Hi, one of my "French" doors is leaking at the bottom. The leaking has damaged the flooring at the door. I do have a deck right out the door but the deck was there long before that door was installed. The outside door frame is rotting at the bottom and I suspect that the rain comes in from there. What is the best way to replace the part of the door frame? Also, the door is un-level. There is about 3/8 gap at the top. However, it's really snug at the top left part of the door but as you look down there is about a 1/2 gap. Could someone please tell me how to address that one, too? Any advice would greatly be appreciated.
Sounds like at a minimum you are looking at a new threshold and some sub-floor repair. The hard part here is finding a threshold that matches the one on your door. Beyond that, you'll need to unhand the door unit, repair the threshold and rehang it level.
Your best bet may be a new door. Depending on what type you have, French doors can be had starting at around $500. If you have to do door repairs as above, you could easily spend that money to get a repaired door.
Beyond this, you need to look for the cause or it will just happen all over again. The most common thing is to have the deck built too high so that it is at the same level as the subfloor. This will cause water to pool under the threshold and eventual rot. The only real fix is to lower the deck, but you can get several years with under threshold flashing and caulking - as long as you check the caulking yearly.
Because you have rot in the threshold and in the door jambs, I would seriously consider repairing by getting a new French door unit.
Thank you for the information. The deck has to be replaced anyway. I think it is about 20-25 years old. The French doors were added sometime later. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to replace the door. Again, thank you for the information!
I'd bet when that door comes out your also going to find there was little or no flashing done under the threshold.
There's been hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed from that one builders 101 mistake of not building any solid surface like a deck or stoop lower then the threshold.
Another one I see in the same area is when there's no support where the threshold over hangs on the outside.
I almost always see no support or someone really messes up and uses something that sticks out further then the threshold.
Then think caulking will "seal" it. Just not going to happen, all it does is form a funnel to direct water in behind it and cause more rot.
More often then not I use a piece of 1 X 6 vinyl lumber. It's not going to rot, will stand up to kicking it, looks nice.
What you have is not a good quality french door, it does not have self flush when water stuck underneath. There is nothing you can do but replace it with new one, but I suggest that you check this out http://caldwells.com/interior-doors/french-doors, this is the company site where I also bought our sliding doors, and so far still in good condition. They also have quality materials that you can choose from, it is not ordinary so it is all safe.
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