What to Do if Rainwater Comes in Through an Exterior Door

Brad LackeyWater Damage, Water Damage Prevention

Door in the Rain

Door in the Rain

Water damage is so common in homes because there are many ways that water can get into your home. One way is through your doors.

If your exterior doors are not sealed properly, this will allow water and small critters into your home and even affect your utility bills. It is very important to fix any leaks around your door or replace them as needed, as that will keep excess air and water from coming into your home.

As spring and summer is approaching, make sure to check your exterior doors for any leaks to ensure that they keep water out from heavy showers. This will help you prevent water damage and have some peace of mind in your home.

Reason Why Exterior Doors Leak

The first thing you need to do when you notice a leak on your door is to locate the source of the leak. When it begins raining, investigate the leaking door to see which part of the door starts leaking first. If you cannot pinpoint the exact area of the leak, check to see if there is any mold. Mold is a good indication that there is too much moisture around a certain area.

There are three common reasons why a door would leak: not enough caulking, weatherstrips not working properly, or from inadequate installation.

Caulking seals the cracks between the door and the wall. It can act as a barrier between the indoors and outdoors, stopping moisture and airflow from entering the house. Because caulking wears out over time, reapplication is required after a few years. If there is not enough caulking around the doors, water can find its way easily into the house.

Weatherstrips fill in the gap between the doorframe and the door. When the door is properly sealed using weatherstrips, it stops cold and hot air from getting inside the house. However, weatherstrips will lose flexibility or crack over time depending on the material. When this happens, it means that the doors will not be completely sealed when shut, which leaves room for rainwater to come in through the doors.

When installing a door, make sure that everything is measured correctly and put in the correct place. Make sure caulking and weatherstrips are applied properly as well. Improper installation can leave cracks and gaps between the doors, allowing all weather elements to come inside the house.

These reasons cover most of the situations why exterior doors leak. Once you find the source of the leak, you can proceed to the next step.

Areas of the Door That Commonly Leaks

Below are some areas around your exterior door that you should always check for leaks and how to fix them.

Underneath the Door

Sometimes the bottom of your door will need to be replaced. An easy way to identify if you need to replace the bottom of your door is if you notice a draft or a light coming in under the closed door. This is an important part of the door as the bottom of the door seals between the panel and the door sill. It also gets used a lot, so it is common for it to become worn and need replacing. Even though you may experience leaks due to the bottom of the door being worn, you should always check your door sill as well. The door sill should be set-up correctly for it to function properly. This means that there should not be any gaps underneath your door panel.

Top Corner of Doors

If you notice that your door sags or is bowed, or not contacting the weatherstrip properly, the upper corners of the door frame may be the issue. The gaps could allow for moisture to enter your home. To fix this, you can find products online that help you tighten the seal around the top corners of the door and keep air and water out.  

Between French Doors or Along the Jambs

If your weatherstrips are older, you need to make sure to replace them so that they can do their primary job which is to keep moisture out. If you notice that you can see light around the door when it is closed or water leaks inside of your home, it may be time to get new weatherstrips installed. They can be found at your local hardware store in many colors and material options, and they are easy to replace.

Crucial Corners

Crucial corners are the areas around your door that especially need to be sealed. They are located at the bottom corners of the door frame. If there is a gap between the door panel and door jamb, your door will not seal very well when it closes. Even if the door leaks in this area, the crucial corners may not be the issue. This area of the door is common to have leaks, however if the door has other areas that are leaking, fixing the crucial corners may not fix your problem. An easy way to fix the door would be to remove the adhesive pads from the backing and stick new pads on the inside of your door frame at the crucial corners.

Around the Doorway

Lack of proper caulking around the doorway can cause water and air leaks inside your home. Replacing caulking around your doorway is easy. Just scrape out the old caulking, clean the doorway with mild detergent and scrub with a brush, then wipe the area with a rag dipped in some alcohol to get rid of any leftover dirt. Once you have the door frame cleaned, you can install a new caulk with a caulk gun. There are many tutorials on YouTube you can look up to ensure you are doing it properly.

House in the rain

Contact a Water Damage Restoration Company

Whether you are facing water damage due to your exterior door not being sealed properly or from other situations such as burst pipes, heavy storms or sewage backups, ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors can help. 

We’ve been providing water damage restoration services to homes and businesses in Fort Wayne, IN and all Northeastern Indiana since 1975. Make sure to give us a call at (260) 420-1502 or check out the website for the full list of our disaster restoration services.