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Lindsey411 02-10-2013 08:48 AM

Gap at bottom of exterior doors
3 Attachment(s)
Hey guys, new here. Looking desperately for help. All 3 exterior doors let light and air pass through. I called a guy my friend referred but he didn't show up to see about getting the job.

After paying for a new water heater install yesterday and learning that I likely didn't need a new water heater after the fact, I am a bit gun shy to hire anyone else. Times are tough here and some people's integrity is questionable. So, I reach out to you guys to see if this is something I can do myself and what exactly needs to be done.

Note: I am a 30yo single mother and don't have the typical shed full of tools. I will have to borrow any tools needed so please use terminology I can repeat word for word and the person will know what I'm asking to borrow.

What I've done so far: purchased 3 different types of door sweeps. None solve the problem. The doors are metal and were too thick for the one that is a U and slides under door. One is just a flap that I screwed to bottom but did not create snug closure for 2 out of 3 doors. The one it helped somewhat is still in tact (front door) but there is still a considerable breeze where I still have to use a towel rolled up in front.

I've attached pics of the doors, with labels, where the light comes in and what the base pieces look like.

You will see on back door that the gap allowed rain/water in and rotted the hardwood. My new puppies have helped the tearing out process. Any advice on how to repair/replace that after gap is gone will be most helpful, too.

Thanks in advance. If you have questions I will try my best to answer but I am not a carpenter or handy man so what you see in the pics is all I see.


Attachment 65381

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handyman_20772 02-10-2013 10:21 AM

From the pictures it looks like the threshold on the back door needs repairing along with floor repair. The front door threshold looks serviceable and the side door needs caulking under the threshold from the outside and inside. The door sweeps that I would install require the removal of the door and be installed on the bottom of the door, but since you are working on a limited budget you may have to stick with the one that you've already installed on the front. Hope this small bit of info helps you out.

Lindsey411 02-10-2013 10:39 AM

Thanks for the reply Handyman! I do have what may be a silly question. What do you consider the difference when you say serviceable vs repairable. And what exactly do I need to purchase to do repair/service on front and back.

With the caulking (for side door) when you say from inside and outside are you saying to caulk that strip of wood front and back or something else?

I'm sorry to seem clueless but need things to be broken down for me since this isn't my area of expertise.

Thanks so much!

PoleCat 02-10-2013 10:46 AM

The back door looks like it may have an adjustable threshold height.

Lindsey411 02-10-2013 10:52 AM

How would I go about adjusting it? How do I know when it is high enough? Just based on closing door and no light? Or is there a method to the madness? :)

PoleCat 02-10-2013 11:02 AM

One of the plugs is already out. Remove the other one too and adjust the two screws evenly to raise the gasket to where it just makes contact with the bottom of the door. Too much will cause premature failure.

handyman_20772 02-10-2013 11:22 AM

Sorry for the confusion, serviceable just means it can be repaired. The grey rubber piece on the front threshold looks kinda worn, so I would swap that one out and tighten those screws down. The side door looks like the daylight is coming from under the threshold, if it is you will need to caulk under the threshold from the outside and inside. If the daylight is coming from under the door you'll need to put a new door sweep on the bottom of the door. The floor at the back door needs repair before you can repair the threshold, as the threshold for the this door partially sits upon the finished floor height, as you can see the transition piece between the floor and threshold is sagging. If your comfortable performing this type of repair I would go for it. I have a couple of questions..what type of hardwood flooring is that? And do you have storm doors installed?

Lindsey411 02-10-2013 11:23 AM

Ok popped off the other caps no problem. The screw is a one slit head so I grabbed the flathead screwdriver but they won't budge. Looks like I'm messing up the one slit threading. Am I using the wrong tool?

On another note, while down there, I pulled up some of the boards that were already too far gone. It appears the under flooring is all rotted- even under the good boards. How far back do you think it goes and is it even anything to be concerned with or just get some floor material to fill in the gap over concrete and put down boards. I really hope I don't have to pull up all the boards. Advice?

Lindsey411 02-10-2013 11:29 AM

I'm not above TRYING to fix/repair/replace. I just want to be clear on what to do so I am not the cause for it being worse.

It looks like tongue and groove Wood with laminate top. No weather doors- just the main ones.

I do see what you mean about the floor being support. Ok so now my thought process is different than before. I previously thought I'd need to fix door so not to ruin new floor but now it's all or none together. Ok- so floors. There is concrete and then wood (maybe like a type of plywood?) and then the floor boards. The unknown wood looks like it would have to be pretty deep since there is a deep hole from other boards to concrete.

PoleCat 02-10-2013 11:40 AM

You need to address the issue with weather exposure too or look forward to the same repairs an a few years.

handyman_20772 02-10-2013 11:48 AM

Get some WD-40 and spray at the base of the screw and let it penetrate for a little while, the screw may be rusted in place. Wood is like a sponge, there is no telling how far the water damage has gotten. I would suggest hiring a floor company that specializes in floor repairs for water damage, and get at least three estimates.

Lindsey411 02-10-2013 11:49 AM

2 Attachment(s)
This is what the mystery wood looks like, as well as the depth of the space from top to concrete.

Attachment 65403

Attachment 65404

handyman_20772 02-10-2013 12:02 PM

That looks like either engineered flooring or laminate flooring. Go to a flooring place and see if they can match that floor...and as Polecat said address the weather exposure to your doors, I highly recommend storm doors.

joecaption 02-10-2013 12:19 PM

To fix that right the whole door frame and all needs to come out, flooring removed, old subflooring cut out and replaced with Advantec subflooring.
Flashing installed then door reinstalled.
The whole reason there both failing is someone did not follow basic build 101 and did not allow at least a 4" step down from the doors threshold.
You can patch and caulk all you want but until the door comes out and flashed it's going to leak.

Lindsey411 02-10-2013 12:31 PM

Joecaption- there seems to be a lot of sharp corners turned when people before me added on to this 1964 house.

So- when reinstalling everything (door frame, bottom, and door) is there a way for me to add the 4" thing or has that opportunity been long gone?

Weather/storm doors have been mentioned a couple of times and honestly I'd never even considered them. That doesn't mean I'm against them, though. However the back door is the only door to back yard. It leads out to the pool and is the dogs' way to potty. Would having two doors be more of a hassle than protection provided? I do like the thought of being able to air the house out without leaving doors open. We have nice spring/fall sometimes.

Ok I digress, back to floor. Is there a way to take out all the boards so they can be reused? I just practiced with one of the bad ones and it seems I was hurting the 'good' board.. But is the good board actually good if the bottom of it is rotted? Oh this has become a bigger ordeal than I'd mentally prepared for.

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