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Question DetailsAsked on 2/25/2016

Rain water leakage issue from exterior doors

Hi, I am having rain water leakage issues from doors installed on balconies in my newly bought condo. So far, I have had one door fully replaced, for another one just the door slab replaced, and for one the threshold redone. All the doors and joints around have had silicone caulking redone by a handy man, but the latter two are still having leakage issues in heavy thunderstorms. Which expert can I call to take a look the issue and provide some solutions?

Thank you.

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Voted Best Answer

I am going to assume here you mean normal opening or French doors, not sliding - they have different seal types, though same places. If French doors, they ALWAYS leak if exposed to direct rain because the manufacturers just can't get it into their heads that water flows into cracks, and downhill - not the other way. I have never seen one that had all the possible water entry locations properly addressed - some do one are well, some others, but none all, and some provide a trap for the water but then no way for it to drain back outside.

Generally, exterior doors should have a roof or awning protecting them from direct rainfall. Doors are (with the exception of boat type and some smoke proof hatches) water resistant, not waterproof by a long stretch.

You need to watch during the start of a storm, or experiment (without getting too much waster into the wall or floor) with a spray nozzle on a hose working from bottom to top, and see WHERE it is coming in.

If at the crack where the door meets the frame top or sides, self-adhesive soft foam weather strip might cut it to near zero. Also, if there is not a stop strip on the outside (assuming they open inwards) or an overlapping trim strip (if outward opening) covering the direct crack, that should be put on.

If coming in under doorframe, then you need to remove the sill/threashold and put in proper caulk and cie and water shield to keep the water from coming in under - through the sill.

In coming in under the door but over the threshold, you may need a new threshold that slopes well away from the door. Also, a dripcap and tight-sealing weatherstrip like the following (can be in one piece or two separate features) may be needed -

There are also dripedges that overlap the bottom of the door opening and use a doorsweep type weatherstrip -

Obviously, if coming in from the top of the door usually it means there is a leak at the top of the frame, which a dripedge flashing should solve.

if coming through the door itself, then caulking door panels or windows or peepholes may be the answer.

For expert opinion, since most door and window contractors will not come out for this small a job, try finding the manufacturer's local distributor (if you can figure out manufacturer name) and take a few close-up photos of door and its seal strips to them to ask for their opinion - or send to manufacturer for opinion.

Other solutions other than sealing or roof - storm doors or, to a less effective extent, bug or solar screens, or for non-egress doors - shutters or sliding protective panel doors (like sliding strom doors).

Your key is to find WHERE it is getting in, because there are just so many entry points and solutions possible.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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