French door - water damage at bottom

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  #1  
Old 12-02-08, 05:21 AM
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French door - water damage at bottom

Hi,

I have exterior French doors on my 10 year old home. When we bought the house from the previous owners, our inspector noticed water damage on the trim on the outside of the door (both sides) and some on the inside of the left side. That was supposedly fixed.

I have noticed over the past 4 years some moisture under the length of the left door but nothing major (basically when it's really cold/freezing outside). I have been concerned about dry rot and the water damage and almost had the door replaced this past summer (w/ French sliding doors) but decided to wait.

I have now noticed he wood floor piece right adjacent to the door has a gap in it on the left side, and the wood is very spongy and peeling along the bottom (which I had noticed before). There is black along the piece along the bottom of the door as well (not sure what that piece is called).

Here is a picture (not sure why it's so big):



What exactly do I need to do to fix this? Do I need to replace the entire door and if so, can it wait until spring (it is now in the 20s here)? Is there something I need to do in the near term to fix the dry rot areas?

Thanks!!!!
 

Last edited by seosmp; 12-02-08 at 05:25 AM. Reason: added picture
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  #2  
Old 12-02-08, 06:15 AM
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That is an advanced and advancing case of dry rot. All “rots” white, brown,... (dry rot collectively) are caused by fungus, and have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria (good for farming and recycling the natures waste, but bad for controlled environments like homes) . Naturally occurring bacteria in the air and water convert and live off cellulose (wood fiber) and produce food for the fungus.

Wait till warmer weather. The solution requires exploratory surgery. My guess is some of the sub flooring and framing may be affected since the wall's bottom plate is.

In the mean time learn about the various types rots and how to combat them (deny food source, moisture, etc. from above and below). A don't forget to look at the overall picture (roof gutters, caps above windows & doors, loose or un-caulked siding windows, doors, or trim; grading the soil away from the house, whet spots, splash blocks at downspouts). This list (make your own) goes on.... Make a year round battle plan that you can live with. Do nothing and your house is food (just like a dead tree in the forest). There are many “treatment” products for building materials and the soil that can help, but you must widen your scope first.
 
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Old 12-02-08, 09:19 AM
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Thanks!

Any recommendations on what I can do right now to prevent further damage? Coat it with something? Sand it down, ?????

I'm gathering you're saying that come warm weather, the door and surrounding trim/wood should be removed to assess whether there is further damage (e.g. to subfloor, etc.). Would a door installer be the appropriate folks to do this assessment? I assume the hard wood piece would be replaced by a hard wood installer type person.

Thanks!!!
 
  #4  
Old 12-02-08, 03:33 PM
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The problem as I see it, is a poor door installation from the beginning. It probably can not be easily corrected without removing and reinstalling the door. if you do that, you may as well install a quality door, one less susceptable to weather problems.
 
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Old 12-02-08, 03:43 PM
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Thanks!

I actually have a new door all picked out (Anderson French sliding door), but I just couldn't justify spending the $$ on a new door this past summer if there weren't any issues - well, now it seems like I can!!

Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 12-03-08, 04:10 AM
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Andersen Frenchwood door, very good choice.

Careful flashing is key to preventing this from reoccuring, bottom, sides and top. You will likely find some rotted framing once the old door is removed. There are a number of premade sill flashings made for door installations.
 
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