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Water Leak in French Doors is damaging my Hardwood Floors!

Water Leak in French Doors is damaging my Hardwood Floors!


  #1  
Old 10-25-09, 02:22 PM
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Water Leak in French Doors is damaging my Hardwood Floors!

Hi -
I am a new home owner and struggling with a newly discovered leak on my French doors that lead out to a yet-to-be-built deck. One side is a window, the other side is an inward swinging door. The leak occurs on the window side and is coming in UNDER the hardwood floors, whenenver there is rain.

I had the outside caulked around the window and door, and as of yesterday's rain showers, it seems like the leak has been stopped - or at least slowed down. It is difficult to tell if the leak has been completely stopped since the water does not spill out onto the top of floors, but comes in between the hardwood floors and the sub-floors (the dry-wall and ceiling of the level beneath are not damp and have no water stains).

Here are a few pictures:
Flickr: miao-mi's Photostream

After reading thru numerous articles and this forum, it seems that caulking is a temporary solution at best. Should I have the door re-installed or do I need to have the entire window/door system replaced? It's a Patiot window and I've been a little freaked out by all the complaints I am seeing on the internet forums about these windows and the company.
Is it possible that the window is just missing a sill pan flashing at the bottom? I went to the roof to see if there was a leak, and did not find any problems there.

Sorry for the long posting - am finding the leak rather frustrating. Suggestions would be very much appreciated!!

MM.
 
  #2  
Old 10-25-09, 03:34 PM
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Welcome to the forums! I know you are a new homeowner, but is the house "new". If so, you need to have the general contractor re-appear and fix the problem as well as the flooring. One thing to check is to see if there is metal flashing over the door above the J-channel of the vinyl siding. Let us know.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 03:48 PM
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A pic would help, but it sounds like it may something as simple as adjusting or replacing the threshold sweep.
 
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Old 10-28-09, 08:28 AM
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Hi Bill and Chandler,

Thanks for your responses. The house was purchased as a resale, so I can't ask the builder to fix - also as it was a foreclosure, I purchased "as is."

I have read in various articles that the door is possibly missing a sill pan flashing - how can I tell if one was installed - or if it was installed, if it was done correctly? Do I need to take out the entire window/door unit in order to tell?

The door was caulked last week - which seems to have worked (at least temporarily) because after lots of intense rain weather, the damage on the flooring has not gotten any worse!

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Two pics that show where the caulking was done:
DSCN0221 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
DSCN0222 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

This shows the damage seeping in under the floors:
DSCN0220 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

This pic a little dark, sorry - and another:
DSCN0217 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Inside view of the door:
DSCN0218 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 
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Old 10-28-09, 03:22 PM
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The door likely has an adjustable threshold. To check if it needs adjustment, open the door, insert a piece of paper under the door. With the door closed, if you can easily pull out the paper, it needs adjusting, and will leak water. There will be 4-5 screws in the threshold that raise the wood section. Don't over do it. You just want the paper to have a drag.
 
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Old 10-28-09, 04:32 PM
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Thanks- the french door on one side is a door, but on the other side is a window, which can't be opened and Im not able to slide paper or anything underneath it. The leak is coming from the floors is on the window side.

I found this interesting item this afternoon, and it seems to describe my problem, in particular the picture which shows the water leaking into the floor *under* the finish (sounds alot like my situation): Patio Door Leak Situation (click here)

The article recommends rigid flashing at the bottom (second picture) but how can I tell if I have this flashing installed? Do I have to completely uninstall the entire door?
 
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Old 10-29-09, 04:13 PM
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I only skimmed the article, but for that to be your situation, water would have to flow uphill. Not likely. Check the seal/caulk around the bottom of the window.
 
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Old 10-30-09, 03:02 AM
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minnie mouse,

Since the water is showing up between the floor and the subfloor you need to concentrate your caulking in that area -- at the bottom of the door and window unit.

From the pictures it appears that there is a trim below the threshold of the unit. Caulk along that joint -- the bottom edge of the threshold.
 
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Old 10-30-09, 04:02 AM
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I was called out yesterday for the exact same thing. Minimal overhang to a deck just below threshold level, no gutters. The water was indeed moving upward when it hit the deck and splashed back. This caused water to enter under the poorly installed door with no silicone under the threshold. Several solutions.....add gutters; add an awning; remove door unit and properly silicone the threshold. Not sure if this helps in your problem, but weird things happen with water.
 
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Old 11-03-09, 06:51 PM
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Thanks Lefty, Chandler, Bill for the tips!

The bottom edge of the window was caulked externally on the outside. But I've not yet done so on the inside.
Once the trim and hardwood floors are removed, I intend on caulking on the same bottom edge of the window from the inside. Does this sound right?

And then we plan on waiting for a large rainstorm to come to see if indeed water is still enters. If its still dry, then we will install the replacement planks.

Is there a good caulk (life-time/30-year preferable) that you would recommend?

Thanks again for all your help!
MM
 
 

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