The Best Way to Weatherproof a Sliding Door

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Doors and windows are notorious for drafts that chill down your home and hike up the heating bills. For this reason, weatherproofing doors and windows, including sliding glass doors, is a must. Fortunately several low cost, relatively simple solutions exist. Invest a little time to save significant dollars and make your home more comfortable.

Second Barrier

  • Create a second barrier between you and the cold. Install heavy drapes over sliding glass doors. Drapes will insulate your home against the chill and provide you easy access to utilize the doors. Even closed blinds will reduce some of the cold air from seeping into your home, but insulated blinds are optimal for this purpose.

    Many sliding door units can be fitted with storm doors on the exterior side.

    Another option is to purchase and install a patio door insulation kit. The kits include a large sheet of plastic and tape that adheres the plastic to your door frame. A blow dryer shrinks the sheet in place, providing you a virtually clear view. On the downside, the door is unavailable for use.

Casing

  • Over time, a house shifts and caulking dries. Even in new homes, drafts from around the door casing are possible. Check around the casing for drafts and recaulk as needed.

Weatherstripping

  • Properly installed sliding glass doors include weatherstripping, but over time, it can deteriorate and let in cold air. Hardware stores sell replacement kits that are simple to install. Make sure and take measures before you go. Weatherstripping works best if used in one piece.

    Another method is to use removable caulk in the winter and remove it when the weather warms. Again, you will limit your use of the doors, but you will see a decrease in heating bills.

No-Cost Methods

  • Hang a heavy blanket over the door, securing in all four corners.

    For obvious gaps, use a butter knife to slide a little tissue paper into the gap.

    Place rolled towels along the bottom of the unit.

    Clean the door rollers and track. Dirt can impede proper closer and allow in more cold air.

Caution

  • If your doors are prone to condensation, any method of weatherproofing that encloses that moisture, such as plastic insulation, can create an envirionment for mold and mildew. In this case, replacement doors or repairs are recommended.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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