satisfied with your choice for patio door replacement. Get a free quote and speak to a product specialist today!