Why Is Your Sliding Glass Door Leaking?

Have you noticed water on the floor inside your sliding glass door after a storm? A leaking door is never a good thing, since it will lead to water damage, and the leaks will only get worse over time. There are several possible causes for the leak. Here's a look at each of these causes and how to address them.

A Lack of Flashing

This is the most common cause of patio door leaks. Flashing is the material that bridges the gap between the door and the frame. In newer doors, it may be made from vinyl or PVC, but in older doors, it may be made from metal. If the flashing has begun peeling away or forming gaps, this is probably where the water is coming in.

Take a close look at the flashing. If you see any areas where the flashing is obviously peeling away, you can apply some adhesive and see if you're able to stick it back to the wall. Make sure you buy an adhesive made for the specific materials your door is made from. For instance, if your door is vinyl and the wall is wood, buy an adhesive that works for wood and vinyl. If re-adhering the flashing does not work or the section that's peeling away is very large, your best bet is likely to have the flashing repaired. This is usually a pretty big project that involves removing the door, so it's best to have it tackled by a professional.

Loose Glass

Push against the glass and see if it wiggles within the sash. If it does, then water is probably seeping in between the glass and the vinyl or wood that surrounds it. Luckily, there is a simple way to fix this temporarily. Purchase a roll of rope caulk, which is a sticky material similar to the sticky tack your teacher may have used to hang pictures on the walls when you were a kid. Take a strand of rope caulk, and press it into the groove between the glass and the sash. This should seal the gap and keep water from coming in.

In the long-term, you'll want to either have the window re-caulked into the sash or have the entire door replaced. A window and sliding glass door repair and replacement company can give you quotes for both options, which should make it easier to decide whether replacement or repair is better for you.