It's shaped the way I want it - it would have taken longer build a form
than it did to just get it done by hand with a couple supports.
And how do you pour into a form that extends up to the wood trim and is
1.5 inches across? As thick as qwikcrete is, I know there aren't any
empty spaces in there because I hand apllied it and stood over it until
I'd probably have pulled the existing brick mould and only poured a few
inches above the walk level on each side and finished that as described
before with a sloped top and rounded edge. Then I'd have
repaired/replaced the moulding.
"Quikrete" is a trademarked brand name for various premixed concrete
products. How thick they are is totally dependent on the amount of
water used; just like concrete you mix it to the consistency needed for
the pour to be made. In a small area as I suggested with a sand mix, it
would be mixed fairly wet and one would use a poker rod to ensure
filling forms entirely, just like pouring a basement wall in smaller
scale. It would have been about a 30 minute job forming and pouring
each as suggested I'd guess, roughly.
Unfortunately, this is a very common problem. Water leaks down around the
sill plate, then wicks up the bottom of the door frame causing rot. The
entry door on our garage and the back door of our house both rotted the
same way, and now the front door at my in-laws is rotting too. The
typical time frame seems to be around 5-7 years, even with proper
I used a two step approach to fix ours:
1. I measured the existing door (hinges, latches, etc.) and ordered a new
door frame made of composite materials. The cost was about $125 per door,
but the composite frames won't rot the way the finger-jointed wood did. I
ordered mine through Lowes.
2. Before I installed the replacement door frame, I installed a jamsill
liner (http://jamsill.com /) in the rough opening. This ensures that any
water that does find it's way past the door frame gets directed outside
the building where it won't rot the subfloor, joists, or studs.
You could try patching your existing frame with composite lumber, but the
repair will be difficult to install and seal up well. Even with a
concrete floor, your structure (sole plates, studs, wall coverings) will
still be vulnerable to the water that makes it past the door frame.
Better to do it once and do it right!
The only downside to the composite frame is when it comes time to paint.
I used a primer made for plastics, then had to apply several coats of
paint to cover the white door frame.
I've used it for a long time and never a problem. Consider: it is mostly
talc and polyester resin. Talc is virtually non-absorbent, polyester resin
was used for many years to lay up fiberglass boats (maybe still, don't
Is a filled epoxy better? I'm sure it is. It also takes hours rather
than minutes to set up. Then there is the cost - getting to be true of
Bondo too :(
It will blot up moisture because it is in a powder form and because the
surface of talc is hydrophobic. However, that doesn't mean the moisture
is absorbed...most any fine material - even quartz sand - will "blot up"
water. That hydrophobic surface goes away when it is encased in
something. Like polyester resin.
The other property of talc that makes it useful for hygienic purposes is
that the crystalline structure is such that it reduces friction - powdered
talc feels greasy - and will consequently reduce chafing.
Theoretically, I suppose. I'll only repeat that my experience using
bondo for structural applications has not been good and I so I won't
recommend it for OP's purpose, particularly when there's a much better
and easier (and cheaper) alternative.
Treated wood will still rot, it just takes longer. There are also different
ratings for pressure treated lumber. Typical deck lumber has less
protection than wood labeled "safe for ground contact". Usually the better
ground contact lumber has a series of holes where the chemicals are forced
deep into the wood.
Also, pressure treatment usually doesn't penetrate that far into the wood.
If you cut the board, the center section is usually untreated wood that
would need to be painted with preservatives to minimize rot.
Unfortunately, concrete does not stop moisture. That's why plastic vapor
barriers are placed under concrete slabs. Without some kind of barrier
between the concrete and wood, you can potentially still get wicking.
Granted, the PT lumber will probably last longer.
If you're going to continue with the patch job, I would pick up some PVC or
composite lumber to use for the trim. It's basically plastic, so it can't
rot. It mills and paints just like wood.
I agree with DPB though, the door is installed incorrectly. The door sill
is sitting below the level of the walkway outside. You may be able seal it
off temporarily, but at some point water is going to find it's way under
the door sill (there is usually wood under that metal covering on the door
sill). It would be smart to either raise the door frame, or lower the
sidewalk. I'm betting it would be easier to raise the door frame.
As I mentioned previously, you would be better off to order a new composite
door frame and stop messing around with patches that may or may not last. I
replaced my door frames in about 2-3 hours each. Remove the door from the
hinges, remove any interior trim, cut the exterior caulking with a knife,
cut the nails with a reciprocating saw, and pop out the old frame. Then
it's a simple job to install the new frame.
Best wishes with your repair!
Over 11 years, the problem only resulted in about 8 inches of rot on
untreated wood, on only one side of the door frame (the other is in good
shape), beneath which a small hole used to exist that allowed
accumulation of water and wicking.
I've got only 3 hrs of work and $22 spent on this, so far, and I'm just
not seeing the need to tear out the old frame. "dpb" thinks I should
raise the sill, and there's some water control logic in that, but then
you create a trip hazard unless you do a ramp on either side, and you
need a new door.
If it turns out that what I've done creates more problems down the
line, I'll own up to it by posting the situation.
It is hard to see what has been done in the photo with the shears. Based
on the other photos, I would...
1. Fix the wood that has been cut off a few inches up. You could either
replace the whole piece or scarf in a section.
2. Before the wood, I would make a dam at the bottom out of - guess
what? - Bondo.I would make it the same depth and width as the new wood
will be; I would slope it from the inside outward: a ramp.
3. On the bottom of the new wood I would also make a slope so that of the
wood and Bondo are parallel. I would make the new wood about 1/4" shorter
so that its ramp hangs over the one of Bondo. I would build the Bondo
ramp up about 1/2-1: higher than the aluminum threshold.
4. I would apply copper napthanate to the entirety of the new wood (you
can get it at HD, it is used for painting cut ends of PT lumber). When the
copper napthanate is dry - it takes a while - I would prime and paint the
new wood with oil paint, then install.
5. Finally, I would caulk the gap between the two ramps.
I could live with that. In fact, I DID live with that.
I built four French screen doors a few years ago to enclose an open lanai.
I left an uncaulked 1/4" gap at the bottom of the jambs. Do you have any
idea how many different types of critters can get through a 1/4" gap???
The cats liked the gap, wife didn't, no more gap :(
OP wouldn't have a critter problem in the house if he left a gap uncaulked
so propably better that he does. I might still partially close it with a
piece of backer rod, though, just to keep critters from taking up
residence within the gap itself. That's what I did on my lanai.
You had better luck than me. The entry door on our garage, and the back
door of our house both rotted out at the bottom within 5-6 years. The
front door at my in-laws is also rotting out about 5 years after we
In all three cases, the doors were exposed to the weather with no
significant roof overhang. The rot always seems to be worse on the latch
side of the door frame. I think that's because the gap around the door is
slightly wider there, so it's easier for water to get in.
I sincerely hope your repair works for you. When I replaced my door
frame, I discovered more rot to the structure beneath the frame.
Thankfully, I caught it in time so the damage was very minor, but I
wouldn't have seen it unless I took the frame out.
Before I installed the new door frame, I install a jamsill flashing in
the rough opening. This time around I assumed water WILL get past the
door frame, so this ensures it gets directed outside the structure.
I recommend raising the entire door frame, not just the sill. You can
reuse the door if you take careful measurements of the hinges and whatnot
when you order a new frame. That's what I did with our doors and it
I raised our garage door up about 3 inches, mostly because I need to
raise my sidewalk for better drainage. I knew the header above the door
was way oversized (double 2x10s for the 3 foot opening), so I simply cut
a couple inches from the bottom of the header. Then I poured a small
concrete base to raise the bottom of the frame up a few inches.
Yes, raising the door will create a small trip hazard, but virtually all
homes have a sill you have to step up and over. At the same time, that
prevents any water buildup from just running over the top of the door
Please keep us posted on how it turns out. I would love to see a picture
of your final repair when you get it done.
That is still my primary recommendation; the sill alone was if there was
some other requirement that prevented raising the header or if just
wanted the minimal way out solution.
One place where raising the door overall might be less attractive is if
there are other architectural features in line with the top so that the
mismatch in heights would not be pleasing in appearance.
As DPB mentioned, you should always leave a gap at the bottom for moisture
to escape. However, 1/4" is a huge gap, the gap should be 1/16" or so.
Enough for moisture to get out, but not enough for bugs to get in.
If I remember correctly, sill sealer is now required by code where wood
framing (sills primarily) are in contact with the concrete foundation. This
seals gaps between the concrete and wood sill, but it's also a plastic
vapor barrier to preven moisture from wicking up from the foundation.
For something like an interior basement wall it may not be needed "IF"
there is already a moisture barrier beneath the concrete floor. I would
still use pressure treated lumber for that bottom plate in case you have
flooding or something.
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