Question: The glass in my front door sidelites has lost it’s seal – very cold in the winter. Can I replace just the glass? The rest of the door and sidelite is in fine shape.
Yes, it is possible and actually quite common to replace the glass in a sidelite.
Since I am not certain what kind of door or sidelite you have, I will give you some general guidelines to solving this problem. The glass unit in any window opening is referred to as an IG unit, Insulating Glass Unit. If you have a plain glass sidelite, you should be able to contact a glass company with the approximate dimensions of the IG unit you wish to replace. They can provide you with an approximate quote.
If you decide to proceed, be sure the size is exactly right before ordering. Remove the trim that surrounds the glass and measure in three places: top, middle and bottom. You will need to use the measurement that best satisfies the opening… it may be the smallest measurement or the middle measurement. This can be determined by observation of the opening when the trim is removed.
Glass companies can install the IG unit for you or you can do it yourself. Sidelites and doors are generally manufactured in three parts: door slab, glass and plastic decorative molding. The only thing that is sealed to the door slab is the molding, which keeps the IG unit square and aligned in the opening.
However, there are two seals that need to be airtight. As long as the IG unit is sealed to the plastic decorative molding, and the molding is sealed to the door slab with good quality caulk, it should be as good as new…
Let me know how the project goes.