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Leaks at bottom of exterior doors
Our house is 4 years old with vinyl siding. We have stained concrete floors on the inside. On two exterior doors (one on the North side and one on the South side) we are getting water/dampness coming under the doors during moderate to heary rains.

The water is appears to be coming under the door sill. The water is on the floors, but the door sill appears to be dry, so I do not think the water is coming in between the bottom of the door and the metal door sill. Also the water appears to come in at the corners of the doors.

We have good grading on the outside of the house (at least 3 inches between the ground and the bottom of the doors). I have used about 300 tubes of cauld trying to find the leak, but to no avail.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Posts: 5 | Registered: 16 October 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You will need to find out where the water is coming in from before you can fix the problem. Water will find the path of least resistance when flowing, you could start out by running a bead of clear silicon chaulk along the edge of the sill on the outside between the sill and concrete. If that does not stop the leak it may be coming in around the trim and running in behind the door jamb the running out inside. Once you chaulk and let it dry us a hose and wet it down real good and see if it leaks.
Posts: 45 | Registered: 15 June 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you can, take up the sill, and re-set it in a full bed of a non-hardening sealant.

Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
Posts: 2870 | Location: Tobyhanna, PA | Registered: 24 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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TMD - I feel your pain. I've been chasing down a very similar leak for about 2 months now (...and used though a lot of caulk). I *think* I finally fixed the leak. Maybe your problem is similar. Here's what I did:

First, verified the leak was in fact in the door jams/sill. Sealed the all around the exterior opening with a plastic sheet (duct taped to brick molding and sill). Sprayed all around the door with a garden hose for several minutes - got all the siding/deck good and wet while keeping the door, jams, and sill dry. No water got inside, so I removed the plastic, and repeated with the hose. Water got inside pretty quickly.

It looks like the combination of weatherstripping, the seal on the bottom of the door, and my caulking have been working together at channeling water under/behind the vertical doorstops. Over time, the factory sealant between the sill and jams must have failed, and started letting water in (behind the doorstops, between the jams and sill).
There wasn't any visual clue - exterior paint and caulk were in good shape. Poking the doorstops with a sharp screwdriver revealed the bottom 1/2" or so was spongy (even though the paint was good). I cut/chiseled away the wet wood, and sealed between the sill and jams with caulk (GE Silicon II). I left a small gap between the sill and bottom of the doorstops to ensure water can drain from the sill. Seems OK now.

A storm door should keep water off the sill altogether. I'm putting one on soon...

Hope this is helpful
Posts: 2 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: 19 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree that it is probably comming under the sill but I have seen too many times that water can be tricky to chase down. you didn't mention if the doors are solid metal or if they have glass in them, I have installed probably 100 steel/glass doors and of them about 20 have leaked water in the rain. I found that it was caused by a faulty seal where the glass is placed in the door skins from the factory. the water will run into the door and out the back/hinge side of the door right onto the sill where it shows up on the floor. all of these doors were of the cheaper home store variety.
Posts: 14 | Registered: 12 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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