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Leaking causes in basement below sliding patio door

Leaking causes in basement below sliding patio door


  #1  
Old 07-16-08, 08:47 PM
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Leaking causes in basement below sliding patio door

I have a 6 year old home with a sliding patio door. Three years ago, we noticed there was a leak under the patio door mostly under the entry side where the wall meets the patio door. We tried things to fix it like weatherstripping at the entry threshold and some extra drip pans above the spot to divert more water away, but after every fix, we never had a driving rainstorm so thought the leak was always fixed. This year with the storms that took out the Lake in Wisconsin Dells (so quite a bad round), we had leaking again such I could see the water coming thru the wood-prior I could just feel it was damp. Also noticed that the framing board under the other side of the door was damp. Our neighbor came over in one of them and could see water running along the patio door under the siding and thought the door wasn't taped. We tried covering the door with plastic prior to that such no water could get by the threshold and it still was leaking such we felt that the water be driven down behind the siding but over the waterproof sheeting thru the untaped area down to the framing. We had a builder-not our home builder- tape the door. Following, we had two little driving rainstorms with no leaks, but tonight we had a wopper with high rain amounts/flash flooding/city roads closed and it leaked again. The sub floor doesn't appear wet nor do the framing lumber, just that particle board that is over the framing. It feels like a lot of water is sitting between the particle board and the waterproof wrapping. Does anyone have any ideas how this water is entering? Is this how a patio door would leak if the caulking under the door itself is not adequate such the door would need to be removed and reinstalled? Or could the leak be in the door itself such I need to get a new door totally? I have had 2 new home builders and one remodeling company here up this point and still not the right answer. Any advice would be appreciated.

Home Owner
 
  #2  
Old 07-16-08, 11:05 PM
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More info

Living in green bay, I've seen alot of things going wrong similar to your situation.

Without seeing it, it is going to be hard to diagnose, here are a few things to try.

If you have vinyl siding the water could be running down around through the j-channel that is framing out your patio door on the outside of the brickmold. You may have to caulk in there.

There is no reason that there is water between the flashing tape and the OSB, when the builder taped the door did he/she start at the bottom? if not you could cause pockets of water in between there during these heavy rains we've been having.

Another alternative is to try having the manufacturer come out and look at it, find out who makes the door and call them, most manufactures come with a 10 year warrenty on these things, they will at least tell you if the door needs to be reinstalled if they don't fix it for you.

Hope this helps a little
 
  #3  
Old 07-17-08, 05:45 AM
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I also am not clear on your explanation of exactly where you are seeing the water coming in.

The best thing you could do is remove a piece of your interior trim and try to determine if you have water inside the rough opening all along the side of the door. Look to see if the insulation is wet. Or is this something that is only occurring on the bottom near the subfloor, which would help narrow down the leak.

When a person has vinyl siding (IF you have vinyl siding), it can indeed leak in around the vinyl siding, but the solution is NOT to caulk inside the j-channel. The vinyl siding would first need to be removed around the door. The side nailing flanges of the door would need to be sealed to the building paper (or housewrap- any water-resistive barrier) with a flashing tape. A flap would be cut in the building paper on top, which is folded up and out of the way so that the top nailing flange can be taped directly to the sheathing. That flap is then folded down over the flashing tape so that the building paper laps OVER the top nailing flange of the door, and is not under it. With vinyl siding, having a building envelope that is completely water-resistive is critical to avoid leaks.

When you mention particle board, I'm guessing you're referring to your OSB sheathing. If you can see your OSB sheathing... it's possible that your home doesn't have any housewrap on it, which, if combined with vinyl siding, would be bad. (this was somehow "allowed" by code years ago, but not anymore) I'd be interested in knowing what is ABOVE this patio door, because vinyl siding allows so much water behind it that any window, door, deck, etc. that is above your leaking door would be causing leakage below.
 
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Old 07-21-08, 08:01 PM
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XSleeper,

I believe all of what you mentioned with the taping was done already. I have not popped the interior trim, but will ask the guy who is coming tomorrow who taped it to check it out. All that is above the door is siding. I called the door rep from the company that sold the door. He told me to caulk the threshold where it meets the side of the door jam on each side. When I told the guy who is coming, he said no that could cause problems. If I pop the trim and it is wet, than is it, that the door wasn't properly installed? The rep did mention something about a gasket that goes between the door casing/frame when it needs to be assembled on side. If I pop the trim and it is dry, would that mean it wasn't caulked properly when the door was initially set in the frame? Could the problem be that it was not properly flashed under the door? I can see the OSB on the inside of the house. I have seen the housewrap so I know it is there. Does this usually go behind the board that the patio is mounted to as well?

House Owner
 
  #5  
Old 07-22-08, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by House Owner
I have not popped the interior trim, but will ask the guy who is coming tomorrow who taped it to check it out.
Let us know what you find.

Originally Posted by House Owner
I called the door rep from the company that sold the door. He told me to caulk the threshold where it meets the side of the door jam on each side. When I told the guy who is coming, he said no that could cause problems.
I would caulk the ends of the threshold as instructed by the rep from the door company. Use a tiny bead of silicone that is the same color as your door.

Originally Posted by House Owner
If I pop the trim and it is wet, than is it, that the door wasn't properly installed?
Not necessarily.

Originally Posted by House Owner
If I pop the trim and it is dry, would that mean it wasn't caulked properly when the door was initially set in the frame?
If the "floor only" is wet, then it could be that the bottom of the door was not caulked, or the jambs were not sealed to the threshold as your door rep said. It could also be plugged weep holes or caulk in front of the threshold that is acting like a dam for water. It could also be that your contractor did an incomplete job of taping the door near the bottom of the nailing flange. Was he able to do any taping on the bottom?

Originally Posted by House Owner
Could the problem be that it was not properly flashed under the door? I can see the OSB on the inside of the house.
The words "properly flashed" are hard to define. Most patio doors are admittedly hard to seal on the bottom due to the way the threshold is designed. I don't understand why you would be able to see OSB on the inside of the house, since you mentioned you have not removed any trim yet.

Originally Posted by House Owner
I have seen the housewrap so I know it is there. Does this usually go behind the board that the patio is mounted to as well?
Housewrap covers the exterior side of your sheathing. The peel and stick flashing tape seals the nailing flange of the patio door (if it has one) to the housewrap. The top nailing flange should actually be taped directly to the sheathing, and the housewrap should be cut to overlap the flashing tape on top of the door. If this is not done, water can still leak into the door if water happens to get behind the housewrap. Sometimes the housewrap gets left off when a deck ledger is installed, but the sheathing behind the ledger should really be covered by housewrap too. And the ledger itself should be flashed, or spaced away from the sheathing so that there is space for drainage and drying.

The main cause of water getting behind the housewrap is usually a combination of plugged and/or poorly flashed gutters, fascia cover, and aluminum or vinyl soffit that is tipped back toward the house. Water that is able to get inside the soffit runs back toward the house and enters the wall above the housewrap, where it can then get behind it. Not saying this is what is happening, but if the insulation anywhere on top of your door is wet, it's a possibility.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 07-22-08 at 04:43 PM.
  #6  
Old 07-22-08, 09:18 PM
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XSleeper,

Thank you for all of the input. When the guy that built my house calls me back, I am going to ask him specifics of his door installation so I can try to possibly pin point the cause. The guy that I hired came over when I was not here today so my husband talked to him and didn't ask him about popping the trim, but he said we should see what happens with the caulk. If it leaks again, he said we should take the whole door out to look. I see the OSB in the basement below the door as it is not finished underneath. Initially it was covered with insulation and the plastic barrier, but the water was leaking underneath the plastic, down the side of the concrete foundation. Could my windows also be leaking without me knowing it as below all windows, it is finished space? When you talk about the gutters/soffit/fascia, the patio door falls under a south wall that is not the gutter side, but it meets up the adjoining east wall that does have a gutter, but not as steep of a pitched slope as the rest of the house. Both men that have been out to try to help feel that where the two meet, the gutters are having a difficult time handling large volumes of water and have made diversions to help prevent the overflow at that intersection. Both men have also commented on the poor building quality of the siding/gutters/housewrap. Thank you again for all of the info. With all of the problems we have had with our house and all of the info I have learned, I would sure look differently at the next house we buy.

House Owner
 
  #7  
Old 07-23-08, 04:05 AM
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Patio doors often only have nailing flanges on 3 sides, making the bottom more susceptible to water intrusion. Windows have nailing flanges on all 4 sides, so it is less likely that they are leaking, however if they are not taped, they could be.

You mentioned the gutter that dead ends into the wall near your patio door. The junction of such a roof- where it meets the wall- is notorious for being flashed incorrectly. When it is not flashed correctly, water enters the wall at the termination of the roof/wall flashing. This is usually a flashing problem, not a gutter problem, although it usually occurs right at the end of the gutter. The rot often starts at that point and continues downward, spreading out behind the siding in the direction that water would naturally be forced as it runs off the roof. It's possible that could be an entry point for water, but I would think that the person who taped your door would have noticed rotten sheathing all around that area and would have said something.

I'm just guessing here, since none of this can really be verified without being there, removing siding and inspecting the door in person. Poor quality construction can have a lot to do with it.
 
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Old 07-23-08, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by House Owner
When you talk about the gutters/soffit/fascia, the patio door falls under a south wall that is not the gutter side, but it meets up the adjoining east wall that does have a gutter, but not as steep of a pitched slope as the rest of the house.
You may find this article I've written on flashing such junctions helpful in understanding how water could be entering the wall above the door at the wall's junction with the gutter - this junction is almost impossible to flash properly as a retrofit without removing some of the siding material above the intersection.

Understanding kick-out flashings and "roof" and wall leaks - Paragon Home Inspections, Chicago IL

However, there are many ways water could be entering such a wall, and the symptoms can manifest themselves at a considerable distance from the point of initial water entry. I did a moisture intrusion investigation recently were a "ceiling" leak in a basement was caused by water entering at an exterior door and traveling down the rim joist and and out along the floor joists; water was overflowing the metal "J" channel above a storm door, down the interior of the glass panel, and under the threshold and the flooring to reach the rim joist. The solution was to bend down the ends of the "J" channel about 1/16" to allow correct drainage!

OTOH, there also situations with symptoms similar to those you describe where it's necessary to remove the siding from an entire wall in order to create an effective drainage plane.
 
 

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