How to Fix a Front Door Leak
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Charlotte in Alabama on the line who’s dealing with a leak in her house. What can we do for you?
CHARLOTTE: OK, well I think I must have a leak above my front door inside my house.
TOM: OK. What’s it look like?
CHARLOTTE: Well, it looks like gray little mountains above the frame of the front door.
TOM: Gray little mountains above the frame …
LESLIE: Oh, like a vertical shadow.
CHARLOTTE: Yeah, yeah. That’s what it is.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) OK.
TOM: Yeah, OK.
LESLIE: So nothing’s like sticking off the wall. I got it.
TOM: Yeah. That’s the water stains.
TOM: So, yeah, what’s happening is the water is leaking in above the door and then it’s getting absorbed up into the wallboard and that’s what’s making it have those kind of funny patterns to it.
Now, is this very new or has it been there for a while?
CHARLOTTE: No, it’s new.
TOM: Alright. Well, the most common cause of this is the flashing above the front door on the outside of your home. Now, right above the trim, there should be a piece of metal that goes basically over the wood trim and then up underneath whatever kind of siding you have. What kind of siding is it?
CHARLOTTE: It’s aluminum.
TOM: Aluminum, OK. So I suspect that that flashing is breaking down and that’s why the water is getting in. You can try caulking it around the outside of the door; see if that – you can happen to catch it. You would use a silicone caulk for that. But if it persists, you may have to take the siding off of the front of the house right above the door and properly seal that door with new flashing. And then you can put it back together and it’ll never happen again.
CHARLOTTE: OK. Well, thank you so much.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Charlotte.
CHARLOTTE: (overlapping voices) Is that very expensive?
TOM: Doesn’t have to be. Try caulking it first but that’s where you want to try: the outside top of the door; that’s where the water’s getting in.
CHARLOTTE: OK. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Charlotte. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.