Common Door Threshold Problems

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  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
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What You'll Need
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Many problems can arise on the threshold of your home. While the most common problems have the most simple solutions, other problems may require a little more expertise to fix. Here’s a short do-it-yourselfer's guide to the most common threshold problems, and how to deal with them.

Water Damage

Depending on the placement of the door it’s not uncommon to see water damage directly underneath. Water leakage left untreated can result in major damage to the floor, even if it’s concrete. The best way to deal with this is to check the orientation of the door itself. If the door faces a direction that takes on a lot of weather, you may want to replace it with a stronger, more weather-resistant door. In most cases, you can simply add some flashing and use a good caulk product to help weatherproof your existing door. If you live in an older home that doesn't have flashing installed under the doors, you can install it on the exterior of the door underneath any siding surrounding the door.

Door Dragging

Another common problem is the door dragging against the threshold when the door is opening or closing. This can happen with older doors and with doors that have just been installed. With a new door, proper measurements need to be taken to ensure this doesn’t become a problem. If an older door is dragging start by checking the hinges. Often a hinge that is sagging can cause a door to sag. In many cases, this isn’t visibly noticeable. First, try tightening up all of the screws and hinge pins and see if that doesn't resolve the issue. If not, then you'll have to remove the door from the hinges, remove the hinges from the door jamb, replace the hinges, and rehang the door. Make sure the hinges are tight, and this should stop the door from dragging.

Threshold Is Damaged

If you have had water damage, the threshold may be popping up, may have become swollen, or may have suffered other damage. If this is the case, the only remedy is to replace the threshold. You want to troubleshoot to find the water problem so you don’t have it happen again. When you replace the threshold the hardest part may be pulling off the old one. Use a pry bar if necessary. Make sure you are using a good waterproof caulk when you put the threshold in place, and make sure you nail it down with new galvanized nails. This will help keep water from getting under the threshold and causing more damage and swelling.

Door thresholds are a necessary part of any exterior door. If they start to fail, you can face a number of problems that will cause you time and money down the line.