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Question DetailsAsked on 7/18/2016

Who should I call to fix my back door from leaking water

I recently had wood floors installed in my house and while I was removing carpet and baseboards noticed there was a small leaking coming through what I think is the door frame. We thought it was fixed however after installing my wood floor I noticed it is starting to buckle and I need to know who I can call to fix this problem? HELP!!

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2 Answers



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


Here are some previous similar questions with answers which might help -

Basically, there are about 7 main sources (from top down) for the water - find the source and uyou can usually caulk or weatherstrip it to solve the problem. If using a hose spray to find the problem (working from bottom toward top) have someone inside watching and ready with towels or wet-dry shop vac or such to stop it before it gets into the flooring - if flooring is tight up against the door then you may be down to trying caulking and weatherstrip till you find the problem, or partly removing the hardwood floors so you can test and find the problem.

1) failed or improper flashing over the top of the door, so water hitting the top of the frame is coming down inside the door frame or wall and out at the bottom - generally (though not always) you will have staining somewhere along the way before the floor to indicate it is coming from above floor level

2) failed or incorrect flashing around the doorframe at the siding interface, so instead of shedding the water it is coming into the door rough opening or along the water shield, down along the door to the floor. Sometimes pulling the trim off around the door or window will show wetness or mold indicating this route.

3) failed seals on windows or windows in doors - so the water is leaking right into the window unit itself, then down inside or on face of frame/door to the floor. If solid door, of course, this is not a candidate cause,, but lack of or a failed seal at the doorstop (the thin strip or bumpout in the frame that the door outer edge closes against) can let rain come in around the door or run down the door to the outside edge, then down the inside face of the doorframe or doorstop to the sill area - then coming in across the sill or down into the frame at the end of the sill (which should be caulked at each end when it is installed to prevent this).

4) leakage into door stoop/sill - either from water hitting the door directly and running off it onto a sill that does not drain the water outside the wall profile and to a place it can drop free outside, or drops onto sill and leaks in through damaged door bottom seal, screw holes, etc. Some door designs the water running down the door runs right in under the door - a door dripedge can eliminate that problem, presuming the door sill slopes to the outside AND has a dripedge detail on the front lip (either a down-hanging lip under front edge or a groove cut under the front edge to prevent water mvoing back under the sill by capillary action) AND which overhangs the adjacent surface so the water drops free rather than just running down the face of the wall or sill plate (bottom 2x4).

5) Water coming in under the door frame - from a high or improperly sloping stoop or porch or deck letting the water run to the base of the wall and either under the sill but above the bottom wall plate or sill plate, or under the sill plate between it and the foundation, then seeping inward and spreading upwards and outwards by capillary action. Can also happen with high surface water from flooding against the foundation from yard draining toward house, roof runoff or gutter drainage dropping right down against the house, etc.

6) Probably rarest - leak is actually from a siding or overhead window, leaking down intot he wall and hitting the door header, then leaking down around/along the door frame like in 1) or 2) above. Commonly will have staining on the inside wall at top of door in this case, but not always - especially if the water barrier is working right above and keeping the leaking water between siding and water barrier, but the installation of the door was not perfect so it is leaking in at the door rough opening.

7) All to common, but much more in windows than doors - some metal sills (the outward sloping bottom plate atbottom of window or door) have water galleries within them, so the water running down the door or window drains into a channel with open slots in it on the "outside" face of the groove or in the bottom of it, and the water drains through the interior of the sill to drain holes in the front lip or under the front lip. Many installers see these open holes and think they are a place for water or bugs to get into so they caqulk them up - blocking the exit flow and making the sill track or drainage groove overflow - and with MANY brands (a shout-out to Anderson and Hurd among MANY others here) they did not think ahead and make the outer edge of the track significantly lower than the inner edge so it would drain to the outside over the face of the sill if it filled up due to very heavy wetting or drain channel blockage.


Some of these type causes like high surface water are easily identified, others not so much. Of course, excepting high surface water, most of the problems can be solved by that little detail which SO many home builders and architects ignore - ALL doors should be protected by an awning, shed roof, roofed entry, roof overhang, etc - that can eliminate the problem in all but blowing rain or melting drifting snow.

So - who to call if not making this a DIY (Do It Yourself) job ? Technically the best person should be a Windows or Doors (in your case) specialty contractor or shop that does repairs as well. Some have service techs that go out and solve issues like this - commonly the larger, longer established outfits with a full millwork shop and who also manufacture doors and windows, but finding a door or window specialty tech willing to work on a small job can be tough at times, and others have minimums as high as $250-500 to discourage small repair jobs.

Otherwise, and unless you have a Handyman or miscellaneous odd job General Contractor who you know does good work and is committed to doing the job right, then you are stuck with Search the List under the Handymen category for ones with good ratings and reviews and maybe a good review or two on leaking door or window repair. Some can be very good - ones with many years of construction experience or specificd experience with the thype of work you need done, some are mediocre and not up to tracking down a leak like this or may make manu trips to solve it (if ever), and some can be very bad or even make things worse by blocking what drainage to the outside there is. The universal slap-caulk-everywhere approach can sometimes to this by trapping an in-wall or frame leak from escaping, which it may be mostly doing right now.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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