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Question DetailsAsked on 3/19/2017

Patio sliding aluminum doors (glass 45 X 73) are foggy/white chalky inside. Can they be cleaned or be replaced?

The glass for both doors are fine; they just have a build up of heavy condensation. Replacing the doors is very expensive, so I'm looking for an alternate solution, whether removing, cleaning and reusing the same glass or replacing the glass. The frame has the highest cost.

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3 Answers


Seal failure is what you have. Metal frames help promote condensation and they conduct heat and cold.. If you think these doors are 15 years old or more. Go for complete replacements to get more high end energy savings plus more durable spacers that should not fail.

Answered 3 years ago by the new window man


As newwindowman said, almost certainly (assuming you do not have a cracked window pane) a blown/corroded seal. If you look through the glass you will see an (almost always) aluminum extrusion showing between the edges of the glass - this is a seal assembly which holds the two panes of glass together (or if in very cold area maybe triple panes of glass or double panes with intermediate very thin energy efficient film) - the metal edge seal is crimped (at the plant) onto the glass with a sealing material (sometimes a gooey sealant, sometimes a rubber seal) to form the "glazing unit" - the metal rim plus all the glass/film elements.

This glazing unit can be replaced in almost all types of doors and windows without taking the outer door frame out - only the door units (the sliding and non-sliding doors) come out - though there are a few out therenow where it cannot be. In some types of windows and doors it can even be replaced from the outside without even taking the doors out of the track.

You can find a number of previous similar questions with some ballpark pricing in the Home > Windows link under Browse Projects, at lower left. Below are links to a few of the most pertinent ones.

Generally speaking, replacing the glazing unit only is typically going to cost about 50-100% the cost of a new door unit in its entirety - but that typically works out to 25-50% of the cost of a new door unit including installation cost, so except for the fairly rare brands where replacement is a real pain or was not designed in, definitely cheaper than a totally new door unit.

Glass & Mirrors is your Search the List category for a vendor to do this - both some Window and Door companies and replacement glass companies like Speedy Glass (who I use) do this sort of work.

Cost depends on type of door, number of panes and any special low-E or ultraviolet blocking features, your local labor costs, how far the replacement unit has to be shipped (or if it is made in the nearest city), and of course accessibility (normally not a problem with doors like it can be with windows), etc - but commonly replacement of the glazing unit in a sliding glass door is around $250 (single-pane) or $350-450 (multi-pane) to as much as $800-1000 (for both doors) depending on those factors - and on whether they can reuse the glass. If the company you are going to is actually making the new glazing unit in their shop sometimes (if not scratched) they can reuse the glass, but most commonly it is not reused - new glass is put in - especially if they are offering a warranty on it. For chalky glass, it will be replaced - because it is not labor-efficient to try to clean glass that is mineral-soaked or corrosion-stained.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



This is James in Member Care. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List!

We'll be happy to help find top rated service providers from our "Glass & Mirrors" category, but it doesn't look like you have a subscription to the List yet. You can join by visiting or by giving us a call. Our call center is available 8:00 am-9:00 pm weekdays and 8:00-5:00 pm ET on Saturdays.

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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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