Sliding door leak into house


Old 09-20-13, 11:40 AM
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Sliding door leak into house

Hello, I have a sliding door that leaks whenever there is a very heavy rain to the interior of the house. This has been a persistent problem for over a year now. Just above the slider on the outside is an aluminum roof for a screened in porch. I have attempted numerous times to caulk & use seal tape where the roof meets the stucco, I even removed the aluminum roof, and caulked the screws that hold the roof header to the stucco. This seemed to slow it down but not solve it. Removing the aluminum roof was very time consuming. I'm really pulling my hair out over this one. Most of the (Miranda) homes in my community have this problem but some are able to correct it with seal tape from the roof to stucco. I removed the sheetrock at the leak the last time and it was seeping in the seam from the doorframe header board (thank god pressure treated) to the slider top casing. There is no evidence that water is getting in any other place. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated as I'm at my wits end with this problem. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-20-13, 12:19 PM
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You should post pictures of the area when you get a chance. But this sounds like you have a flashing issue, typically one of the top route causes for leaks in areas like you describe. The value and power of caulks, sealants, roofing cement, tars, and tapes is greately overestimated by DIYers as a potential long term solution to these problems. Those substances were not meant to stand up to direct water attacks for extended periods of time. They can protect against air leaks and some wind-driven rain, but are not designed to compensate for a structure that isn't built to shed water properly. Metal flashing is impervious to water penetration and channels water away from vulnerable areas such as this for the life of the roof when it is the proper material installed correctly. Sealants and tapes are often porous, and tend to weather away and degrade over time with exposure to the elements. For there to be even the slightest chance that they will function decently for any length of time, the home owner has to get up there periodically to inspect, maintain, replace tape, and add more gunk. Otherwise they wear away and there is a leak again.

When you initially flash an adjoining roof to stucco it will involve cutting into the stucco to secure the panels and then making repairs to it. I am guessing this was either done improperly on your roof and has failed somewhere, or else the installer just could not be bothered to do it at all. The latter often turns out to be the case because dealing with stucco requires more skill, time, and patience than dealing with siding in this situation. This has to be addressed. Once this happens there shouldn't be issues for the life of the roof. As long as you resort to the easy, cheap patches you can expect maintenance and repair to this area to be routine and on-going.

If you feel this is beyond you, put the caulk away and call a roofer. The more you cover up the problem with patching materials, the more expensive and time consuming it will be for someone to rip all of it back off and fix what's underneath.

Last edited by eharri3; 09-20-13 at 12:57 PM.

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