I have a sliding glass door and the glass is etched around side; the seal broke and dust has come in and I don't know how to fix it.

3 Answers 3


If repairing the glass as RQDQ suggests does not pan out, you have three options:

  • Order replacement glass. Typically a company that specializes in glass replacement would measure the panel, order replacement glass, and install it in the fixed or moving panel from your door. Manufacture and shipping of the custom dual-pane glass panel may take from one to several weeks.
  • Order a replacement panel from your door's manufacturer. This may or may not cost more than replacing the glass, but you will be able to replace the panel with basic DIY tools and skills. This may not be possible if you cannot locate the original manufacturer or if an exact match is no longer available.
  • Replace the entire door unit. This may be appropriate if the original door is not high quality, you want to upgrade, or perhaps if you want to change finishes (from metal-clad to wood or vinyl-clad, for example). This will require more skill, as you will need to remove and replace trim inside and outside the door, and possibly will involve removing and replacing siding in the vicinity of the door.

In either of the last two cases, it is more than a 1-person job; be sure to have help to safely handle the removal and replacement of the panel or door unit.


Is the glass etched or cracked? If it's etched (and you can get to it), you can polish that out. The seal broken is a different issue. There are kits available on the market to remove moisture and replace the air between the panes with an inert gas.

Depending on the age of the unit, it might not be worth repairing if it's on the verge of failing in other areas.

This page discusses some options for repairing windows: http://homerenovations.about.com/od/windowsanddoors/a/artfailedwindow.htm


Call a qualified glazing company to look at the door. As a glazier I can tell you that there is a lot more to changing out a patio door unit than you see. Most patio doors manufactured in the last 25 years that are of the "aluminum" variety have pretty common sizes unless they are custom doors, which makes them cheaper as most suppliers of glass shops carry units "in stock" for these sizes.

When changing out a unit, we must remove the corner screws and sometimes corner keys along with the gasket. If the gasket is broken or worn, good luck finding a new one if you're not in the glazing industry. We carry about 15 different sizes. Then the unit has to go back together by hitting (with a mallet) the styles back onto the glass: if not proficient in this methodology you can break the glass and/or the new seals. Then you must align the unit, check the rollers and adjust for the new placement in the track and lubricate.

It Is far cheaper to hire someone for this type of job as it may be daunting once endeavored upon, at which point may be too late.

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