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Old 03-13-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
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French doors are leaking

I apologize, I posted this in the wrong section. I reposted it to the correct "windows and doors," but I'm not sure how to delete this post now.

Hi Everyone! We bought a house and have slowly been doing repairs. Our current project is installing laminate floors. When we purchased the house, it was mostly carpet. Our inspector did note that there was obvious water damage by the french doors in the master bedroom. The carpet was black from mold and the tack strips had rotted and pulled away from the floor. We had the house through last winter and didn't notice anymore water coming in because the carpet stayed dry. Tonight we started undercutting the molding around the french doors to prepare for the new laminate. We were in for a surprise when we removed the bottom of the moulding and saw that water was puddling under there. We have NO idea where the water is coming in from. We had all the siding professionally replaced on the outside of that wall about 6 months ago. It's obvious that whoever lived here was very into DIY projects, but did none of them correctly. We are sure they installed this door but we have no idea if it was done correctly. I've attached some pictures so hopefully someone can give us some insight.

You can see that it is caulked on the inside. Is that how it's supposed to be done? We are wondering if the bottom (threshold I believe it's called?) was put in correctly. There is a concrete slab outside the door that slopes away from the house. However, there is about a 1/2 inch gap between the metal threshold and the concrete where water pools. Is it possible the water is seeping underneath and coming in?

Here is a straight on to give you an idea of the space. The caulking is very sloppy looking and goes along the bottom of the threshold where it meets the concrete. That blue tape was there when we pulled up the concrete.

Here is a close up of the "problem area." The water is pooling on the edge of the caulking where it meets the wall. The caulking did not bond well to the concrete. Also, we discovered those wires when we pulled up the carpet. I think they are running to an old alarm system.

Lastly, this is a picture looking straight down onto the threshold. You can see the gap between the metal and the concrete. That is just "empty space" under the metal.

The water is only seeping in on one side of the door. The other side is totally dry. So do you think it's just a matter of recaulking the bottom of the door? Any tips on how to do that? This has set us back a bit since we don't want to even think about getting our laminate near a wet floor. Thanks!!


Last edited by Annalee123; 03-13-2012 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:48 AM   #2
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I pretty much had the same problem on new consturction door that the builder didn't install right. Probably never goning to fix this by just recaulking. I suspect you are going to need to pull the door and have it re-installed properly...paying attention to proper flashing techniques and perhaps using a sill pan. I paid a contractor to this this for my long term peace of mind.


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Old 03-14-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
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It is very possible it is related to installation of the door since about 60+% are installed improperly. - Usually relating to flashing or lack of a primary moisture barrier or the way they are put together.

You are just looking where the water shows up and not where the real leak is. Are there any openings in the wall above or above and to the side? That could be the real source. Water usually flows down, but it can also flow laterally as it migrates downward.

What type of siding? If it is vinyl it is definitely not a waterproof material. It is just a "rain shield" that has to have joints to allow it to move and flex with the temperature and wind. Improperly caulking the siding can lead to big problems.

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