I live in the southeast USA, and no matter what I do, I seem to have a
problem with the trim and jamb of my front door rotting. I had the entire
door assembly replaced a few years ago, primed and painted it with several
coats of a good exterior latex paint, and here I am again, with rotting
As far as the repairs go, I've had pretty good luck with removing the rotted
wood back to good wood, putting several coats of Minwax Wood Hardener on the
bare wood, filling the hole with Minwax Wood Filler, sanding and painting.
So, my question is, do any of you have any recommendations for what I can do
from a primer/painting standpoint to prevent the rest of the trim at ground
level from rotting out? Keeping water off it is a problem, because there is
no cover over the porch, and not really an easy way to install one, since
there is a huge window above the door. Any brand suggestions or techniques
I might try?
Thanks in advance,
If your door frame keeps rotting, you're probably experiencing rot to
the structural framing as well. A more insidious problem since you
can't see the damage and it continues to rot.
The only way to deal with the problem is to pull the door and trim,
inspect and repair the rotted framing as necessary using treated wood
and the appropriate fasteners, install flashing and caulking as
necessary, rebuild the door frame using a composite wood or plastic
(such as Azek), install plastic trim, reinstall the door, prime
everything, caulk, then paint with at least two coats of quality paint.
It's not quick, it's not cheap, but it's the only way to fix the
problem so you won't be doing maintenance repairs until you die.
As an aside, you can put a flat roofed covering over that doorway that
won't interfere with that window. Entrance doors should have some sort
of roof over them for a number of reasons.
goto neighbors and see similiar door as yours
goto more nieghbors...see more doors in your hood
if your door is only one rotting then you would want to address the
root of the moisture problem, not just get heavy duty towards it (if
uh, this uh, so called epoXy would actually work)
Actually, I know the cause. The front door is on the north side of the
house, and gets no direct sun. And, the porch isn't covered, so rain either
falls directly on the bottom of the door jamb/frame, or splashes up on it
from the porch. The rain just sits there, and rots the wood.
First you fix the splash. One of those fake
carpet mats would do that.
Next you remove the wood parts that rot. Replace
as needed and paint all wood surfaces with a good
oil paint as if all parts were to show. Install
and caulk all seams. Then paint with a oil paint.
Funny how many problems would be solved if
manufactures and installers weren't so cheap with
finishes. Same with furniture, finish all
surfaces, including the undersides which often
have no finish; they don't have to be smooth just
covered with a layer or two of finish.
Sometimes, especially on window sills, you just
end up with a bad board that will not hold paint
or any finish. The only real solution is to
replace such a board.
Repeated rotting would suggest you have a moisture problem, not a paint
product choice problem. You either have to put a porch cover or roof over
the area, or re-pitch and seal the jamb, and approach, so that water drains
away, or do both . Given the rain/wind exposure there, I would opt for some
kind of roof over the entry..
I am guessing the door faces south or southeast, no?
The door faces north. I'd like to put a cover over the porch, but the
design pretty much makes that impossible. As far as re-pitching the jamb,
the door, side windows, transom window, jambs and trim are all one unit, so
I don't think that would be an easy task. You mention sealing the jamb...
can you expand on that?
Why can't you put in a flat roof over the door? Even if the window
above came all the way down to the floor, there'd still be room. There
should be room for a pitched roof, either shed or gable, regardless.
Post a picture.
Not unless you want people with bandwidth limitations to yell at you.
Use one of the free picture hosting web sites to post the picture then
include a link in your post to the newsgroup.
Thanks for asking the question.
That's kind of a harsh entry. Having people stand out in the elements
while they're waiting for you to come to the door isn't the most
welcoming introduction to your house. You only have the closeup
pictures of the entry, so I can't see what's going on with the rest of
the house, but you do have room to put in a portico over the front
door. It would also give you an opportunity to put the light fixture
in a location that doesn't look quite so arbitrary. The potted plants
on either side of the door points to the entry needing some softening.
That first step up onto the concrete stoop looks pretty high. How tall
Sheltering the door will kill several birds with one stone. It'll
protect the door, the people coming and going, and allow you to dress
up the house pretty inexpensively. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Too high... the steps themselves settled over the years, and need to get
fixed. That's another project for another day. Fortunately, the majority
of people who come to the house use the side or back door, so the front
porch not being covered isn't a huge problem for our guests.
I like the idea of a portico, the more I think of it. When I get a chance,
I'll take a full view picture of the front of the house, so you can see what
I'm working with.
Ok, here's a link to a picture of the front of my house:
I've thought about this again, and I don't think that putting any sort of
cover over this porch is feasible. I've looked at other houses in the area
that are the same architectural style as mine, and none of them have any
sort of roof or porch over the front steps. Come to think of it, I don't
think I've ever seen a roof over the porch on this style of house. Am I
I doubt you're mistaken about the homse in your area, but I know that
it can be done. The style of your house is mixed to start with. They
mixed a hip roof with a gable for one. Your house doesn't have to look
like every other house in your area, particularly if what needs to be
done is an improvement.
True... I'll have to check out some more houses to get some ideas. In the
meantime, if you have any suggestions about how I could best treat the wood,
with regards to sealing, priming, painting, I'd appreciate it :-) Thanks
also for your suggestions so far, I'll take them into consideration.
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