What You Need To Know Before Shopping For Sliding Doors?

If you are thinking about changing your sliding glass patio doors, then you may want to consider some type of wood combination instead of just vinyl.  The reason is if you have a vinyl and wood combination of the frame, then you will get a more energy efficient, increased durability and strength, so they will last you for years to come and season after hurricane season.

The reason most homeowners go for just vinyl frame sliding doors is because they are a lot cheaper than a combination sliding door frame, but nowadays the cost have come down significantly and you can ask any impact door expert and they will tell you that if you want a frame to last you for a long time, then go with a vinyl-wood combination instead of buying vinyl sliding doors.  If you invest in vinyl doors you will find yourself changing or replacing your patio doors on a regular basis.

Did you know that vinyl contracts and expands about 5 times more than metal or wood materials? 

It does and this is why vinyl sliding doors are considered less energy efficient and it also has a cascading effect of additional problems that can negatively impact the performance of your impact resistant door.   Here is why:

Because there are a lot of energy losses with vinyl doors you will continue to see your electric bill increase.  Wood doors are also known to expand in the hot summer months which will cause them to expand and as a result, you will have a hard time opening and closing your patio doors and since vinyl sliding doors expand about 4 times or more than wood, you can just imagine how much harder it will be open and close a vinyl sliding glass door during those hot summer months.  In addition the contractions and expansions can cause the door to warp and bow.

Now let us look at the other extreme, which is in the cold winter months, which are when vinyl impact doors are known to contract, when it contrasts what is happening is the frame is actually separating from the impact glass unit and the seal or silicone that secures the impact glass to the frame.  When this separation occurs, eventually air will be allowed to escape or enter your home by going around the glass.

Experts will recommend that you get a patio door with a low coefficient of thermal expansion, which is the way you can measure how different types of materials expand when they are in hot temperatures and how it contracts in cold temperatures and this is the problem with vinyl as it has a very high coefficient of thermal expansion.

Normally when there is a problem with your door, the first thing you will notice is when it starts to warp or bow, which in the case of vinyl doors, it’s because of the thermal expansion, this warping and bowing can cause additional damage as well, such as putting additional pressure on the gliding wheels and track at the base of your door and as a result you will start to have problems with opening and closing your hurricane sliding doors.

When shopping for impact resistant sliding glass doors you should consider the following:

  • The structural capacity of the door
  • Energy efficiency
  • Ease of operation

It other words you will want a door that will last you a long time and give you peace of mind.


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