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ghamsher 10-08-2012 03:33 PM

Bottom of sidelights rusting, leaking into home
3 Attachment(s)
Hi everyone,
Hoping for a bit of guidance. My wife and I built our home 2.5 years ago and have had so many problems I won't even get into it here. I've been keeping up with as many of the problems as I can, but don't know where to begin with this. We noticed a bit of discoloring on the inside molding around the sidelights, and on the flooring as well. My initial thought was poor caulking, however when we went outside and inspected the base of the sidelights I noticed some rusting there. My questions:

1) Is the leaking connected to the rust issue?
2) If they are, how do I correct the issue as the area that's rusting is directly under the sidelights?

I've included pictures that I hope are helpful.

Thanks so much for any assistance you could provide. Any that you could throw my way is already more than the builder has offered.


Windows on Wash 10-08-2012 04:49 PM

The two are very likely related.

Is there any overhang or weather protection?

joecaption 10-08-2012 04:51 PM

Need to back up so we can see the big picture.
Looks more like water damage then just a rusty light fixture.

Is there a slab, stoop, porch that's level with the threshold on the outside wall?

ghamsher 10-08-2012 06:11 PM

Thanks for the quick responses. There is a 3-4' overhang in front of the door, however, with a hard driving rain from the south water does make its way up that far. The door and sidelights are both a step up from the front porch. I'll get a picture tomorrow that is more of a zoomed out view.

ghamsher 10-09-2012 06:16 PM

More pictures
4 Attachment(s)
Per the requests. Thanks everyone...

iteach4jeeps 10-17-2012 12:29 PM

I would guess the sidelights would have to be replaced depending on how rusted they are. You might get away with removing the sidelights, removing rust, repainting and reinstalling them. Others will chime in.

HomeSealed 10-17-2012 02:52 PM

High likelihood of a low-grade door assembly. Thin steel, cheap coatings to prevent corrosion, poor manufacturing tolerances, etc. You can certainly figure out a way to "band-aid" the situation, but rust is like cancer, it will only spread and get worse unless it is cut-out. Unlike a car, there is really no effective way to do that on a door.

ghamsher 10-17-2012 04:52 PM


Well, I can't say that makes me feel any better about the situation. In your opinions... should this have happened on a new construction home in 2.5 years?

sublime2 10-17-2012 05:23 PM


Originally Posted by ghamsher

Well, I can't say that makes me feel any better about the situation. In your opinions... should this have happened on a new construction home in 2.5 years?

I take it your home warranty has expired?
May have a chance with your ins company to fix it.

ghamsher 10-17-2012 06:05 PM

I wish... we've had so many problems that have popped up. I've had no luck with any return calls on a major issue (leaking drain in my master bath shower), that I haven't even bugged them about this yet. I had a hard time getting them to come out when I hired a plumber who told me that the hot water heater was hooked up backwards. And that was during their 1 year "warranty".

I could go through insurance, but the deduct. is $500, and quite honestly, with just myself working right now, I'd rather see if I could take care of it on my own. We built specifically so we wouldn't have to worry about things like this. I could have paid less for a fixer upper!

Needless to say I haven't made many recommendations for this builder.

Thanks everyone for the input. Maybe I can use some posts to plead my case...

HomeSealed 10-17-2012 06:57 PM

As Sublime said, that should not have happened in that time period. If you can find an identification tag somewhere on the door you may be able to check on a manufacturer warranty.

On another note, the door is under a huge over hang and the threshold is raised up off the porch, so I don't see where any water would be coming from... Have you ever actually witnessed leakage?

ghamsher 10-17-2012 07:16 PM

I'll look for some kinds of marking once it gets light out.

As for water. I have seen water once inside on the vinyl floor after a hard driving rain. It has to have happed other times as well, as it has stained the woodwork around the door, as well as some staining and damage to the subfloor. (I'm not sure if those pictures really showed up all that well)

Thanks for the tips!

sublime2 10-17-2012 07:35 PM

Because of the large over hang a lot of care probably wasn't taken to to ensure the threshold and lites were water proof.

Windows on Wash 10-18-2012 06:00 AM

Sorry to welcome you to the world of new construction.

Sub-par materials + terrible installation = poor performance for you.

joecaption 10-18-2012 09:21 AM

I agree with trying to figure out the manufacturer of the door and contacting them to have a rep come out and look at it.
Some have there name on the hindges, others have at least some markings on the edge of the door.
I've seen Stanley come to a home in my area and replace a door just like that one because of rusting. They would never do that if there was not a problum they knew about.
There going to be look at some other factor to get out of replacing it.
It was painted with Acrilic Latex paint soon after installing it right?
Most metal doors I see rusting were never painted, the primer is white so people figure it's already painted.
I question the reason for that strip at the bottom of the light, seens like a good way to trap moisture behind it.

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