Winterizing a Sliding Patio Door: A Helpful Guide

Winter is the time of the year where most congregate inside and abandon the elements until the much-welcomed sun and warmer temperatures return in the spring.

In order to keep you warm and comfortable during the winter, it’s extremely important that you invest some time and energy into winterizing your home.

winterizing sliding patio door

A sliding patio door often gets overlooked during this winterization phase yet is very important. Sliding doors can release a lot of controlled temperature from inside the home, as well as produce unwanted drafts from the exterior.

Thankfully, it isn’t hard or expensive to winterize a sliding patio door. Here are the steps to making it a part of the solution, and not a problem, come time for colder temperatures.

Benefits of Winterizing a Sliding Patio Door

Sliding doors are a beautiful addition to any home, even in the winter where they provide much-needed sunlight during bleak, shortened daylight hours. They also are a prime culprit of producing air leaks and temperature loss.

As a result, if you really want to maximize on your heating bill — not to mention feel more comfortable in your home during the winter months — you need to winterize a sliding patio door.

Glass isn’t a good natural insulator when it comes to trapping heat or preventing outside elements from going through it. When left untreated, it makes your house less energy-efficient and adds to rising utility costs.

It’s also uncomfortable if the sliding door is by a kitchen or dining table, as often is the case.

Step One: Remove Debris from a Sliding Door

Patio doors are exterior units that often collect a ton of outside debris. Since they’re large they tend to act like a magnet for the wind that sweeps dirt, pebbles, mulch, leaves, and just about any other outdoor substance, you can dream up to the tracking.

It’s amazing to discover exactly how much debris can collect on or near your patio sliding door, and in such a short time span.

Consequently, one of the easiest ways to maintain a sliding door year-round is to frequently clean and remove debris from the patio door. What can take 5 to 10 minutes to sweep (or even better) blow off with a motorized piece of machinery can save a lot of time come winterization.

How to Winterize a Sliding Patio Door

When dirt, gravel, small stones and other debris collects on the tracks of a sliding door it will not shut properly and also allow subtle, yet noticeable drafts of air to enter as well as escape. If the patio door is not in place, cold air and wind will easily enter your home.

Before winter sets in a sweep or vacuum the tracking and clear any unwanted debris from just outside the entrance. You may need to repeat this process a few times throughout the winter after storms ravage a backyard. It depends on how much you enter or exit the sliding door during the winter months.

Step Two: Install New Weather Stripping

Weather stripping is an incredibly cheap product that does wonders for winterization. It takes an extra step after you remove the door of debris by sealing any other exposed edges.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how clean you keep a patio door of debris – it’s still going to be drafty. Weather stripping can really make a difference as an insulator.

There are several different types of weather stripping to consider such as foam tape, felt, or V strip. You may want to experience with different types until you find the right one that works for your home.

Step Three: Insulate with Plastic

In places that experience exceptionally cruel winters many shrink wrap their windows to prevent heat loss. However, very few also do the same for their sliding patio door.

Though shrink wrap will prevent you from using the door during the winter months, it’s a good investment to consider. Shrink wrap is relatively affordable and is easy to install. In fact, a lot of hardware stores carry insulation kits that are specifically designed for sliding glass doors.

The barrier will definitely reduce drafts and make a huge difference in your monthly heating bill. It’s a bit of an eyesore but if you can get past that then there’s really no disadvantage to installing a shrink wrap during the winter months.

Step Four: Install Panels of Rigid Foam Insulation

In worst case scenarios frost can develop on the inside of a poorly-insulated glass door. The remedy? Panels of rigid foam insulation. A panel of rigid foam insulation is really lightweight and easy to install. Homeowners have the option of covering the entire window with it or just the part that does not open.

The panel usually begins on the floor of the patio door and then extends above the top of the door frame.

Step Five: Install Insulated Drapes or Window Treatments 

There are many different types of products on the market to help with drafts that go through sliding doors. Once again, glass is not a good insulator on its own so investing in something like insulated drapes, cellular blinds, or blackout curtains can help with cold air exposure.

It will set you back some money yet the difference may get offset by a lower energy and heating bill. Plus, you’re just going to feel more comfortable when standing or sitting near the sliding door since many homeowners like to have their kitchen table close to a patio door.

Stay Warm This Winter – Winterize Your Patio Door

There is absolutely no need to shiver all winter. Don’t make the same mistake some homeowners do by focusing on winterizing standard windows, yet forgetting about your sliding patio door.

When you combine new weatherstripping with other forms of insulation you can reduce or eliminate drafts, as well as keep warm heat inside the home. They are very easy and affordable steps to take to make your house more energy-efficient as well as comfortable in the winter.

Sealing Sliding Patio Doors for Winter

While people are preparing to face winter head-on, homeowners are preparing to keep the cost down during winter. There are several ways to winterize your sliding patio doors such as removing debris, installing weather stripping, insulating with plastic, and installing panels and insulated drapes.

However, the option that many homeowners choose to go is to get a new sliding patio door from Feldco. At Feldco, we have top quality sliding patio doors made with 3/4″ insulating glass with Low-E Argon and DuraLite which provides homeowners with a sealant that will keep the cold air from entering your home. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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