Leaking sliding glass door

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Old 09-04-13, 01:17 PM
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Leaking sliding glass door

Have a water leak in the basement beneath a Jeldwen sliding glass door.
Weep holes on the door (four in total) are fully functional.
Leak in the basement trickles down wall from top of foundation directly beneath door.
Faulty area of door has been identified as being at the bottom from testing for leaks with a garden hose (spraying the bottom of the door for 5 minutes resulted in trickling water down basement wall).
Occasionally, strong rain/wind storms drive water onto the (main level) floor just inside the door; interior photo shows discoloration of sheet vinyl, though this has occurred only 3-4 times. Water down the basement wall occurs with any rain, and even melting snow.
ANY DIY suggestions are appreciated; hoping not to have to tear up deck and call in a carpenter!
 
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Old 09-04-13, 01:51 PM
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Just looking at the photos, my first best guess is that when the door was installed and/or when the vinyl siding was installed around the door, no one bothered to caulk around the sill, which allows water to seep in between the floor and the bottom of the door frame.
Unless you have one or more holes or cracks in the door track itself.
Does the water have to rise above the bottom of the door track before coming into the house?
Or does it come in before it rises to that level.
When you used the hose, did you spray water so that it could accumulate inside the door track, or did you spray it beneath the bottom of the vinyl frame?
Many Framing carpenters are notorious for not using caulk when they install doors or windows, as far as a framing carpenter is concerned, caulking is for the painter.
And I cannot recall ever seeing any vinyl siding installer use any caulk, though there are many places where some should be used as the siding is put up, because some areas cannot be caulked after the siding is up.
You "might" have enough room to push a good quality adhesive caulk up from the bottom where the door frame covers the vinyl siding, and along the cavity created at the bottom of the frame where the bottom piece of siding slips behind the door frame.
The caulk "might" help your problem, if the problem isn't a hole or break in the bottom track of the door frame itself.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 03:04 PM
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Good info from Mister_Ed. Another point is the deck was installed over the siding, which is improper. I can guess that water is leaking where the bolts are placed through the siding. It is possible there was no silicone chased by the bolts to secure them, so when water slides down, it can hit a bolt, run in the building and leak on the inside.

From inside the basement, can you tell the first point of entry?
 
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Old 09-04-13, 03:49 PM
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That is something that I hadn't thought about when I posted previously, Chandler.
Ledger board bolts can certainly give a point of entry for water, and like I said about framing carpenters, most wouldn't be caught dead using a caulking gun while they are framing anything.
But it would seem that if it were caused by the bolts, then there would likely be more leaks in the basement than just beneath the door, and water coming through at the bolts wouldn't stain the vinyl flooring as the floor is above the location of any ledger bolts.
But certainly the leak in the basement could in fact come from unsealed bolt holes in the wall when the deck was installed.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 04:17 PM
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It could certainly be a failure to caulk the sill. But since this door has an integral j-channel, IMO it's not as likely.

I'd guess it's entering at a horizontal seam in the vinyl siding below the door, maybe around the deck ledger, if you have one. Additionally, any water running down the sides of the integral j-channel is directed right behind the siding at the bottom left and right corners of the door. If you have a deck ledger, is it flashed with a z-flashing? And if you have a deck ledger, is the j-channel under the deck caulked to the bottom of the ledger, or maybe flashed with a z-flashing?
 
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Old 09-04-13, 05:56 PM
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Building 101, any threshold needs to be at least 6" above the deck.
I'd bet you pull that siding and the door and there would be no flashing or sill pan under the door and most likely no window tape around the nailing fins.
Jamsill Guard Door & Window Sill Pan Flashing
 
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Old 09-04-13, 06:45 PM
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I guess it could also be water splashing up into the integral j-channel, then running down the back of the siding. Hitting it with the hose may have proved that.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 08:02 PM
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Looking at the third pic, is there a stain on the floor from water leaking in?
 
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Old 09-05-13, 05:50 AM
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The door has a positive lip on the inside that in my mind creates a dam against water infiltration to the inside. I venture to guess, any door will leak if subjected to a hard stream of water from a hose on the seal. Its a pressure vs volume thing with a hose. Instead I think that the water is coming in from above and getting into the cavity between the framing and the door. That explains the leak that is above the level of the decking outside the house. One leak I'm sure is responsible for the cellar leak as well.

Can we get a picture of the whole door from the outside? One that includes the top?
 
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Old 09-05-13, 06:08 AM
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Anytime you combine a ledger attached deck with an improperly installed door (no pan flashing or probably poor flashing) and low elevation difference between inside and outside, anything combination is possible. - Three bad points in one area.

The vast majority of the doors and windows are improperly installed, but the newer ones are not noticed until it is too late.

Dick
 
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Old 09-05-13, 10:58 AM
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Further information as requested:

Thanks to every one of you for your feedback - while there are a number of issues present here, any number of which could be causing the leak, it's helpful to have some indications of where to start short of paying a carpenter to take everything apart.
Did some additional experimenting with the water hose: first off, we've only had water on the main level floor after rare severe storms with driving winds; the garden hose pressure is NOT enough to drive it in to that location. There is, however, visible water damage to the flooring just inside the door; I'm guessing the leak we see in the basement with every rain is also affecting the subfloor and causing the discoloration (comments to that guess?).
Spraying the door track ONLY (no spray beneath the door frame) did produce leaking in the basement. I'm unclear as to whether this is coming from a compromise in the door track itself, or whether water directed out the weep holes is coming in below.
I posted 2 add'l photos: an overall of the door as requested, where you'll see a trim piece on top we added beneath the siding (caulked in; J-channel I think) as an initial attempt at repair before experimenting with the garden hose.
The second photo shows a questionable gap at the end of the interior door track. You'll see a dark weep hole opening running parallel to the track, but a separated gap at the end perpendicular to the door track that seems to do nothing but collect dirt (the photo does not make it clear that the two openings are separate, but they do NOT intersect). There is an identical gap at the opposite end of the door as well. I'D BE CURIOUS WHETHER YOU'D SUGGEST CAULKING THOSE GAPS AS A STARTING POINT, OR WHERE YOU'D RECOMMEND STARTING INSTEAD. With the many suggestions as to cause, it of course makes sense to start with the least invasive possibility. Wish our builders would have taken some lessons from you all. Thanks again!
 
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Old 09-05-13, 02:55 PM
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I am going to jump to the assumption that the open gaps at the bottom of the door frame are the cause of your leak.
What was removed from there?
Can you get in touch with Jeldwen and buy what ever it was, to replace it?
If you clean the dirt out can you see or feel wood beneath, and if so is it rotted wood.

Water is blown against the door and travels behind the seal between door and frame where it seeks the lowest point to exit.
That is why you primarily get leaks during blowing rain and when you direct water onto the door itself.
No good cure is going to be cheap unless you want to try and pump the hole full of adhesive caulk.
You might consider installing a short awning two foot beyond the door frame on each side and as far out as you can accomplish.
That would cut out most of the ability for water to reach the door.
But you might still get a leak during really strong storm activity.

I would think that you made a good guess about the discoloration coming from the wood floor being periodically wet. It would not surprise me to find one or two slightly loose floor tiles in that area, if not now, most likely sometime in the future.

If it was me, and it was my door on my house, I might be likely to try buying a piece of rubber door strip and attaching it to the top of the edge of the door track so that it would lightly press against the door itself when the door was closed, but wouldn't interfere with opening and closing the door.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 04:14 PM
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It makes absolutely no sense that a weep hole "inside" the track of the movable door would not be properly sealed so that the water would drain to the outside.

Please pull the trim on the inside and inspect for evidence of water infiltration. Note if any wet insulation or wood above floor level is present. Pull all trim, sides and top and poke and observe when you notice something wet. Spray the siding down above and around the door so that you are not concentrating just on the bottom portion.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 04:32 PM
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I've only been around the block twice, but I have never, ever, seen a cut out portion of the extrusion such as you pictured.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 07:06 PM
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I thinks that weep is normal. Its no different than a double hung that has a pocket sill. Its also why there are 2 weep holes in the top picture.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 07:28 PM
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Weep holes

To clarify: the opening at the end of the track is NOT a weep hole. It is appx the same depth of the weep hole next to it, with aluminum at its bottom (not open wood), but is not routed to the exterior as the weep holes are. I'm actually not sure where it drains or leads.
The second weep hole opening shown in the exterior photo is from the section of track where the screen door slides.
Sorry for the confusion, I should have described this better as the photo is a little dark.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 07:49 PM
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Here is the plain and simple of it. The gap at the end and the weep hole drain to the lower larger weep on the exterior. There is the end so that after you remove the sliding sash... you can insert a tool in that gap and lift out the track to clean the pocket sill. If you've never cleaneed it. then it might be time. if mud fills the weep holes then its possible the track isn't draining properly.

If the water inside is coming from under the casing then that is likely water coming in around your vinyl siding from above. The basement leak is also likely from the siding and bad wrb either around the door or around the deck ledger.
 
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Old 09-06-13, 08:59 AM
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I'm re-sending slightly altered versions of a couple of your photos.
The red arrow is pointing to an opening in the aluminum track that, in my own humble opinion, SHOULD NOT BE THERE.
Please bare in mind that it has been at least 3 years since I have even looked at a sliding patio door, and even longer since I've paid specific attention to the track where the door closes against the side frame.
But from the photo, I see an area of obvious difference in the finish of the aluminum threshold or track, which starts where the yellow arrow points, and continues all the way to the side where the door closes against the frame.
To me, that indicates that "something" was there at one time that stayed there long enough to allow weathering along the bottom of the track, except where that "thing" was.
Pour a very small cup of water directly in that gap, and see if you can determine where that water comes out at, or if it merely sits there until you mop it up with a rag.
If the water sits in the track and must be mopped up, then I'm wrong about where you leak is.
The first two photos merely describe my rationale in assuming that the gap is the source of your leak.
The third photo is an example of what I would do, if it were my door on my house, to facilitate a relatively cheap fix that should work until the rubber weather stripping that you attach deteriorates enough to allow another leak.
 
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Old 09-08-13, 07:45 PM
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The gap at the end of the track is to allow any water that might make it into the section of the track nearest to the home floor to drain out. It should be there. The discoloration (shiny, not shiny) of the door glide track is due to the door rollers. A little windex on a paper towel will clean the track, which should be clean and dry, never oil or lube this track hoping to make the door roll better. Between the sliding door panel and the outside of the door unit is a piece of plastic. I'm not sure but I believe that should be located in this same position, but over your head, not on the floor. If you remove that piece of plastic (usually snaps into place) there may be a screw or two installed in the lower track area and these could be the cause of leaks. There could also be a screw located under the stationary section of the door Back out the screw, put a little caulk under the head and put the screw back in.
You know there is a leak because you can see this from the basement. Is the basement ceiling open so that you can see the underside of the floor decking ?
 

Last edited by dan0661; 09-08-13 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 09-10-13, 08:38 AM
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Thank you!

Much thanks to all who have responded - it's great to have knowledgeable suggestions for remedying our leak problem!

Mister_Ed: thanks for taking the time to diagram your solution, it was very helpful! We went ahead and caulked the openings in the ends of the door as they were literally draining straight into the basement with not a drop coming out the weep holes. That done, we're still getting a bit of water leaking in, but much less. I'm not clear on the weather stripping you suggested - would that be intended for the sliding door, the track beneath it, or the section between the glass and screen doors (which really has me confused). If you find a link to a specific product, a picture, or just a clarification, that would be helpful.

dan0661: Thanks for your feedback as well; you sound knowledgeable about our door! What do you think about the discovery that the end-of-track openings were draining straight into the basement (you're correct, the basement is unfinished)? Are we causing new trouble by caulking them?
Secondly, we've never taken the door apart and don't want to break something trying to pry up parts not intended to disassemble. Are you saying the wide white strip between the glass and screen doors should come off relatively easily? If so, we'll investigate right away.
Thanks!
 
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Old 09-10-13, 10:57 AM
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This will be my last post on this topic.

Remove the sliding door panel from the frame by lifting it up and out if the track. Then remove the plastic rail that it sits on... along with the stainless steel rail. Clean all the mud out from under it. Use compressrd air to blow the weep holes out if they srent draining. Theyre likely full of mud. Pocket sills arre a horrible design.
 
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Old 09-10-13, 11:41 AM
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Not an expert, but on my own deck the threshold is a good 6 inches above the deck surface. I think someone else in the thread already raised that issue.

What concerns me is that there does not seem to be any gap between the deck surface and siding. The two seem to butt directly up against each other in your pictures. On mine and most other professional installs I have seen there is a gap of an inch or two between the home and the boards closest to the house that allows water that make its way over there to drain through and down to the ground. On yours I see no gap at all. I think you may be able to lessen the problem with caulks and sealants, but I believe siding and wood rot and water intrusion will always be a problem for you because of your deck design.
 

Last edited by eharri3; 09-10-13 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 09-11-13, 07:48 PM
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You'll need to take a close look at the door. Some doors you can remove every thing from the frame and others you can only remove the sliding section and the glide track. The piece in question, have a look at the ends to see if it is a separate piece or is it welded (plastic melted) in place. If separate, you should be able to squeeze the piece and pry gently to get it up.
As XSleeper said you should also be able to pull the sliding section and pull up the glide track. You can then see if the corners of the frame are broken. This would be a likely leak spot that could be caulked.
 
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Old 09-13-13, 03:53 PM
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Sorry Sparrow, been preoccupied a couple days.
I couldn't find a link anywhere that would show anything about the weather stripping.
Went to Lufkin yesterday and stopped by Lowe's and Homo Depot to look at their patio doors.
None of the sliding doors on display showed any kind of gap similar to yours at the bottom.

As for the weather stripping, there is a small piece of weather stripping attached to the bottom of the door that is hidden between the door itself and the piece of vinyl that lies between the main door track and the screen door track.
You would probably have to be able to remove the door itself to replace "that" piece of weather stripping.
As for my suggestion about the weather stripping, I was talking about placing a piece of rubber stripping on top of the section between the glass and screen doors.
The piece of stripping I was thinking about was a piece that is actually shaped kind of like a (d), and my thought was to attach the flat part to the section between the glass and screen doors, while allowing the oval part to press snug against the door itself to create a seal when the door is closed.
I have no idea whether that might work well or not, it just seems like it ought to, if the water is entering the main track where I theorized it is.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 05:32 PM
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So, I just finished replacing a SG door Friday and it is very much like your door. It is all vinyl and the stationary panel is not removable and the divider is also not removable. In the one pic you can see the door glide track then in the other pic you can see it with the track removed and see the drain hole. You will notice there is no gap or hole in the corner as you have on your door. I might guess that your door is broken in the corner. You might be able to caulk this but the area is hollow to allow for the drain and you might not be able to get the caulk to seal the leak. The replacement door was about $300.
 
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Old 06-02-14, 11:34 AM
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Hi Sparrow41; I have the exact same problem with my Jeld-wen sliding patio doors; plus the track fills up with water and very slow to drain (weep holes are clear). Jeld-wen said their doors are not the problem, that the leaking into the track/basement is from either under or around the door frame done by the installer. I have been shuffed back and forth between masonaries, brick sealers, calking, and Jeld-wen since 2001 and still have the problem! Have you resolved the problem?
 

Last edited by chandler; 06-02-14 at 01:37 PM. Reason: Removed installer name reference
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