During the long, cold winter, you likely kept your patio door shut to keep the cold winter air out. Now that spring is arriving, your family will likely begin using this door more frequently, especially if it leads to an outdoor deck. Now is the time to ensure your door is ready for the constant opening and closing it may endure this spring and summer. You also want to make sure the door has proper insulation features to keep it from cranking up your summer cooling costs. Here are three important steps to inspecting your patio door to ensure it is ready for spring.
1. Check the Seals
Your patio door should always close to form an air-tight seal and keep cool air inside your home during the summer and cold air out during the winter. The seals around your door are often called weatherstripping, so don't become confused when you encounter this alternate term.
Examine the seals, and make sure they are not cracked or damaged in any other way. If you rub your hand along them, they should feel smooth and "bouncy" and not dried and brittle. If you feel brittleness or cracking, then have the seals replaced or consider replacing them yourself.
2. Examine the Glass
Next, inspect your patio door glass to ensure there are no cracks or chips that will begin to spread quickly with the impact of opening and closing the door more frequently. If you see any glass damage at all, then it is important to have it repaired, or have the glass replaced, before you allow your family to begin opening and closing the door frequently again.
Now is the time to not only inspect the glass for damage, but also to decide if you have glass that provides the insulation you seek for your home. Not only can faulty seals cause outside air to enter your home and cause your home-heating and cooling systems to have to work harder than they should have to, but glass that does not offer proper insulation can cause the room the door is located in to become hot during the summer.
Look into glass with a low solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC, if you want glass that keeps the hot summer temperatures outside where they belong. This is a measurement of how much outdoor heat the window blocks and keeps from heating up your home.
3. Make Sure Locks Are Working Easily
Hopefully, you chose your patio door locks with safety in mind. You should also have a security bar that makes the door even more secure. Be sure to check all locks and other security mechanisms to ensure they are sliding smoothly and easily. This is especially important if you have small children in the house who may not have the strength to force that lock into place that is sticking or slide down that security bar that gets jammed easily.
Locks only offer security when they are used, and have locks repaired if they are not working correctly so that even small children can use them easily.
Your patio door is going to be used a lot more frequently this spring and summer, so now is the time to make sure it is in good shape and can endure the increasing foot-traffic. If it isn't, make sure to have your patio glass door repaired. It is also a good time to make sure it is insulated properly and keeps the summer heat outside where it belongs.