Sealing Bottom Of Your Sliding Glass Door



Your door unless ancient as mine is has or had some sort of seal under the bottom rail of the door, vinyl seal on the sill plate that rubs your door on the outside that goes bad, Pile Weather Stripping or Vinyl that’s under your door rail that you can’t see until you remove the door that rubs against the rail where wheels ride.

My door just happens to be a Peachtree Citation I that has single pane glass and in its time in the early 1970’s was the best door made at that time.

But in the early 70’s, no one was really thinking about energy efficiency, as in1973 I was buying Chevron gas for my Mustang for $.25 a gallon.

So the Peachtree Citation I door was the smoothest operating door that was made, in fact Citation II and III made until 2010 were top of the line expensive doors.

My Citation I door worked with just a flip of my little finger to open or close. The problem was the Top Channel nor the Top Rail of the door had any weather stripping at all nor did the bottom rail of the door. So the wind blew in the top and the bottom of the door. But at the time I installed this used door in my shop (1979) shop was mainly used as storage and some woodworking so wind blowing in was not a problem. Now in 2017 I have moved my office and shipping operation into this shop and of course now in 2017 we all can’t live without A/C and Heat. But no insulation on my 40 year old door is just not acceptable.

Some people will have vinyl weather stripping that has torn off in many places and is no longer to be found. The method I am showing you will work on most doors.

Below is one typical situation where you have a vinyl track with bottom weather stripping actually made onto the bottom rail and seals against the outside edge of the wood frame of the bottom door rail as seen in the picture. The bottom vinyl rail also has several feet broken off. And of course, you’re not going to find a new part on a 30-year-old door and you really don’t want to replace the door. You have two problems, one you need to replace the rail and also you will need to figure out how to seal the door bottom to keep the cold wind out.


You also have another problem that most people don’t think of. Why did the vinyl rail fail?

After talking with the home owner, I quickly identified the wheel assembly for this door as D1607 Tandem, side adjust wheel assembly.

The reason the rail failed is because of years of continued opening and closing the door with the 30 year old wheels that had stopped working 20 years ago. I can see the wheels have failed because you can see in the above picture the left and right side of the door bottom rail is dragging on each side of the wheel rail. Took a real tough shoulder to open and close this door for a long time. So, the rail busted off a few feet of rail.


The only fix for something like this is the SG16251 Heavy Duty Screw Down Replacement Rail. This rail repair product as you can see doesn’t have any Pile Weather Stripping on the side of it like the old rail had. So you replace the wheels and install the heavy duty rail, door works like new again. But remember you lost your weather seal because you just completely covered up the old rail or broke off what was left because old rail was slightly taller than the new rail to sit flat on the sill plate that had the pile weather stripping attached to it. Now the wind blows right under your newly fixed door that operates properly and freezes your feet when you stand in front of it.


I am about to teach you something that I am confident that No Handyman under 50 years old can even think to do, his mind can’t operate in a Repair and Fix mode, he is just going to say got to put in a new door. Well there was a time when people did fix stuff like this, because they couldn’t afford replacing a whole door for wheels, rail and weather stripping. Because I am going to show you a quick and easy fix for weather stripping a door like this.


This is where my 40 year old door comes in handy that I mentioned at the first of this page that never had any bottom weather stripping at all. Using a 1/16 inch thick ½ inch wide double special double faced tape and the correct pile height weather stripping to close the gap between the inside edge of the door channel to seal up the bottom of the door to the inside of the dwelling. I measured the gap between the door edge and the side channel and determined that I had ¼ inch gap. So I popped out the door and needed to seal at least 50 inches to cover the length of the door panel to seal. First, I cleaned the aluminum channel side well with rubbing alcohol to remove the grease and dirt that would stop the tape from sticking to the metal. Then took the 1/16 inch X ½ inch wide double faced tape and stuck it to the door side channel. I then cut a length of .200 (3/16 inch) high pile weather stripping with .270 (¼ inch backing and stuck it to the tape (got to get it straight). So now I have the correct gap filled up with ¼ inch tall pile weather stripping.


This picture shows how well the ¼ inch total thickness filled the gap between the side channel and the door bottom rail. No sun light showing under this door.

The picture below shows just how well the bottom of the door rail seals out the weather. I now have a door that had NO bottom weather stripping sealing perfectly. Yes, you can see some of the black tape, that’s because unless you’re an artist, I’m not, it’s would be awful hard to perfectly hit a ¼ inch wide piece of tape with a ¼ inch plastic backing over a 50 inch space. But even I was able to get ¼ inch pile backing stuck very well and straight enough to not wonder off the tape. Once you stick this tape on the door frame after it is cleaned with rubbing alcohol you will have to have to scrape it off with a razor knife if you have a Boo-boo putting on the tape. Also, when you remove the tape backing to put the weather stripping on once you stick the backing to the tape it also will be hard to remove in one piece. So you want to get it right the first time.

I knew I had ¼ inch gap between the frame and the door bottom, but as usual, I decided to put ¼ inch pile on with the 1/16 inch thick tape so I would have and extra sure seal making pile and tape 5/16 inch thick instead of total of ¼ inch thick as I knew the gap was ¼ inch. Well it took two hands and a shoulder to open and close the normally 1 finger operation door. So yes, I had to scrape off the tape and weather stripping and re apply from the beginning as I should have with the correct fit stuff. Now it’s a two-finger operation door with a perfect sealed bottom.

Now my door was an outside operator door and most others are an inside operator door, but this works on either one


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