Sliding glass doors are great ways to open up your home to the outside world on a nice day. They can let in plenty of fresh air while giving up very little floor space. However, If you've ever spent a summer anywhere in Southwest Florida, you know that thunderstorms can quickly drop inches of rain in just a few minutes and can cause water to infiltrate through a leaking sliding glass door.
Some of the most common causes of a leaking sliding glass door include a dirty or broken track or broken wheels. A sliding glass patio door will work well for a long time, without any issues, as long as it's correctly installed and maintained.
Fortunately, water infiltration from heavy rainfall, a tropical storm, or a hurricane can be prevented when you have a sliding glass door that's properly installed and designed with weather-resistant properties.
Preventative maintenance is extremely important. Luckily, there are some easy fixes when you're looking at how to prevent water intrusion. Learn our tips for how to identify and fix a leaking sliding glass door, and when you need to call in professionals to handle the issue for you.
Identify Where the Door Leak is Coming From
The first thing you want to do is figure out where the leak is coming from, if possible. Sliding glass doors are very heavy, and they move along metal tracks fitted to the top and bottom of their frame. If you have a water leak, the bottom track or rollers are often the most common culprits.
If you noticed that the track is filling with water, it could be because the weatherstrip isn't holding up to the rain and wind anymore, or there could be other issues with the door.
Can you see where the water is getting in?
Is the frame sealed properly?
Does the door slide back and forth correctly?
Is there dirt or debris in the tracks?
Is the weatherstripping in good shape?
The answers to these questions can often make it easier to determine where your sliding glass door is leaking from, so you can take care of the issue or call a professional to make a repair.
Preventing Sliding Glass Door Leaks
After you've gained a general understanding of your door's mechanics and identify where the leak is coming from,, the best way to prevent leaks in the future is to thoroughly inspect your door and perform maintenance on it at regular intervals.
Ensure the Sliding Glass Door Frame is Fully Intact
Checking the frame is very important in order to make sure it's intact and solid. Look for any worn or damaged caulking, and any gaps that have formed around the door frame. Caulk provides a great seal against water leaking in, and is one of the ways to fix a leaking door. Over time, though, weather and wear can mean the caulk breaks down.
Old caulking can flake and peel away or create gaps, which means there will be entry points for water to get in. If that's the case, it can be time to replace the caulk to fill in gaps between the frame and the door. This is a simple task that doesn't need a professional.
Clean and Seal Tracks in Sliding Glass Doors
Debris in the door track can be a big problem for a leaking sliding glass door, too. Pets, wind, and dirty shoes can all carry stones, dirt, and debris into the door tracks. That prevents the door from sealing tightly and can damage the seal on the bottom of the door over time. When you clean the door tracks regularly, that can prevent water from getting in.
The weep holes can also fill with debris. These are small slits in the inside part of the door's track that help drain any water that gets against the door. You can use compressed air or a screwdriver to clean them.
Install Weather Stripping
Well-maintained sliding glass doors don't usually have problems with water intrusion, but adding another layer of weather stripping can reduce any risk of issues. New weatherstripping can reinforce your door's seal. It's easy to do by adding a continuous strip of rubber tube or foam tape to the bottom of the door. Then make sure the material compresses when you close the door, to verify the seal.
Still Experiencing a Leaking Sliding Glass Door? We're Here to Help!
Due to the codes for Florida hurricanes, sliding doors need a 1.5-3.5 inch water threshold dam. If you're finding that your door is still leaking after maintenance, cleaning, and weatherstripping, you may need professional intervention to fix a leaking door. Having the doors inspected and repaired professionally can fix moisture issues.
Contact us at Storm Solutions today, for an in-home consultation and estimate. We can get your sliding glass door leak-free again.