If you notice condensation inside the glass panels of your wooden sliding door, and you can't find leaking water anywhere, place a water-tight seal between the glass and wooden frame. Old age, temperature changes and even weather can weaken the seals between the insulated glass and frame. Broken or deteriorated seals can allow moisture or condensation to form between the glass and inside the wood, which can rot over time. In some cases, condensation can fog up the glass completely, which keeps the glass from insulating your home properly. To avoid the problems above, here's how you secure your old sliding glass door.

Dry the Wooden Frame and Get Your Supplies

Although you can see condensation on and between the glass, you may not see any moisture in the wooden frame surrounding it. However, you can check to see if the wood is damp with a moisture meter with LED capabilities. The meter eliminates the use of confusing numbers and uses colors instead. For example, if the reading shows yellow, the wood has more moisture in it than normal. You simply drill two small pin-sized holes in an area of the frame close to the wall or glass, then insert the meter's probes inside them. The reading will pop up within a designated timeframe.

If the meter does show any signs of moisture, place several fans in the room to dry the frame. Direct one fan toward the bottom of the door and one fan toward the top of the door. Place a third fan on "spin" and allow it to dry the sides and middle areas of the door. It may be several days before the wood dries. It's a good idea that you check the wood's progress with the moisture meter often.

Next, obtain one:

  • plastic or vinyl tarp
  • pair of long vinyl gloves
  • large bucket filled with 1 gallon of cool water and 1 tablespoon of dish detergent
  • container of clear liquid sealant
  • caulk gun
  • small plastic spatula

After the frame dries and you have your supplies, you can move to the repairs.

Secure the Glass

First, examine the wooden frame surrounding the glass. Look for warping, peeling and discoloration in the wood, which may indicate wood rot. Also, check the glass for large areas of condensation or fogginess. If you find any of these issues, stop and contact a contractor to replace the glass. If you don't locate the previously mentioned issues, you can continue with the cleaning.

Now, follow the steps below:

  1. Dampen a rag with the cleaning solution, squeeze out the excess water and wipe down the glass. Be sure to remove all signs of dirt, dust and cobwebs.
  2. Allow the glass to dry thoroughly by fan or air.
  3. Prep your sealant and caulk gun.
  4. Apply one thin line of sealant between the glass and frame, then allow the sealant to dry.
  5. Use your spatula to trim away or smooth out any excess material. If necessary, seal any other areas on the sliding door that might allow moisture to affect the glass and wood.
  6. Discard your supplies.

Give the sealant a few days or so to dry completely. During that time, monitor the glass to see if condensation forms between the panes. Also, use your moisture meter to monitor the wooden frame. If the glass remains clear and the wood dry, you have successfully repaired the problems. If the problems persist, you may need to replace the glass and frame. 

For more information about your sliding glass door, or if you prefer to have your problems professionally repaired, contact a glass door repair company today.