Insulating Patio Door Metal Frames


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Old 08-29-23, 04:10 PM
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Question Insulating Patio Door Metal Frames

Hi everyone,

I have a couple of patio doors that have giving me grief every winter; installed in the 80s, they were made of aluminum. Not sure if it's an age thing, they have bad insulation:

The glass will freeze up when it's below 5F outside; I put up a piece of bubble wrap to cover up the glass, which sorta helps; if you have some other ideas, please let me know.

A more pressing issue however is the metal frames; ice/frost will form on the inside of the metal frames (inside the house) when it's frigid outside; it's an older house so insulation in general is poor. I'm guessing the cold travels from outside because of aluminum? So I am thinking maybe I can use some kinda foam insulation tape to wrap/cover metal frames from the outside. But haven't been able to find anything suitable, i.e., sticky on one side and can remain sticky when it's as cold as -22F, offers insulation. So I'm looking to see if you know any tape/product that will insulate the metal frames in this case, and would also appreciate any other ideas you have to solve this; a very basic DIYer here so would prefer uncomplicated solutions. Thanks!
 
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Old 08-30-23, 02:53 AM
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What you describe is the problem with windows. Glass does not insulate well. Even with double panes it's R value is very low so you often can get condensation or freezing water on the interior.

It gets worse with your frames. Aluminum frames very readily conduct the cold. More modern and efficient windows are made from other materials or it they are aluminum a thermal break is built into the frame so the cold from outside isn't so easily transmitted inside. The only real fix is to replace with something more efficient.

Because there are so many window brands and sizes I know of nobody that make kits to cover window frames with insulation. Usually you install storm windows on the outside to offer additional protection. Some people often tape sheets of plastic on the interior though it tends to be somewhat temporary.
 
 

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