Care and Regular Maintenance for Glass Patio Doors
Jan 17, 2022
Panda Windows and Doors has been artfully engineering and fabricating our custom systems in the U.S. for over 30 years. Building products to stand the test of time, architects, homeowners, and builders have come to know Panda as a reliable, fade-resistant, and low-maintenance choice.
With minimal maintenance, clean, well-installed Panda windows and doors will continue to add value to your property and improve your experience at home for many years to come.
Proper Window and Door Care Begins at Installation
- Using a well-qualified, experienced installer will help avoid most issues that arise during or after installation.
- Upon delivery, you’ll want to thoroughly inspect the packaging and product for any damage. If your order arrives damaged, you’ll want to refer to your warranty document for steps to process a claim.
- Protect the frame finishes and glass during installation by keeping them clean from dirt, debris, or other agents during construction and taking steps to avoid galvanic corrosion by not storing other metal materials up against or near frames.
- Take extra precautions to ensure frames and glass are not damaged by jobsite tools, equipment, other contractors, etc.
- Large windows and doors can be cumbersome, and even dangerous if not handled properly, take care to ensure proper manpower and equipment are used when moving and placing them.
- We carefully wrap and protect our windows and doors before leaving our warehouse. You’ll want to remove any protective film or plastic wrap within 48 hours of installation as failure to do so may damage the finish.
- Slowly peel any labels or stickers to remove them from the glass or window or door frame. If necessary, soak with a warm water and soap mixture and gently remove. Do not use abrasives or apply excessive pressure.
- Window and door assemblies must be properly sealed to the building and at all corner jambs during installation for optimal energy efficiency.
Use Correct Operation for Optimal Performance and Safety
- Refer to System Operation Manual to ensure proper operation for each system.
- Panda systems are engineered to function within precise tolerances; therefore it is important not to force operation as doing so may result in injury or damage to the system.
- Use appropriate Panda certified hardware when operating windows and doors.
- Contact service provider if there are any operational issues. Correcting issues before they worsen will help avoid additional damage and costlier repairs.
Maintenance for Door and Window Frames
Panda solid and wood-clad systems are typically shipped unfinished. Unfinished wood is vulnerable to moisture and the elements, and thus must be painted or stained as soon as possible.
For this reason, we encourage finishing and sealing the wood within 48 hours of installation to avoid cracking or warping. Waiting until after the wood has been exposed to moisture or rain could lead moisture to become trapped in the wood, which could in turn lead to wood rot, mold, and mildew.
Inspect the wood around your sliding glass doors at least once annually, or more often in extreme weather conditions. Look for places where the sealant or paint has peeled off or worn away, and re-apply paint or sealer as needed. Before re-applying sealant or paint on the frame, sand down existing finish to eliminate contaminants and create a surface that a new layer of paint can adhere to.
To clean: At least once every 3 months use a microfiber cloth and wood cleaner to clean interior wood. Do not wet down wood unless necessary. You may dry dust indoor wood as needed. When cleaning exterior wood, use a damp sponge and towel lightly.
Aluminum that is treated with an anodized or powder coated finish should be inspected periodically for scratches. Bare aluminum can oxidize, which means that it becomes coated in a powder that can be wiped away with a scratch pad.
If any areas of oxidation are detected they should be gently cleaned with steel wool, taking care not to scratch the finish. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and seal with a high-quality car wax.
To clean: Wipe down frame with a sponge and water. Dry the paint with a clean towel. For deep cleaning, use a mild soap. Do not use an abrasive cleaning tool and only use gentle, ammonia-free cleaning products to avoid damaging the finish.
General Glass Cleaning for Patio Doors
General cleaning of the glass should be conducted at least once annually, or for best results, two or three times per year. This will keep the glass looking its best and will allow more natural light into your home.
- Rinse the surface of the glass with clean water.
- Create a glass cleaner or purchase a commercial cleaner. If purchasing a cleaner from the store, use a cleaner labeled for use on glass. To prepare a cleaner at home, mix ¼ cup white vinegar, one teaspoon dishwashing liquid, and two cups water.
- Spray the glass with the glass cleaner. Spray and clean one small section of the glass at a time for maximum effectiveness.
- Wipe the damp section of glass with a dry cloth using equal pressure throughout.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 over the whole door, one section at a time, until the entire door is clean.
- Rinse with water if needed. Use a hose or a spray bottle filled with water to rinse the glass if soapy residue remains on the glass.
- Wipe the glass with a dry towel. Do not allow the cleaning solution to dry on the surface or there may be streaks.
Do not wash patio glass when it is in direct sunlight, as sunlight may dry the soapy water on the glass prematurely, causing streaks.
How to Remove Paint from Glass
Before attempting to remove paint on the glass, soak the dry paint in the glass cleaner solution you made above. To do this, soak a paper towel in the cleaning solution, then tape the paper towel to the glass. Allow it to soak on the paint for an hour or more.
Next, remove the paper towel and wipe the cloth with a damp sponge. Place a plastic putty knife against the glass, then angle the putty knife so that it is pointing in the direction of the paint. Push the edge of the putty knife over the glass, lifting the paint off. Repeat this process until the glass is fully clean.
How to Remove Stubborn Stains from Glass
Although homemade glass cleaner works for general cleaning, if your glass patio doors become stained, you may need to remove stains with a commercial glass cleaner.
Tough stains require a cleaning product made with xylene, toluene, mineral spirits, or naphtha. To clean a stain of oil and grease, use baking soda and water. Apply the cleaner directly to the glass and allow it to soak for a while. Wipe away.
How to Clean Patio Door Tracks
Keeping folding and sliding glass door tracks clean and free of debris will help ensure your doors operate smoothly and easily – and can help prevent expensive repairs. Proceed carefully while avoiding abrasive cleaners or scrubbing excessively to avoid.
Chances are, you already have a few household items on-hand that can make cleaning patio door tracks a breeze.
- Begin by removing as much debris as you can by hand, including large pieces like leaves and moss.
- Vacuum out any remaining debris from the tracks.
- Spray a non-abrasive household cleaning solution, warm, soapy water, or a mixture of vinegar and water along the track.
- Wipe the track with a clean, dry cloth. Much of the dirt and grime should come off the track.
- Next, spray additional cleaning solution and scrub the remaining debris with a toothbrush or small scrub brush to clean any hard-to-reach areas of the patio door tracks.
- Soak up remaining liquid. Press a towel or paper towel into the cracks, grooves, and channels of the track to soak up remaining liquid.
- Wrap a butter knife with a cloth, then use this tool to clean the corners. Most of the remaining debris should come out easily.
Perform this procedure regularly to keep the tracks clean. The more often you clean the tracks, the easier it will be to keep them clean. Waiting a long time in between cleanings can make the procedure take longer and may mean that more debris is simply left in the tracks permanently – which can eventually lead to more costly repairs.
Many Panda doors offer a recessed track that can help prevent dirt-build up, making cleaning and regular maintenance a breeze.
Additional Glass Patio Door Maintenance Tips
- Check weather stripping annually and replace as needed to prevent dirt, water, and debris from entering and ensure optimal energy efficiency.
- Glazing gaskets need to be properly inspected, cleaned, adjusted, or replaced if necessary. Typically, gaskets need to be replaced if they do not provide proper coverage or are damaged or deteriorated. It is also critical that gaskets are clean and tangle-free to provide maximum performance.
- Inspect caulking, replace as needed. Check caulking around door once annually. Trim away caulking that has become loose, then replace the caulking with high quality caulk. Remember to use indoor grade caulking in indoor settings, and exterior grade caulking outdoors.
- Keep door tracks clear of debris. Remove debris from the door tracks periodically. Keep weep holes clear of debris or water may build up in the tracks.
- Lubricate slider as needed. Lubricate your sliding glass doors as often as indicated in your door’s user manual as not all lubricants are appropriate for use with all door materials.
Additional Cleaning Tips
- Follow commercial cleaning product instructions. Follow all manufacturer directions when applying commercial cleaning products. Some products need special ventilation, cannot be mixed with other products, require personal protective equipment and/or must be disposed of in certain ways. Be aware of these instructions and do not break them.
- Clean windows on moderate-temperature days. Cleaning during temperature extremes may have negative results.
- Do not use a power washer. Power washers have a highly pressurized spray that can damage glass patio doors. They can cause water penetration, remove paint, and may also damage the seal around your doors.
- Do not mix cleaners. Some cleaning products can produce harmful chemicals or cancel one another out when used in combination.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners. Abrasive cleaners can scratch surfaces on your patio doors, from the hardware to the glass.
- Do not allow cleaners to puddle on the frame or glass and remain there. Rinse away cleaners as quickly as possible to prevent damage to the finish or glass.
- Know which activities will void your warranty. Using the wrong cleaners, tampering with doors, applying tints or special coatings to the glass, and failure to maintain your patio doors could void the warranty. Know what your warranty requires.
Know Your Resources for Maintaining Your Patio Doors
At Panda Windows & Doors, we’re committed to creating attractive, energy efficient, functional patio doors for our clients. We’re your go-to resource for installing and maintaining beautiful patio doors.
Feel free to reach out anytime with questions about your Panda windows and doors or to obtain replacement parts.
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