How Long Do Sliding Patio Doors Last?

How Long Do Sliding Patio Doors Last?

Sliding patio doors aren’t just a window to the outdoors, they are the workhorses that open up your house to it. With so much opening and closing here are some key signs your sliding patio door needs some TLC or if it’s time to put it out to pasture!

As the point of entry and exit and a barrier between your interior and the outdoors, your exterior doors are a vital component of your dream house. More specifically, sliding patio doors offer a convenient and visually appealing entryway to your backyard or porch. With consistent light cleaning, but without any major maintenance, sliding patio doors usually last about 30 years.

Standard sliding glass doors operate using a track as a guide for the door and roller wheels for the door to move back and forth. Dirt and grime can gunk up the track making it hard to open and close. Forcing a sticky door to open and close can damage the door.

Here are some steps to keep the door clean:

Keep the glass clean

Most sliding patio doors are glass, which is a great way to show off your yard or keep an eye on children or pets playing in the backyard. As always, glass windows require a good amount of upkeep to keep them looking clean. Outdoor weather factors also make it more difficult to keep the outside of the doors clean too. The best way to wash your sliding glass door is to use a glass cleaning spray or a mixture of white vinegar and hot water.

Stay on track

Besides keeping the glass of the door clean, it is also important to maintain the utility of the door’s track and rollers, which make the actual sliding movement possible.

There are many little fixes you can do to keep your sliding door moving efficiently.

  • Making sure that the actual track, the metal part beneath the door, stays clean is an easy way to ensure the door can slide smoothly. A damp cloth can be used to collect visible dirt and grime built up in the track.
  • If you notice your door is sticking or becoming harder to open, check for any substance obstructing the door’s sliding pathway.
  • Use a toothbrush or wire brush to clean the inside of the track and a vacuum to suck it up.
  • About every other month, it is also beneficial to lubricate the track. After cleaning, apply a commercial lubricant to ensure that your door’s rollers can move smoothly and easily. Pointing the nozzle at a downward angle, spray lubricant directly onto the track, and also into the little hole that is most likely on the lower part of the door. Doing this will lubricate the rollers and prevent the wheels from squeaking or getting sticky.


Keep it running smoothly

Sometimes your sliding glass door fails to operate smoothly and you may need to adjust the rollers to get it back on track.

  • Use a screwdriver to turn the roller adjusting screws ordinarily found at the bottom of the door.
  • The screws can either raise or lower the door depending on its alignment.
  • After you make the adjustment, lubricate the opening to help it operate better.


How to Extend a Sliding Door’s Lifespan

To prolong a sliding door’s lifespan, it is beneficial to perform deep cleanings to the doors track and rollers by removing the door from the doorframe. Removing the door is beneficial to get to those tough spots that are impossible to see with the door in place. Instructions on how to safely remove a sliding door can be found at the Family Handyman. If repairs are needed, replacement parts can be found at most local home improvement stores, but the work should be performed by a professional.

Signs It Is Time to Replace Your Sliding Patio Door

  • Sliding glass doors in older homes, may be giving you the look you want but are coming at a cost. Most older doors did not have the same energy efficiency as the new patio sliding glass doors have.
  • Water penetration- your sliding glass door frame and seal may be compromised due to misalignment or defective materials. If you find your floor wet inside your sliding patio door or in the walls around the frame, it may be time to replace it with one that has thermal performance.
  • Locks- if the sliding glass door locks is failing it may be time to upgrade to a newer model that has a foot locking system or add a double bolt lock to the door system.

If you are looking for an energy efficient patio door system custom crafted for your home call the experts at Thompson Creek for a free estimate today.