How to prevent water ingress on sliding doors

What is water ingress and why does it occur?

Water ingress refers to water infiltrating a property. This can happen in many ways and for a number of different reasons. Glazing can be a way for water to enter even if it was been installed correctly. Drainage, ledges, cills and surrounding building finishes all need careful consideration, especially in countries with high rainfall. 

 

Why does my sliding door track fill with water?

Following sliding glass door installations, the homeowner may experience water sitting in the base track which may look like a cause for concern, however, there are many logical reasons why this may occur:

  • During heavy rainfall, if the water entering the tracks is greater than the water flowing out via the drainage holes in the base track, then the water may be visible on the inner base tracks. This is more likely in areas with higher rainfall or countries subject to extreme weather conditions.
  • Water sitting in the base track may occur due to debris blocking the drainage holes. Hurricane zones could also be more subject to debris getting in the way of the tracks and will need to be regularly checked.
  • Small amounts of water may remain in the tracks and will rely on evaporation to clear. Larger pools of water will of course drain naturally through the systems drainage channels externally (providing the drainage holes are kept clear).

How does the drainage work on sliding door systems?

Please see the diagram which shows an example of how water flows through the track:

How does the drainage work on sliding door systems? 

IQ Glass developed our own drainage channel for our luxury minimal sliding doors, which utilises a solid Neoprene base block. This Neoprene drainage block is installed beneath each installation of sliding glass doors to drain away any water from the sliding panes, filtering it through the aluminium base. 

The drainage system can take up to 120 litres of water per minute to cater for high levels of rainfall, accommodating international locations where wet weather is expected. Previously, these countries would not have been able to specify slim framed sliding doors as an option, but with modern advances in glazing and drainage engineering, these environments can be accommodated without concern. 

 To help protect the drainage system from becoming too clogged up with large volumes of debris, the slot drain that sits on top of the drainage system helps to catch the debris. As previously mentioned, hurricane zones may encounter additional debris and will need to be regularly checked and kept clear.  

IQ's year of experience developing glazing and drainage systems for projects in a wide range of countries has given us the knowledge to develop our very own bespoke drainage systems. The type of drainage system will depend on the glazing system and location of the project, but many variants use a unique mixture of EPDM and welded aluminium gutter trays with capped ends.

When specifying glazing for a country or region with high rainfall asking your glazier's intricate details of the drainage is essential. Even for locations such as the Caribbean, where many islands recieve high levels of rainfall throughout the year.

aluminium sliding glass door base and drainage detail diagram
minimal windows sliding door track

How can I prevent water building up in the drainage tracks of my sliding doors?

How can I prevent water from building up in the drainage tracks of my sliding doors? 

To help prevent the blockage of the drainage holes (and therefore help to reduce the risk of water ingress) the tracks should be maintained and cleaned on a weekly basis, to ensure the optimum performance of the sliding doors and to ensure that debris is not building up and slowing the systems designed drainage.  

What does water ingress look like with sliding doors?

Water rising and entering the property can be caused by blockages within the drainage system that is preventing the water from flowing freely. In the unlikely event that water is backing up and rising within the track compartments please ensure that you have checked for any obstruction, including externally against our framework to ensure water is able to flow out of the system as designed. 

If you have any questions regarding water ingress and sliding glass doors, contact the team today who will be happy to answer any questions.

Note: IQ Glass will endeavour to resolve any problems that may arise with water backing up through the drainage channels. To arrange a service attendance, contact IQ Glass - however, please be aware that charges will apply if the water isn't draining out of the system due to poor maintenance of the system.

Emma Greene
Technical Sales Assistant
IQ Glass UKIQ Glass UKIQ Glass UK