Leaking French Doors

Old 11-16-06, 02:05 AM
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Leaking French Doors

I live in Toronto and have an East facing inward opening set of exterior french doors that leak water - both at the bottom and, less often, at the top - when raining with a reasonable wind. The stronger the wind, the more the leaking. I have put a rubber rain guard at the bottom of each door, just clearing the threshhold, but still water comes in. Other than a set of screen doors, does anyone have any suggestions?
Old 11-16-06, 03:32 PM
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Door manufacturer??? It sounds like an older door not really designed for rain, or weather, or just a poor design. Short of putting a roof overhead, it does not sound like you can resurrect this door. I am assuming the door closes properly and latches correctly.
Old 11-16-06, 04:25 PM
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Very hard to diagnose your problem without seeing it. There's so many things a person could check if he was actually there to see it.

First, I would want to know if the reveals around the edges of the doors are all even. A sagging door would have a larger gap in the center top (where the doors meet) than it would have on the left and right top corners.

Does the door have an adjustable wooden threshold- when you open the doors, are there large headed phillips screws in the threshold of the door? These could be adjusted by backing them out a little, to make the seal across the bottom of the door tighter. I slip a piece of paper over the threshold, close the door, then see how easy it is to pull the paper out. Adjust each screw accordingly until it's suitable.

When you open both doors, are there wedge shaped foam pads at the bottom corners of the door and on the bottom of the astragal? If not, you can usually get these wherever they sell doors. They go behind the weatherstripping and tight against the threshold.

When the operating door comes closed against the fixed door, is that reveal straight? What I mean is, shut the door until the latch is about 3/4" from touching the strike plate. You should be able to see about 1/8" of light between the door and the jamb, and that 1/8" reveal should be straight from top to bottom. If it is wider on one side than the other, that would indicate that the fame is racked and that the door is not sealing properly against the astragal weatherstrip.

And when you mention that water sometimes comes from the top of the door, is it coming out from under the top piece of trim? If it is, that would indicate that water is getting behind your siding above the door (this often happens with vinyl siding, and would need to be stopped or you'll have large scale damage down the road).

And the water that comes from the bottom, is it actually coming around the operating door itself- running over the wooden threshold, or is it coming underneath the aluminum threshold of the door and pooling up on the floor inside? Sometimes water will come under a door that has not been sealed underneath, or installed on a pan flashing.

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