How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured 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. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
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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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