Notching Slab For Patio Door -- How?

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I have 4 patio doors. The builder did not recess them below the slab so the leak water under the track ruining carpets and rotting the walls at the end of the tracks. I am intending to replace at least one of these doors. When I do this I want to notch the slab so the replacement door sits below the upper surface of the slab. But, there's very little room to do this. A deck comes almost up to the slab on the outside.
How do I cut a neat notch for the door track? It must be fairly level and I would like the cuts on the inside edge and at each end to be neat and square.
I assume I use a diamond blade on a circular saw to cut the long inside cut but how to make the end cuts without cutting the deck and how to get the concrete block out of the notch area?
Here's a crude drawing of the situation
http://img324.imageshack.us/img324/917/patiodoor0ml.gif
jim
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Jim, if you recess them below the slab, won't the problem be worse? Because now you are trapping water in the track below the slab line. It seems it would be better to leave the track above the slab. Is the water coming from rainstorms?
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wrote:

Yes.
jim
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"jim evans" > I have 4 patio doors. The builder did not recess them below the slab

the deck side of the slot.. That would collect water, and corrode the door frame, as well as continue to leak. There was indeed something wrong with the installation, but just what that was it what you need to address, before repair. Suggest you have more than one patio door installer by, with good local recommendations, to give you an estimate, and ask what they think is wrong with the install, and what they propose to do. Also might consult DIY patio door books.. You could also consider doing minor repairs to the base jamb, then install a permanent roof or awning over the door, keeping most rain off the doors. Looking at google, there are many door install guidelines available. One is at http://www.blackanddecker.com/ProjectCenter/DocumentView.aspx?DOC_ID=p_2_76_20149_20175_20214.html
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wrote:

If you look at the top figure in my sketch you will see there's about a small (3/8" -1/2") gap between the slab and the deck.

I had a professional installer tell me the door track should sit in a recess in the slab. This recess should be from 1" to 1 1/4" lower than the slab. This is what prevents the water intrusion. They cannot simply sit on the same grade as the slab or they will always do what mine is doing.
That's almost a direct quote.
jim
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I just measured it -- the gap is a quarter inch
jim
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Well he's wrong every door that I have had in my houses has sat on the same level as the floor it leads to. If this was a traditional door how would it open? It would so the guy is wrong in that statement. I have installed sliding doors and what needs to be done is a very good caulk job between the bottom of the sill and the slab/underlayment to prevent water intrusion this caulk as I did it ran up and in the joint between the slab/underlayment and the jack studs (the ones on either side of the door holding the header) so it wouldn't ruin them over time.
Like someone else posted are you sure the weep hole are pointing in the correct direction, there should be small slots on the exterior of the door every so often to get rid of water? All that might need to be done is when you take the door out that your replacing look at the junction between the bottom of the sill and the slab. Make sure the door was installed correctly to begin with. If it wasn't repair the other ones or if its a new house go after the builder to repair them.
Good luck, Rich
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And look at pan flashing below the door sill. It is formed sort of like a dust pan - sides and back turned up so water doesn't get into walls or room, but weeps out and down through that 1/4 inch crack between wall and deck. TB
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The doors I'm talking about are sliding patio doors.

There were no weep holes in the track of these doors. Water would pool in the track until it ran over one of the vertical rail-like track pieces. I drilled holes in the track to let the water run out but it did not corrected the carpet wetting problem.
jim
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jim evans wrote:

It's very hard to visualize your situation - wonder if the doors just ride too high on the little wheels? Don't know if that is possible. Our track is on a curb outside, which is level with the rest of the slab inside. No weepholes on outside of track, only little space at each end which allows water to drain. The door sits down astride the rail, so even with water blowing against it water will not come in. Sounds like maybe just some caulk would have solved your problem. Doors couldn't be upside-down, could they - with weep holes or whatever at the top???????
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wrote:

I strongly suspect if mine were on a curb outside, as you describe, the channels would drain out each end. As it is the track butts into the door jam, trapping the water in the channels and the water seeps into the walls.
This isn't a very good illustration. This is a different door than the one that's against the carpet. As you can see it backs up against ceramic tile, so the problem isn't as great. But, you can see the deteriation of the wall where the track butts up against it. I repair the wall and replace the molding periodically. The little piece of quarter-round that's missing rotted away. All 4 of my patio door are the same and all do this.
http://img47.imageshack.us/img47/2843/patiodoortrack0ne.jpg
jim
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Jim the picture shows one of the problems. See the front track, the one that the glass door rides on? It's cut short of the edge so that any wind driven water that makes it over that track will be funneled back to the outside as the sill should slightly go down hill from inside the house to out. But the screen door track goes all the way to the end trapping all the water that has hit the glass and dropped down now you have all that water sitting in-between these two tracks with no where to go except water seeks its own level and as I zoom into the picture I can see that the caulking has failed between the two tracks to the upright piece, well actually the whole area has failed this could be your major problems.
So I would suggest shortening the screen door track like the glass door track. Then repair the failed seal between the horizontal piece and the vertical piece. It will take some doing as its aluminum and hard to get to but worth the effort if this is your problem. Then use good 100% silicone caulk on that joint then with the inside door trim removed so you can see water immediately give it the old hose test not pressure at the joints so much but like water on the glass and let it run for a while with someone inside watching for water. If all is well the water should now not pool between the tracks and will run out and not go into the now resorted joint between the horizontal and vertical pieces.
I hope this solves it for you, Rich
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jim evans wrote:

I think you don't want a notch there at all...if anything, I'd pour a raised sill to set them on.
The answer is that the tracks should be mounted w/ a water-tight seal underneath and there won't be water getting between them and the slab.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

BTW, the guy didn't mount the tracks inside-out perchance, did he? So that the water is from the drains in the tracks coming inside instead of going out?
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jim evans wrote:

Some of the other posters already mentioned the correct answer, but I will jump in just to reinforce their positions.
The patio door does not go into a recess in the slab. It sits on the same plane as the rest of the floor. It needs to be installed correctly with proper adhesive sealant under the door threshold and about 2-4" up the sides.
I am a patio door installer (among my other jobs as a general contractor) and out of the 200 or so patio doors that I have installed over the past 35 years, NONE have been set into a recess in the slab. I have had a couple of leaks that I had to remove the door and repair, but every installation has been waterproof when complete (and correctly installed).
You need to get advice from someone other than your "expert".
As a caveat, I have found that many installers do not follow, or do not know the correct installation procedures for the various situations for which they may be installing doors. When I get a factory installer on the jobsite, I always watch them like a hawk.
Here are a couple of sites to look at installation procedures:
http://www.mwwindows.com/pdf/wslinst.pdf
http://www.chase-pitkin.com/How-To/Projects/doors_win/frenchdoors/frenchdoors.htm
http://www.pella.com/resources/pdf/clad_hinged_patio_door.pdf
Although, the pella site is for a hinged patio door, the info is correct for a standard slider, and has a better detail on flashing for wood floors. The flashing is not needed for concrete slab applications.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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On Sat, 06 Aug 2005 23:30:50 GMT, Robert Allison

Then maybe you can explain something that confuses me. In all explanations (including the ones you gave) for how to install these doors; in one way or the other, they always say (and these are quotes from one of your links):
". . run heavy beads of caulking along the floor where the sill will rest."
"Shim under the sill . . .as necessary [to level the door]."
How do you retain the seal created by the 'generous caulking' and also lift the sill with shims to level it?
jim
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jim evans wrote:

There needs to be a flat, level surface <first>. Only if the need for shimming is minute can one get away w/o preparing the sill plate surface the door is on first.
I was going to add this as another possibility of the problem--the original slab wasn't poured flat/level and the original installer didn't prepare the opening before setting the door, but (as is often the case :) ) Bob got a critical point in.
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On Sun, 07 Aug 2005 08:46:12 -0500, Duane Bozarth

I've read several instructions for installing patio doors and I don't remember any mention of the need to "prepare the sill plate surface" other than yours. The three references Robert gave made no mention of it. On the other hand all or almost all talk about shimming 'as necessary.'
jim
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jim evans wrote:

It has always seemed patently obvious to me that one can't have a weather-tight seal against air (as you've noticed). All instructions I've read basically started w/ a near flat, level surface. If you don't have that, that's the first thing to get. I also (at least personally) interpret "shimming" of anything more than a small fraction under a door sill as needing to be continuous, not a "hit and lick" wedge in a couple of places. This is needed both for long-term rigidity as well as the seal.
ISTR there was a pretty good detailed article in a recent Fine Homebuilding where a fellow went through his process...
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jim evans wrote:

If shimming is necessary, then the slab is not completely level. Most of the time the slab is close enough that the sealant STILL seals the underside of the threshold to the slab. I use a urethane sealant that is pretty stiff, and the beads of sealant stand about 3/8" tall off the slab. I have not had more than a few instances of the slab being out of level by more than 1/4" or so in the six feet of the door opening. When I do run into this, then I usually discover it when I check the door opening for plumb and level.
If you have this problem, then you must address it before installing the door. I have had to make 6' long shims to seal down to the floor, then install the door on the shims and seal the door to the shims.
Usually you don't have this problem and the sealant will seal the track to the slab even if you have to shim a spot or two. I always seal the track to the slab on the outside anyway, just to be sure. If I have to shim the door by more than a 1/4", then after the door is installed, I push some backerrod under the door and fill the space with the same sealant to prevent water intrusion.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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