08:03AM | 01/14/02
Member Since: 03/08/00
2 lifetime posts
I live in an old Colonial near Boston. I have a water problem around an exterior door on the second floor. I need to replace the threshold for the door, but I am not sure of the best way to do that without having to rip on the entire door frame. Can someone tell me how to replace the threshold and what steps I should take to insure that the water problem doesn't return?


09:36AM | 01/17/02
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
I'm sorry, but usually second floors do not have an exterior door. I am envisioning a second-floor door that opens to... nothing. If so, you have more than a water problem. You gotta... JUMP! On the plus side, you probably do not have much of a problem with burglars....

Seriously, I do not know what you mean by "a water problem." What sort of patio/balcony does that second-floor door open to? Is it pitched toward the door or away from it? Is there any sort of covering above the door? Usually "water problems" with exterior doors have to do with the surrounding area, not the door, itself. Doors are never meant to be watertight seals: they will always leak if water pools around or on them. It is possible that the seal just is not good, but if it keeps drafts out, then the problem is more likely with the surroundign area than the door or frame or threshold.

As for replacing the threshold, you sometimes can pry it out and slip it out from under the door frame. But it always depends on how it was installed: whether it was installed tightly under the frame or not under the frame, at all.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited January 17, 2002).]


05:31AM | 01/18/02
Member Since: 03/08/00
2 lifetime posts
The second floor door exits from the master bedroom onto a deck built on top of a one story sunroom. The door is on the east side of the house. Typically when we have a "Noreaster," the water ends up pelting that side of the house. In that case, water ends up leaking onto the sunroom ceiling (on the first floor). This typically occurs 3-4 times a winter.

This problem has existed since I moved into the house three years ago. To try to resolve the problem, I have done several things, including replacing she sunroom roof with a new rubber roof, replaced the trim/molding around the exterior door, and installing a storm door. All of these things needed to be done regardless of the water problem. However, none of them fixed the problem. That is why I am now turning to the threshold...


08:38AM | 01/18/02
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
Good to hear you do not need to jump from the second story door. Sorry to hear that you are now just as susceptible to burglars as the rest of us. :-)

I would suspect that the problem is not the door but instead the surrounding frame and seams between the frame and the siding. (Perhaps you already figured this out and just used the term "door" generally.) Some good exterior caulk to plug those seams might solve the problem. Also, check the top seam, which is hidden from view but gets hit with the most water. The leak might originate up there and then drip along the inner side of the door. You might be getting water inside every time it rains, but only seeing it downstairs when large volumes hit because only then does the "river" make it to the downstairs.

Also, check the drainage routes by using a hose (with a fine spray or a soft enouygh spray so you can see the natural drainage route) on and around the door to make sure water drains AWAY from your house, or at least away from the door. It is possible that the deck (even one plank of the deck if the planks run parallel to the siding) is directing water into the framing when those storms hit. It might just be subtle, but enough to get water inside when large volumes hit the deck, which is when yous say there is a problem. Sometimes, even a small glob of caulk can redirect the water into a small hole.

Finally, if you can't tell where the problem is from the outside, you might try cutting an exploratory hole in that sunroom ceiling to see where the water is coming from. This is somewhat of a last-resort because you will need to repair the hole, but it is much better than allowing the leak to remain, perhaps get worse, and create rather serious mold and wood rot problems. You will probably see some sort of indication where the water drips (mold or other residue). Sometimes leaks end up dripping far from where they originate. The water comes in at one point, works its way through the framing, and comes out somewhere else, completely. It might only be a coincidence that the leak ends up dripping where the second floor door is. Indeed, perhaps the carpentry for that door merely re-directs the water so that it drips right there when it actually comes from somewhere else.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited January 18, 2002).]


10:33AM | 01/18/02
Member Since: 11/16/01
301 lifetime posts
Dear J,
Now that you've explained the problem in a little more detail; First, if you think the water is getting in under the threshold, try using a product called Silpruf 2000 series Sealant. The area must be totally dry and clean. No dampness allowed. Brush the area with mineral spirits and allow to dry. Caulk the area and tool it in. Dip your tooling apparatus in mineral spirits to keep the flow going. USE GLOVES and follow the directions. Let dry for 24 hours. If this dosent solve the problem you have a real problem as the water is getting in somewhere else.
P.S. Lawerence,
I am not easy prey for burglars. I have two wolf/shepard cross dogs. They weigh close to 140 Lbs. apeice, and they ARE cross. LOL

[This message has been edited by Iceman (edited January 18, 2002).]


09:15AM | 05/15/02
Member Since: 05/14/02
1 lifetime posts
Did you ever find or fix the leak? I have almost the identical symptoms. I have an upstairs deck on the east facing side of the house and during "Noreasters" I get water coming down into the first floor right under where the deck meets the house. My suspicion was that water is travelling in through the lag bolts through the ledger board, or that there was not a proper flashing job done where the deck meets the house.
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