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Old 08-15-2009, 10:38 PM   #1
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Exterior door rot


A couple of searches didn't yield results. I'm sure this is a common problem because I've dealt with it more than once. Hopefully somebody can steer me toward a helpful thread.
Why in the world are exterior door frames made of interior grade wood????? My daughter's two back doors both have frames rotting toward the bottom, and their house is only about 4 years old. What I've done in the past is cut out about 12" and replace with pressure treated wood. But I also noticed the wood inside her metal clad door is also rotting at the hinge side bottom edge (vertical). Will I be able to chisel the rotten wood out and glue an insert replacement peice? She can't afford new doors, as the one that's rotting is a double door.
Thanks in advance,
Bunky Jones

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Old 08-16-2009, 06:51 AM   #2
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Exterior door rot


Sounds like a plan, but i would not use PT wood, it tends to expand/contract considerably more than untreated wood, especially if new and not dry. Use fir or pine and treat with Cuprinol of one of the preservatives available at home, hardware stores.

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Old 08-16-2009, 09:37 AM   #3
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Exterior door rot


bunklash, I agree with you that this is appearing to be more of a problem in recent years. In my business I see these fairly new doors on less than ten year old homes, with rotted wood on the exterior pieces a lot. The first thing I look for is where is the water coming from to do the damage? A lot of newer homes in this area just do not have good old fashion porches to keep the elements off of the doors. Most of these newer homes do not have anything to protect the doors at all, just one flat wall in the front and back of the house, with minimal roof overhang. I agree with Bill also to not use PT wood for this replacement material. On the door jambs, I can usually replace the jambs with new ones as quick as I can repair the old ones. The new jambs get a double coat of Kilz before two coats of a good exterior paint. Any wood I have to remove to replace, I try to use oak on these, with the same coating procedures. I'm just not familiar with "Cuprinol", I'll look into that one. I have a back door now that the HO and I are discussing a repair pricing on, the bottom of the jambs, the threshold, and about one inch of the actual wood of the door are rotted. He wants it repaired, she wants a new door, full glass, with the blinds built into the door. They both want it replaced tomorrow. For what she wants there will be no less than a three (3) week delivery date. Welcome to the wonderful world of dealing with both of them on a project. Thanks, David
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
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Exterior door rot


Thank you both. The lack of overhang is exactly the problem as you describe. I agree it's probably just as easy to replace the whole frame, just don't have the spare cash, so gotta piece in new wood. So what do you think about the metal clad door? Should I be able to chisel out the rotted corner and insert and glue a new piece?
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:30 PM   #5
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Exterior door rot


I've done it before. A pain for sure but it will work. I repaired quite a few exterior doors few years back, mainly due to the "no overhang" scenario. And usually it was a front door with sidelights where the water would "pool" in the sidelights. The wood threshold and some of the frame/trim would rot. It's one of those things a homeowner HAS to keep up with caulking/painting religiously to avoid problems. It came down to pulling the whole unit anyway to do a proper repair of the jamb. By the time I took the unit out, repaired the damaged wood, and replaced the unit I came to the conclusion that it's about as cheap to install a new one. And most were wood doors so the upgrade to a metal/insulated unit made sense anyway (aluminum threshold too as opposed to wood). One of the new "multi-tools might make cutting out the section you need to remove (in place) easier. I got the Dremel ($100.00) a while back and it's great. Harbor Freight has a knockoff for around $35.00 that will serve for occasional use. (I got one to keep my son from borrowing the Dremel.) And I agree that PT wood is not the best way to go....
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:40 PM   #6
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Exterior door rot


Yes, I planned to take my Dremmel over there with me. I'm surprised to learn about the PT wood not being suitable. As far as I know I's worked fine for me in the past. But I'm gonna take ya'lls words for it and go with the oak maybe.
BTW, this is a great forum, I appreciate all your help.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:37 PM   #7
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Exterior door rot


bunklash-It appears to me that you already have the one essential tool needed to tackle a job such as this: Proper Attitude. Sure you can chisel out the rotted wood, clean out the area well, fit in a new piece of wood and finish it as needed. As stated, it just takes attitude and patience. One other trick I like: when you have the replacement piece ready to put in, use one of the newer wood epoxy's to fill in all of those tiny crevises between the two pieces to keep out any moisture and bugs.I would not recommend going out and buying any special tool for this job unless you believe you will need it in the future. I have the Dremel "brain surgeons" saw and I also really like it. In your case, a sharp chisel and hammer will do the job. The door jambs will be the same process: attitude and patience and you can do this. There are many on this forum who have knowledge in different areas and will share and help any way we can. Keep us informed on this project. Pictures of the finished project would be nice also. Good Luck, David
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:52 PM   #8
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Exterior door rot


Thurman, thank you for the kind words and encouragement. As it turns out, my SIL had already purchased a new piece of door frame. We fixed one spot this afternoon, will tackle the rest as my schedule permits. I'll check on the epoxys too. I'll try to remember my camera and get some pics.
Thanks again

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