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Wondering When to Replace Patio Doors? Check for These 5 Signs

| March 3, 2022


There are a number of reasons why you may consider replacing your patio doors. From renovating an older home to modernizing your family cottage, you’ll likely have to decide what to do with the existing patio doors at some point.

Over time, your patio doors will start showing signs that they aren’t functioning properly anymore. And considering how important these units are, these signs shouldn’t go unaddressed. Your patio doors protect your home from the elements and keep you and your family safe — not to mention the role they play in the overall design and aesthetic of your home. With that in mind, let’s outline some of the signs that can indicate when to replace patio doors.

Why do Patio Doors Systems Degrade Over Time?

Many factors can contribute to your patio doors wearing down, malfunctioning or failing. Exposure to the elements, physical damage, cheap materials and improper installation are some of the most common culprits. That said, normal wear-and-tear from years of regular use is enough to take your doors out of commission. Over time, these underlying issues can lead to a number of glaring signs that your patio doors are reaching the end of their working life. Let’s have a look at a few of them.

When to Replace Patio Doors

1. Failing Hardware Makes Operating Your Doors Difficult

As patio doors begin to show their age, you may find that they’re difficult to open and close. Sliding doors will open and close with resistance, or it may feel as though they’re grinding along the tracks — even though there is nothing obstructing their motion. Misaligned or stuck doors tend to make squeaking sounds as they open and close.

With older patio door systems, you’ll also find that dirt, dust, leaves and other seasonal debris will easily accumulate in the track. French doors on the other hand may be difficult to operate due to broken or rusted hinges. Worse still, they can sink or sag over time leading to misalignment.

You could continue to do battle with your old, outdated patio door units, but why go through the hassle season after season? If you find yourself struggling to open and close your patio doors, realigning the sliding panels back onto the track, fixing broken hinges or constantly clearing out accumulated debris, it may be time to invest in new units altogether.

2. You Feel a Draft Coming From Your Patio Doors

Drafts and air leakage are some of the clearest signs you’re in need of a new patio door system. Over time, the seal around your doors will expand and retract as the weather fluctuates with the changing seasons. This is especially relevant for home and cottage owners in Ontario, where the weather changes from very hot to very cold throughout the year. When this seal is compromised, drafts can come through or air can leak through the seal. This can affect the overall integrity of your patio doors, and lead to unnecessary energy waste.

If you’re not sure whether or not your doors are letting in a draft or leaking air, try the Draft Test: Stand near your patio doors with an open flame from a lighter or match and hold the flame next to the edge of your doors’ interior. If the flame responds to a draft at one of the edges, this is a sign that you’re dealing with a compromised seal.

When to Replace Patio Doors

A Note on Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping is a narrow piece of vinyl, rubber, metal or felt that seals the contact area between the fixed and movable sections of a window or door. While weatherstripping works quite well as an added line of defense, it should not be used as a stopgap to address particularly old or leaky window and door units. In these instances, it’s always advisable to consult a professional and consider a replacement.

3. Condensation Is Forming In Between The Panes of Glass

Have you noticed condensation trapped between your patio door panes? This is a glaring sign that your patio door unit’s seal has lost its integrity. And while older window and patio door frames are susceptible to letting in moisture over time, even relatively new patio doors can have this same problem: Cheaper patio door frame options such as hollow vinyl PVC or fiberglass are more susceptible to expansion and contraction in Ontario’s drastically fluctuating climate. This expansion and contraction can lead to seal failure, air leakage and drafty, inefficient patio door units.

When condensation is forming between the glass panes, it’s time to consider replacing the patio door unit altogether. A glass replacement alone won’t address problems stemming from a faulty frame. Investing in quality frames reinforced with strong, durable materials such as steel and aluminum can help you avoid issues related to seal failure in the future.

Learn More About Reinforced Window and Door Frames on the Magic Blog

When to Replace Patio Doors

4. Your Doors Have Cracks or Gaps

Glass cracks and gaps between the panes and the frame are major signs that you should consider a replacement. Most often, you can blame improper installation or inclement weather for warps in your door frame that lead to gapping. Gapping can also cause water or snow to leak onto the floors around your doors. Because of the way gaps and cracks compromise the safety, insulation and overall look of your doors, it’s definitely cause for replacement.

When to Replace Patio Doors

5. Your Patio Doors Are Outdated

Like any showstopping glass unit, the right patio doors can transform and enhance the look and feel of your home. On the other hand, old, outdated patio doors can stick out like a sore thumb. Your patio doors should stand out for all the right reasons. Replace your patio doors with ones that blend in seamlessly with the overall aesthetic of your home, or, choose a bold, eye-catching look that makes your doors more of a statement. Either way, don’t be afraid to replace your patio doors for aesthetic purposes — and to bring in more natural light, too!

If It’s Time to Replace Your Patio Doors, Go With MagicTM

Don’t settle for less when it comes to your patio doors and windows. Get all the features you’re looking for and more with customizable, high-performance doors from Magic. When you upgrade to Magic patio doors, you’ll get:

  • An expertly-installed patio door system that is sized and styled to fit any opening size.
  • Durable, thermally-efficient frames built with vinyl PVC, reinforced steel and aluminum that don’t expand and contract.
  • Efficient, air-tight, insulated units custom-formulated with gas fills and coatings to suit the unique needs of your home.
  • The option to customize everything from frame colours and grill patterns to the optimal screen and blind configurations.
  • A premium, Ontario-made product that’s built to perform consistently, year-in-year-out, for 40 years or more.

We can help you realize your vision and redefine your space. For more information, book a free, no-hassle in-home or virtual consultation with us today. One of our certified project managers will help to explain the innovative design features that set our windows and patio doors apart, and how they can be customized to suit any home.



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