06:17AM | 01/22/05
Member Since: 01/21/05
3 lifetime posts
I have two aluminum frame sliding glass doors (basement, 1st floor) that ice up badly when the temperature is below freezing. I'm getting ice on both vertical sides, the sill and on the wooden trim. I'm also getting a band of condensation about an inch high on the rest of my windows throughout the house (2 stories). I've read many of the responses regarding condensation and how to alleviate it, but my question is are aluminum sliding glass doors more susceptible to condensation problems? Would taking steps to reduce condensation along with replacing the existing doors with wooden french doors help to eliminate the problem?


04:06PM | 01/22/05
Member Since: 06/23/04
164 lifetime posts
The best way to eliminate condensation on sliding glass doors is to install a new, insulated glass door (double pane glass).

The ice forming on the frame can be avoided if the sliding door frame has a "thermal stop". This is a plastic section built into the frame at the midpoint. It separates the metal frame into two sections that do not touch, thus stopping the heat from migrating to the outside. The result is that the frame will not ice up on the inside.

Both of these solutions must be ordered with a new door and cannot be retrofitted to an existing door assembly.

Wood doors will eliminate the icing but condensation will still form on the glass unless they have insulated glass.


07:35PM | 01/22/05
Member Since: 01/21/05
3 lifetime posts
bravey, thanks for the reply. I neglected to add that the doors are double pane. But I'm guessing they are of marginal quality without any kind of thermal stop. When the weather warms up again, I will look into your suggestion.


09:06AM | 01/23/05
Member Since: 06/23/04
164 lifetime posts
Another source of icing that I am aware of is due to a lack of insulation between the window frame and the studs. When the builder sets the frame in the rough opening there is a small gap between the frame and the studs (1/4" to 3/4"). It is difficult to stuff insulation into such a narrow gap, consequently many installers just leave a void that is covered with the facing trim.

When the outside air gets cold enough, even a frame with a thermal stop and insulated glass can be defeated via the void. This heat loss can migrate some distance from the metal frame into the glass around the perimeter and cause icing and/or condensation.

If this gap is filled with standard foam insulation, the expansion of the foam can exert enough pressure to warp the frame and cause the window to bind. So, look for special foams that do NOT exert pressure when expanding and ARE expressly made for use around windows and doors. Also, you can stuff fiberglass insulation into the void, but do not stuff so much that the frame is warped. Remember that fiber insulations are most efficient when "fluffy", not packed.



02:49PM | 10/08/13
any advice on a solution


08:54AM | 12/16/13
Condensation forms where hot meets cold and there's the right amount of humidity in the air (which doesn't have to be much) Think glass of lemonade on a hot day or dew on grass - the same goes for windows and patio doors.

Here are some causes:
--Homes are insulated very well nowadays which is a double-edged sword. Air tight homes retain moisture, which ends up causing condensation on windows.
--If you have blinds or curtains pulled, the air in the room won't circulate and condensation -- even ice -- will form. This will happen no matter what brand of windows you have.
--Showering and cooking while not running external exhaust fans can exacerbate the problem.
--Condensation can happen more frequently in bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed, since you exhale water vapor when you breathe.

Andersen Windows has a really great video that helps explain condensation, why it happens, and how to prevent it



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