How to replace an exterior French door astragal (or t-astragal) step by step instructions. Remove the broken astragal and glue the split door frame.
This project is continued from How to Replace an Exterior French Door Astragal – Part 1.
This is the new extruded aluminum astragal next to the broken wood astragal on the French door. Installation was easy, requiring only a cordless drill/driver.
Buy a Replacement French Door Astragal
You’re unlikely to find a replacement astragal at the “big box” home improvement stores. Instead, check with the door and window suppliers in the yellow pages, at www.kudzu.com or order one online.
Be sure to measure have the dimensions for the door thickness, height of your current astragal, if your door is an inswing, outswing and left or right hand style.
My patio doors are 1-3/4 inches thick, the astragal is 79-1/4 inches long and the active door is a right-hand inswing type. Remember, the astragal mounts on the inactive door.
Ultimate Astragal by Endura Products
I really liked the Ultimate Astragal made by Endura Products. The description about “Why is my Patio French Door Failing” is very informative and described my problem. However, I was unable to locate a stocking distributor in my area and their distributor listing was quite out of date given the number of listings that had gone out of business or didn’t know what I was talking about when I called. In fairness to Endura, I did not contact them directly since the weekend was coming up and I wanted to do the job on Saturday when the weather was forecast to be nice.
Triple Seal™ and StainRite™ Aluminum Astragal by Quanex
Lummus Supply in Atlanta, GA has a windows and door division that stocks the Quanex aluminum astragals. I liked the design because it was way better than the original wood astragal on the door and picked one up for $85. (Note – Quanex Building Products has since acquired Imperial Products which manufactured the astragal I purchased.)
French Door Repair: Remove the Broken Astragal
The t-astragal is fastened to the exterior French door with wood screws. Remove the astragal screws (mine had six) with the screws holding the slide bolts and strike plates for the door locks. Check the seam where the astragal meets the door face for caulking and cut the caulk line if present with a utility knife. Angle the knife flat against the door face to avoid cutting a line in the door finish. My astragal wasn’t caulked and came off easily when all the screws were taken out.
The old astragal taken off the door.
This is the old wooden t-astragal and hardware. You can see how the U-shaped mortise for the slide bolts is thin and weak. It’s no surprise the wood astragal split.
Repair the Split Door Frame
The exterior French door wood frame has split between the two screws that held the slide bolt. This must be repaired before install the new aluminum t-astragal.
The split door frame is temporarily widened by placing a screw driver in the bottom screw hole and a fine mist of water is sprayed in the crack – just enough to lightly moisten the wood, then Gorilla Glue is worked into the crack with a toothpick. A clamp is applied to door while the glue cures. Water activates the curing process and Gorilla Glue expands as it cures to fill all voids for a strong bond.
The excess glue is wiped off after clamping.
Gorilla Glue foams and expands as it cures. The fresh foam is very sticky and makes a mess if you try wipe or scrape it away. Best to wait until it’s cured past the tacky stage but before it’s fully hardened to remove it with a putty knife. You just have to watch it and catch it at the right time.
This project is continued in How to Replace an Exterior French Door Astragal – Part 3.
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