Water Coming In Through Top Of Door Frame – What To Do?

Finding a patch of water or feeling a cold draft near the exterior door of your home can not only be annoying but a nuisance as well. If you are thinking of how to resolve this problem, you are at the right place because we have researched and provided you with the answers.

Some of the most common causes of water leakage on your door frame include:

  • Inadequate caulking on the door frame.
  • Incorrect installation of the door.
  • Deteriorated or cracked weather stripping.
  • Inappropriate installation of weather stripping.

To repair these issues, you'll want to remove the deteriorated or damaged seal to replace it with new. However, for improperly installed doors, a replacement might be an alternative solution.

Keep your attention glued here, as we give you solutions on how to stop water leakages on the door frame and threshold, how to repair a door jamb, and other door issues using various methods.

Carpenter placing the flashing of a white sliding door, Water Coming In Through Top Of Door Frame - What To Do?

Causes Of Water Leakage On A Door Frame

Any exterior door of your home should not leak in any water, not even a trickle. So, why would water leak through the door? Let us get to know more as explained below.

Inadequate Caulking On The Door Frame

Gaps in trim molding around a door frame create unsightly cracks but are an easy DIY fix

Caulking the exterior doors is essential because it protects our properties from the weather elements. It keeps out air drafts, improves the comfort of your home, and significantly lowers your energy bills.

Besides, water will not be able to permeate through into your home, and pests are kept away. In addition, you benefit from the soundproof it provides to your home or business.

If you are not sure exactly where the leak on the door frame is, simply hold a burning candle near the door when it is closed. Move it around the frame, and the point at which the flame flickers is the part that has a leak.

This problem can be solved by following the seven steps below:

  1. Take off the current sealant using a pair of pliers. If your door has a backer rod, remove that too.
  2. Caulk that is still stuck and difficult to come off can be scraped off using an electric knife or cutter-knife. Be careful not to use too much force as the surface could get damaged. 
  3. Clean off using a suitable solvent to make sure all the old caulk has been removed, and the surface is free of any debris.
  4. Install a new backer rod to replace the old one, especially if the gap between the wall and door frame is very wide. 
  5. Use a caulk gun to apply sealant. 
  6. Smooth out the caulk joints using a suitable tool like a wood stick to make it more airtight.
  7. Finally, clean up your working area.

Check out this Backer Rod on Amazon.

You can find this caulking tool kit on Amazon.

Incorrect Installation Of The Door

portrait of young asian worker installing doors

It can be quite difficult to know if your door has been poorly installed, but some of the signs include creaking sounds, difficulty in opening or closing the door, and floor marks, including water leaks.

If an installer did not install the door properly, cracks can develop between the wall and door frame, causing an increase in airflow. In this case, the door will either be repaired or replaced altogether.

This can be a complex job that will require professionals. But before you go ahead, you need to make a credible decision. Should you repair or replace the door? Go through the following factors to make the right decision:

  1. The average cost of repairing a door is $220, which is cheaper than a replacement. Nevertheless, the costs will depend on how badly the installation was done. If the estimates between repairing and replacing a door are almost the same, then replacing the door may be a better option. 
  2. If you are planning to sell your home soon, then upgrading it by re-installing the door will increase its value.
  3. If you suspect that the maintenance of a repaired door will end up costing more than is necessary, then installing a new door will save you money in the long run. 

Deteriorated Or Cracked Weather Stripping

Although the weather stripping on your door can get damaged by pests, pets, and people, it can also wear out due to aging. Foam tape can pull away, vinyl and rubber can become dry, brittle, and end up cracking, and spring-metal V-shaped stripping can also crack or bend out of shape.  

If your door is installed properly but is still experiencing water or air leaks, then weatherproofing strips can be added. Follow the steps below on how to install:

  1. Measure the gaps that you want to fill with the weatherproofing strips.
  2. With a wide variety available, consult with a professional or hardware shop to purchase the most suitable for closing the gaps.
  3. Wash the surface where the strip will be fixed by using soap and water, and then allowing it dry completely. The strips will fall off if applied to a dirty surface. 
  4. To apply the strips, peel away the backing slowly as you press it down.
  5. To prevent any peel back for whatever reason, hold down the strips by nailing into each end.
  6. To test, open and close the door. If it opens or closes with difficulty, then look for the strip causing the issue and remove it. 

You can find this weather stripping on Amazon.

Inappropriate Installation Of Weather Stripping

Hands applying rubber strip

Other than the weather stripping getting damaged, or worn-out, it can also be improperly installed causing water to leak into your home.

Before you notice moisture droplets around the door, the first sign of a badly installed weatherstripping is seeing light around the door frame.

Weatherstripping not installed properly will have to be replaced. The solution here is the same as in the previous paragraph. Follow the 6 steps indicated above and soon there will be no more water patches or moisture around your door.

How To Stop Water From Coming Under The Door Threshold

A man is making a threshold on the floor

If there is a large gap under your door, water can leak in through here, especially after a heavy downpour. This can be mitigated by applying weatherproof sweeps to the bottom of your door to stop water from passing under the door and into your home. The steps to follow are:

  1. Start by measuring the gap between the threshold and your door. Also, measure the width of the door. This will prevent you from buying a door sweep that does not fit. 
  2. There are two types of door sweeps. One is a metal strip that can be stapled, nailed, or screwed to the bottom of the door. The other is u-shaped that can slide under a metal or aluminum door. 
  3. Place the door sweep at the edge of the door, and using a pencil, mark points on the door where the holes will be drilled. 
  4. Drill the holes at the marked points on the door. 
  5. Loosely screw the sweep to the door. 
  6. Test if the door can open and close without difficulty. If it doesn’t open easily, then you can adjust it upwards.
  7. After ensuring your door can open and close, tighten the screws. 

Have a look at this U-shaped weatherproofing sweep on Amazon.

Check out this metal weatherproof sweep on Amazon.

How Do You Fix A Leaky Door Jamb?

It is very clear by now that exterior door jambs can have air leaks that can make your home uncomfortable and lead to higher energy bills. These gaps or cracks give access to moisture droplets or cold drafts into your home.

The solutions have been provided as shown above. In a nutshell, repairs are done by caulking sections or all around the door frame as needed. Adding weather strips or sweeps, and repairing or replacing the door or door frames are other options.

What Are The Best Sealants For A Door Frame?

man applying sealant

Identifying the correct sealant or adhesive, and applying them correctly will provide a long-lasting effect to your repairs or installations.

With many different types of sealants and adhesives available, go for the one that is suitable for your purpose. For example, acrylic latex caulk is one of the cheapest and used in the interior of a building to cover small holes and cracks. It bonds very well to drywall and wood.

This acrylic latex caulk is on Amazon. 

Silicone Acrylic sealant is another example, which can be used on the interior as well as the exterior but is not suitable for use on surfaces that are prone to water exposure. It adheres well to surfaces such as PVC, wood, and aluminum. 

Click here to see silicone caulk on Amazon.

In Closing

Hot or cold air drafts, moisture droplets, and sometimes water leaks can make your home uncomfortable.
It is a problem that can be solved by applying weatherproofing, repairing an improperly installed door, or replacing a door altogether.

It is not only important to buy correct sealant and adhesive products, but they should also be installed correctly if you want a longer-lasting solution.

You may want to check out our previous posts on how much space to leave under your door, and get to know more about the strike side of a door:

How Much Gap To Leave Under Door?

What Is Strike Side Of Door?

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