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Question DetailsAsked on 1/31/2013

Should two new exterior doors leak puddles into the house because we don't have storm doors yet as our contractor says?

We had a new addition put on and it included two new fiberglass doors. Every time it rains, they leak at the bottom corners. Our contractor has raised the threshold several times, but this hasn't helped. The leaking is worse with wind, but even without it, water comes in every time we have rainy weather. He insists that we can't expect the door to be weather tight without a storm door, but it seems that a door should be able to withstand rain. We do plan on putting up storm doors, but it doesn't seem right that the doors he installed allow rain to come in. We have not had the floor put down on the addition yet because of all the water we are getting in. We have not given him the final $1000 dollars that we owe because of this issue.

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4 Answers

1
Vote

Exterior doors should be expected to be weather tight in normal conditions.

Raising the threshold is not a viable solution (in a commerical project the threshold cannot be higher than 1/2" for accessibility requirements, so imagine if this were a business and your contractor's solution was to to just put the threshold higher. . .).

The door threshold should have been set in a bed of caulk to seal that area, but I suspect the water is not coming from under the door. Water that gets in at the top of the door, would run to a side, or if the door is level, would pool along the top before running down both sides (and out the bottom corners).

I would suspect that both doors did not have flashing installed at the heads of the doors. It is also possible when the doors were installed they did not seal the jambs after shimming, so any water that gets on the side of the house has a path either from the top or sides (especially in windy conditions), once at the door, it will run down the sides and out the corners.

Storm doors offer advantages, but their job is not to seal the exterior door. I recommend you have another contractor uninstall at least one door and take photographes of each stage (pull the trim, take pictures of missing caulk, insulation, shims, flashing and water damage). Pull the frame, take pictures, etc. Once you have one door uninstalled you should be able to see where the water is coming from or where the missing flashing / water proofing is. From there you will know how to fix both doors.

Use the photos as evidence of why you are withholding the final payment. Best of luck with finishing your project.

Answered 4 years ago by Kenny Johnson

0
Votes

Kenny gave you a very thorough and professional answer. I would have been a lot harder on your contractor than he suggests. Sounds to me like unprofessional, shoddy, irresponsible workmanship. Do not pay this person another dime. In fact, he should pay for whatever it costs to have an honest contractor repair the situation. I wonder what other messes he may have made. Ding him on Angie's List and report him to the local BBB.

Answered 4 years ago by Oleron

0
Votes

As the other commenters said, something was done wrong.

I am going to ask a stupid question - they do open inward, don't they ? If not, then you need a special design door, which has sealing lips or rabbets that overlap the door stop strips to seal water out. If it opens outward and has a visible gap between the door and the frame around the outside edge of the door, then it is not the right type door.

That aside and assuming it opens inward, a bit of diagnosis you can do yourself :

There should also be a frame called brickmold or door trim (wood or fiberglass in your case) around the door, that overlaps the door frame and the siding by an inch or two on the outside of the house, unless you have a recessed door in concrete or brick, in which case it might butt up against the brick or concrete at the side instead of overlapping it - looks like this -

http://www.plissescreen.com/wp-conten...

If you look all around the door, there should be a healthy caulk layer all around the brick mold, sealing it to the siding. There may or may not be a rain cap or flashing (metal) overhanging the top of the door frame to keep rainwater running down the side of the siding off the top of the frame.

On the bottom, there should be a metal tread or sill plate that the door bottom seals against at the bottom, sloping away from the door on the outside - like this (mixed wood and metal in this case), outside of house is at right of image -

https://www.pwdservice.net/sites/defa...

This forms the threashold, and this piece should have been caulked on the ends and bottom before installation, and should be sealed (and waterproofed) to the framing below it.

The door opens and closes within the frame at the sides and top - the outer edge of the door's outside face should contact a door jamb or stop strip (just like your interior doors) when it closes - there should be a weatherstrip seal, usually a rubber or vinyl-coated bulb strip around both sides and the top though just foam rubber in cheaper installations. Looks like this (the stop strip/jamb is the piece labelled as 1/2" wide - you are looking down from the top at a section cut through the door here) -

http://www.conservationtechnology.com...

At the bottom outside edge of the door it should have a door drip seal or drip shield that looks like this, which might have to be removed to install a storm door, depending on clearance between the doors -

http://www.dkhardware.com/tools/image-resize.aspx?image=DB037AV36_10512.gif|wid
th=400

preferably with both the protruding deflector shield (metal) as well as a flexible rubber sweep underneath. This is usually separate from the door bottom seal, which looks something like this (lots of different >

http://static.hardwarestore.com/media...

though they can be combined (not recommended as more expensive to replace when one wears out) -

By this point, you should have identified some missing piece - my guess is the rain or drip deflector and sweep at the bottom of the door, unless he totally forgot to caulk around the brickmold/door facing trim.

Hope this helped.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

0
Votes

I think I know what you are talking about because my new door leaks at the bottom of the side where the lock is at. I can see why it's leaking, even sunlight comes through the area. This door came with its frame and the whole unit was put in. The problem is the rubber seel around the door frame is kinked into the wooden threshold and doesn't seal against the door. This unit came from Medards it's a steel door with window and frame unit. I'm going to see if I can dig that seal out of the threshold to seal against the door. If I can't then I'm going to have to get another piece of round rubber seal to add to that area or it will never seal.

Answered 1 year ago by TomM60




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