leaking french doors

Old 09-20-06, 10:54 AM
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Unhappy leaking french doors

I have a home that is 2 years old. About 9 months ago I noticed the hardwood floor at my back french doors was starting to "swell". Long story short- my door leaked at the base and wrecked the floor. We contacted the builder and the hardwood there was replaced with porcelain tile. Every aspect of the French doors was replaced with the exception of the doors themselves and the glass in them. That brings us to now. After a hard rain last week my door leaked from various spots that were virtually undetectable except that you could see water on the tile. The wood trim around the doors is showing signs of water damage as if the water is seeping inside the doors somehow. We had Dashwood here (door manufacturer) for a water test. The stationary French door leaked in the bottom of the trim that surrounds the window. That is what they claim is the only problem with the doors. However, after the rain, the water was coming from the top of the stationary door frame, down where the two doors join and the opening door was also wet. Basically a lot has been wet from the inside out. Now the leaking is being blamed on a secondary outer defect in my house which I won't bore you with. So here are my concerns:1.if the door leaks at the bottom will it lay on top of the tile or can it seep behind the tile and rot the subfloor (without my knowing it because tile doesn't "react" like wood)?
2. now that the trim inside my doors has gotten wet, will it rot and/or get black mold or will it dry out?
3.should EVERYTHING be replaced ie. frame, glass, etc...
4. Am I being too gullible when they tell me that the doors are fine except for one little thing- how can I protect my best interests?
Old 09-20-06, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Leaking doors and windows?

The door may be OK.

You may just have an improperly installed door. Not surprising since most doors and windows are improperly installed. They just don't show up very soon. That is the reason why there are certified door and window installers and many builders now sub out the installation rather than use their own crews.

I would take a long, hard look at all your windows since they may have been installed by the same people. You may be missing some flashing somewhere. A french door will show problems before conventional windows since the water has no place to go. In other windows, the moisture disperses and the problem may not show until there is mold or rot.

You can't tell much from the exterior without removing something, since your siding is NOT the primary moisture barrier. A qualified moisture intrusion expert could quickly give an idea of other potential problem areas using a GOOD moisture meter (scan and deep probe), paying particular attention to the areas under the corners (spreading out down towards the floor) of the windows as a starting point.

You might be able to find something with a cheap meter, but that is why my set-up cost about 500+.

Just a though to further confuse the situation.


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