How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What is the average life expectancy of a sliding glass door?
Thursday, May 28, 2020
How long does a sliding glass door last?
You can expect a sliding glass door to last 20 to 30 years, with an average of 25 years. The door frames are manufactured from vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, or composite—which is a combination of PVC and another material. Multiple variables affect the life of the door:
•• Weather exposure - A door that is exposed to direct sun and weather will not endure as long as one that opens onto a porch.
•• Premature loss of insulating gas - Most new sliding glass doors are double-pane, with a sealed gap between the panes filled with an insulating gas. If the seal is broken, the door glass will gradually cloud over. Never pressure wash a double-pane sliding glass door. To learn more, see our article What is causing a foggy haze on my windows and sliding glass doors?
•• Maintenance - Regular cleaning and lubrication of the track and rollers will result in a longer life.
•• Usage - Heavy door use will shorten life.
Here’s a bar graph that compares the life expectancy of a sliding glass door to other residential doors.
Also, see our blog posts What is "low-E" window glass? and When did the building code first require tempered glass for sliding glass doors, glass shower doors, and low windows in walking areas? and How can I tell if a window or glass door is safety glass? and How can I tell if a window or sliding glass door is double or triple pane (insulated) glass?
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components.
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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To learn more about doors and windows, see these other blog posts:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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