Installing Weatherstripping on Sliding Glass Doors

Beth Asaff
glass door view
Seals on sliding doors need to be occasionally replaced.

Weatherstripping your sliding glass doors can help stop drafts and energy leaks. Make sure you get the correct kind for your doors and that you install it properly to help protect your home.

What Type of Weatherstrip to Use

There are as many different types of weatherstrip on the market as there are variations on windows and doorways that need them. That said, sliding glass doors require a special type of weatherstripping known as Fin Seal or Brush Fin.

Fin Seal weatherstripping has a Mylar fin centered in the middle of the pile, or brush material. It is extremely durable, good for nearly all climates and stands up well to high traffic use. Only use foam or other easy-to-install options if you do not intend to use your sliding glass doors, as they will not stand up to the constant use.

Where to Buy

Make sure you buy your Fin Seal from a reputable source - not every company sells it. A few good sources include:

You can also contact your local window replacement company; they will typically sell parts, including replacement weatherstrip directly to homeowners.

How to Install Weatherstrip Around Sliding Glass Doors

Installing weatherstrip around your sliding glass doors is a serious undertaking. As you will need to remove the doors from their casing, make sure you are able to lift them and that you have help to hold them steady as you apply the weatherstrip.

Materials

Sliding glass door
  • Measuring tape
  • Fin Seal weatherstrip
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Cordless drill with screwdriver attachment
  • Putty knife
  • Sawhorses
  • Hammer

Instructions

  1. Measure the perimeter of your sliding glass doors. Add between 5 and 10 percent to this measurement to get the amount of weatherstrip you will need to complete the project.
  2. Locate the two screws that hold the roller adjustments in place at the bottom of the door. These will be covered in plugs the same color as your door. There should be one on either side of the bottom of the door.
  3. Use the flat head screwdriver to pry off the plugs and loosen the screws until the door lowers in its frame.
  4. Locate the headstop at the top of the door. This is a small strip that helps hold the door in place. Use the cordless drill to remove the screws holding it in place.
  5. Open the door to its mid-point position, grasp its frame on either side and lift it out of the tracks.
  6. Set the door on a pair of sawhorses and scrape off the old weatherstrip using a putty knife.
  7. Remove the old weatherstrip from the stationary panel still in the door frame.
  8. Position the new weatherstrip according to the manufacturer's directions. Use the enclosed screws to secure it in place on both the door and the stationary panel. Position the flap on the stationary door so it will rest between the two panels when the door is shut.
  9. Use the screwdriver to pry out the old weatherstrip in the top and bottom channels of the door.
  10. Pull the weatherstrip free in a long, continuous motion.
  11. Insert the new weatherstrip into the channel and guide it into place.
  12. Tap on the channel with a hammer to crimp the weatherstrip back into place.
  13. Insert the bottom of the door into the bottom channel and push the top of the door back into place.
  14. Reattach the headstop at the top of the door and readjust the roller screws so the door rises back into place.
  15. Close the door and check the lock alignment; if necessary, readjust the roller screws.
  16. Reinsert the plugs at the bottom of the door.

Protect Your Home

If you're noticing drafts coming in around your sliding glass door, it may be time to replace the weatherstrip. Take care of this project now to help save energy costs in the future.

Installing Weatherstripping on Sliding Glass Doors