Fiberglass Door Warping in Sun


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Old 08-24-22, 12:33 PM
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Fiberglass Door Warping in Sun

Recently installed a front door. 36x80 no sidelights. Fiberglass, craftsman style, with a rectangle window with exterior grids. Ordered it painted black from the millwork shop. Frame is composite.
Install turned out well with good reveal and gapping. Checked for plumb and level many, many times and the frame still checks out.
East facing door with no protection (no overhang or storm door).
Noticed the day after installing that during the morning hours that I could see daylight at top corner, latch side.
That afternoon with the sun overhead it went back to normal and sealed right up.

Called the shop, who called the manufacturer and they'd never heard of such of thing stating that it is an install issue. The shop is good to work with and has told me they are trying to make something happen.

I get that a black door in the sun is going to get hot, and boy it does. We had a black fiberglass door before this one and it didn't do this. I am always looking for air intrusions so confident I would have noticed.

My question to all of you is: is there anything I could have done wrong in the install that would make the door move based on sun/heat? I get that out of plumb and such could make the door look warped but I can't come up with anything I would have done that would cause the latch side to go to a C shape and back, daily.

 
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Old 08-24-22, 02:17 PM
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I would try adjusting the strike plates so the door closes a bit further. This will squish it deeper into the weatherstripping and hopefully will keep it sealed no matter the weather.
 
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Old 08-24-22, 04:08 PM
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Can't examine the install, so hard to say. When you close the door and it's 1/8" from starting to go into the jamb, (1 7/8" from being fully closed) observe the gap up and down between the door and the jamb. If its not straight, that's an installation problem. That's about all I can say without being there.
 
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Old 08-25-22, 08:12 AM
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Thanks both. I've attached a photo of when it's bowed. This is a 6ft straight edge with the bottom of it pressed against the door. Because the bottom bows in some also, that is why the bubble doesn't show level. When it's not bowed (evening), it's perfectly flat and the bubble is level just like it is on the hinge side regardless of time of day.
I'd thought about adjusting the striker but I think it would make the door very hard to latch if I was able to move the striker in far enough to never see light.
The sun is on it now so it's bowed currently but this evening I'll check that gap. I guess where I am stuck is that I can't figure out how an install issue would cause it to bow so much. I do get that a perfect install with a sucked in striker might limit the gap but still seems like that would make using the door frustrating to close.
 
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Old 08-25-22, 10:44 AM
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If the slab is flat when the door is cool, and bowed when it's hot, then yeah, that's an expansion and contraction issue. And it's because the door has 2 skins and the outside one is expanding. Your old door must have been made differently.

Same reason wood warps when one side gets wet and one side is dry.

Can't say if any part of the problem is installation related until you check the reveals by holding the door open 1/8" (as I mentioned earlier) when the door is flat and not warped.

If you'd put a 78" level on the opposite side of the door it would give a better idea of how much it is bowed because the level would be touching on top and bottom and there would be a gap between the level and the door.
 
 

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