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allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 10:16 AM
I just finished finishing our unfinished basement, and with the drop ceiling installed I can see now just how damn much our french patio doors on the floor above it are leaking. The doors are in a hardwood floor room, and when it leaks the water seeps down into the basement below and the last two times it has rained is has done it. The damage it is doing to the hardwood is bad enough as it is, and the basement below it being finished has me getting anxious to get it fixed.

I looked online, and is sounds like this is a pretty common issue with french doors. I know in the winter when the wind blows fromt he direction of these doors, the wind pushes the doors in where they meet in the middle enough that there is a cold breeze coming in, and I assume that is also where the water is runnining in from. There were some suggestions of a weather stip with a sort of a drip overhang to stop it on some of what I read online, but I am wondering if a storm door would be better, so that it could stop the rain from getting to the doors to leak through and also buffer all that wind in the winter that is screwing with my gas bill.

The question that comes up, is if there are storm doors for french doors that work well? Or do they even make them?

I saw some mention online of storm doors that have a kit to work for french doors, which I assume means that you buy two of them and alter them to work as french doors.

With the door handles of the french doors both in the middle, wouldn't storm french doors be knocking handles with the other? Or are they offset somehow?

I kind if like the idea of being able to open both french doors on a nice day and have a storm door with good screens opened up to let a breeze in, but the main concern is stopping that winter air, and definately incoming rain, so I was also wondering if it would be better to go with a full glass door instead of trying to get one with screens.

Just wanted to see if anyone else had any good input on french storm doors.

Brock
08-22-2011, 10:20 AM
I just put in two regular storm doors with a striker post between them. Don't have any pics on this computer, sorry.

Donger
08-22-2011, 10:21 AM
I presume that the default position for French doors is wide open, right?

Phobia
08-22-2011, 10:22 AM
Never done it, never seen it. If your door is flashed and installed properly you shouldn't be having this kind problem.

I'm guessing you could upgrade your french doors to something more efficient more affordably than you could have storms modified to fit. Maybe. I don't see how a french storm is going to work without major customization to the middle of that door.

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 10:23 AM
I just put in two regular storm doors with a striker post between them. Don't have any pics on this computer, sorry.

So, just two identicle storm doors hung as mirrors to each other, and a striker post?

Do storm doors typically have a different height for the handles so it won't hit the other door?

mikeyis4dcats.
08-22-2011, 10:23 AM
Properly installed french doors shouldn't leak. Are you using the throwbolts in the door to secure them?

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 10:27 AM
Never done it, never seen it. If your door is flashed and installed properly you shouldn't be having this kind problem.

I'm guessing you could upgrade your french doors to something more efficient more affordably than you could have storms modified to fit. Maybe. I don't see how a french storm is going to work without major customization to the middle of that door.

*groan*

I wish we never put the damn things in. The fuckwad kids that used to love behind us shot out the glass in the original sliding patio door, and we thought french doors would be nice, so we payed over the insurance money to upgrade the doors on that level (they also shot out the sliding door below it in the basement, but we moved the good door from upstairs down and combined the money of the two doors to get the french for upstairs) and it has proved to be a bad decision.

I replaced the weather stripping on the bottom once already hoping it would fix it, but it keeps coming down to the way the two doors latch together that is the problem, which adjusting to try to make it latch tighter seems to come down to re-hanghing the whole damn setup from what I have been able to tell so far.

Brock
08-22-2011, 10:29 AM
So, just two identicle storm doors hung as mirrors to each other, and a striker post?

Do storm doors typically have a different height for the handles so it won't hit the other door?

My storm doors have the handle approximately 6" above the knobs on the interior door. I assume that's some kind of standard, but I don't really know.

Brock
08-22-2011, 10:30 AM
But like a lot of people are saying, you're going to want to fix the real problem before you move on to putting in storm doors.

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 10:30 AM
Properly installed french doors shouldn't leak. Are you using the throwbolts in the door to secure them?

Yes, the lefthand door had those bolts, and we never open it because the damn things are so freaking tight and hard to bolt/unbolt. The righthand door latches with the other one, but things don't seem to line up quite right. To throw the deadbolt, for example, we have to slightly unlatch the main latch, but even latched shut as fast as it can go, if winds blows against it things shift into the room a bit and there is a free air gap all along the seam in the middle.

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 10:32 AM
But like a lot of people are saying, you're going to want to fix the real problem before you move on to putting in storm doors.

K. Guess I will take this route first and see if I can figure something out. Hopefully I can just adjust the throwbolt holes on the lefthand door to where it lines up better with the other and see if I can get a better seal.

Brock
08-22-2011, 10:33 AM
Just have Phobia come over and fix it.

Phobia
08-22-2011, 10:33 AM
*groan*

I wish we never put the damn things in. The ****wad kids that used to love behind us shot out the glass in the original sliding patio door, and we thought french doors would be nice, so we payed over the insurance money to upgrade the doors on that level (they also shot out the sliding door below it in the basement, but we moved the good door from upstairs down and combined the money of the two doors to get the french for upstairs) and it has proved to be a bad decision.

I replaced the weather stripping on the bottom once already hoping it would fix it, but it keeps coming down to the way the two doors latch together that is the problem, which adjusting to try to make it latch tighter seems to come down to re-hanghing the whole damn setup from what I have been able to tell so far.

What are they made from? I have some commercial aluminum weather strip that may look attractive and seal up your gap cheaper than rehanging the whole thing. There's a reason french doors and sliders cost a chunk to install and it's not necessarily because they're bulky. It's a challenge to get those things perfect, especially in a hole some other guy framed.

Phobia
08-22-2011, 10:34 AM
Just have Phobia come over and fix it.

I'm actually interested in seeing your striker post solution. I don't know everything.

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 10:37 AM
What are they made from? I have some commercial aluminum weather strip that may look attractive and seal up your gap cheaper than rehanging the whole thing. There's a reason french doors and sliders cost a chunk to install and it's not necessarily because they're bulky. It's a challenge to get those things perfect, especially in a hole some other guy framed.

Wood inside, aluminum outside. Where does the weather strip go...one that goes along the middle somehow? Not sure how it all works.

We still need to get a time lined up with you to get the siding on the front of our house that is rotting fixed anyhow, so if it is something that is pretty complicated to resolve I might just give it up and see if I can kill all the birds and the freaking bush as well.

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 10:48 AM
Still thinking on the storm door part of it all, this was the place that I thought it might actually be feasible:

http://www.larsondoors.com/storm_doors/french_door_kit/

I just wasn't sure if this kit that they talk about is something that I would be able to find elsewhere.

mikeyis4dcats.
08-22-2011, 10:58 AM
do your french doors have an astragal?

Phobia
08-22-2011, 11:01 AM
Still thinking on the storm door part of it all, this was the place that I thought it might actually be feasible:

http://www.larsondoors.com/storm_doors/french_door_kit/

I just wasn't sure if this kit that they talk about is something that I would be able to find elsewhere.

Cool. Learn something every day. Thanks for the link.

Phobia
08-22-2011, 11:02 AM
do your french doors have an astragal?

Based on me reading between the lines, I don't think they do have it. But if it did, then customization would be a lot easier. But it looks like Larson has a solution anyway.

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 11:02 AM
do your french doors have an astragal?

I was just looking online to try to figure out what that is since I've seen it mentioned as part of the kit for the french storm doors.

From what I can tell, that is just the latch setup for french doors right? If so, yes, the doors have that, where one door has the latch holes, and the other has the dead bolt and latch that goes into the other.

If those are what an astragal is, I have no idea right now.

Phobia
08-22-2011, 11:04 AM
I was just looking online to try to figure out what that is since I've seen it mentioned as part of the kit for the french storm doors.

From what I can tell, that is just the latch setup for french doors right? If so, yes, the doors have that, where one door has the latch holes, and the other has the dead bolt and latch that goes into the other.

If those are what an astragal is, I have no idea right now.

No, an astragal is a striker that remains stationary between where the two doors meet.

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 11:06 AM
No, an astragal is a striker that remains stationary between where the two doors meet.

I see. No, this one doesn't have an astragal. One door locks into place with a bolt in the top and bottom of it, and the other latches into the other.

WV
08-22-2011, 11:11 AM
Still thinking on the storm door part of it all, this was the place that I thought it might actually be feasible:

http://www.larsondoors.com/storm_doors/french_door_kit/

I just wasn't sure if this kit that they talk about is something that I would be able to find elsewhere.

You'd think the company would want a picture of doors whose hardware lines up properly.

Phobia
08-22-2011, 11:12 AM
I see. No, this one doesn't have an astragal. One door locks into place with a bolt in the top and bottom of it, and the other latches into the other.

Regarding the commercial weather seal, it's an aluminum strip that has a rubber gasket. You screw the strip in place to where the gasket hits the other door firmly. That's your quickest option. This stuff I have goes for $18 a foot. so you know it's pretty good stuff. I only want $40 for a stick long enough to do your entire door and I don't even care if you hire me to do it. You can swing by and pick it up and DIY.

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 11:19 AM
Regarding the commercial weather seal, it's an aluminum strip that has a rubber gasket. You screw the strip in place to where the gasket hits the other door firmly. That's your quickest option. This stuff I have goes for $18 a foot. so you know it's pretty good stuff. I only want $40 for a stick long enough to do your entire door and I don't even care if you hire me to do it. You can swing by and pick it up and DIY.

Will definately keep this in mind.

I'm going to look closer at the door when I get home to see if there looks like there is anything I can do to try to get the seal of the two doors to work better. I was assuming that the air/water leakage was just one of the evils of french doors, but it sounds like that shouldn't be the case. Will get in touch with you soon regardless of if it looks like the strip is something I want to try. Been meaning to check to see if you were still swamped with all the roof work from those hail storms.

Thanks for the help all.

mikeyis4dcats.
08-22-2011, 11:57 AM
No, an astragal is a striker that remains stationary between where the two doors meet.

actually, no, an astragal is a piece of trim that covers the joint between two leaves in a pair of doors. you are thinking of a mullion.

http://www.wmsnm.com/images/catalog_large/installed_flatastragal.gif

allen_kcCard
08-22-2011, 11:59 AM
actually, no, an astragal is a piece of trim that covers the joint between two leaves in a pair of doors.

http://www.wmsnm.com/images/catalog_large/installed_flatastragal.gif

I think there may be a very small one. But when the wind blows, the door that doesn't lock into place isn't pressing very much into it, or at all in some places. Looking when I get home.

mikeyis4dcats.
08-22-2011, 12:01 PM
I think there may be a very small one. But when the wind blows, the door that doesn't lock into place isn't pressing very much into it, or at all in some places. Looking when I get home.

You may benefit from applying a self-adhesive weatherstrip then.

Phobia
08-22-2011, 01:58 PM
actually, no, an astragal is a piece of trim that covers the joint between two leaves in a pair of doors. you are thinking of a mullion.

http://www.wmsnm.com/images/catalog_large/installed_flatastragal.gif

You're right. I am thinking of a mullion.

I was thinking of putting that commercial seal on in the style of an astragal.

Phobia
08-22-2011, 02:01 PM
Been meaning to check to see if you were still swamped with all the roof work from those hail storms.


I'm swamped now because of a lady who is virtually impossible to please. Huge project. Been doing almost everything twice. Should have walked early but for too stubborn and egotistical to think I can't make everybody happy.

Dartgod
08-22-2011, 02:19 PM
I'm swamped now because of a lady who is virtually impossible to please. Huge project. Been doing almost everything twice. Should have walked early but for too stubborn and egotistical to think I can't make everybody happy.
If she happens to fall off of her yacht and then later wakes up in a hospital with amnesia, you can convince her that she is your wife and make her work for you for free.

Crush
08-22-2011, 03:53 PM
If she happens to fall off of her yacht and then later wakes up in a hospital with amnesia, you can convince her that she is your wife and make her work for you for free.

Kurt Russel's finest role.

allen_kcCard
08-23-2011, 09:40 AM
Took a close look last night, and it does have an astragal.

It looks like the seal isn't bad there though, there is a thick seal on the astragal that the latch door has a mark on where it is pressing against it. Here are the concerning areas that I made note of.

The connection at the bottom of the door seems too tight, like it is hung too low. The weather stripping there hits hard enough that the part that is supposed to be outside seems to fold under the door, and it hits hard enough that the new strip I put on to replace the original has already torn off from the door opening and closing. I guess a resolution to this be to re-hang? Or would it be planing down the wood at the bottom some? I don't think there was really any room for the door to move up that I could see easily.

The seal folding under at the bottom might be 100% of my problem, but is also still seems like where the door meets has a bit of give at the bottom. Even if the seal issue wasn't there, it looks like water could still come through in the center, which is where it comes through right now anyhow.

There is a wide, 4-5 inches of flat area at the bottom that holds water. I've seen other pictures of doors where it has a surface that the bottom of the door seals against, and then a sloped downwards part next to that, but this seems to just be the wood part the door "sits" on when closed, and then a flat part. I think when it rains water puddles there and just finds its way through the door. Fixing that seems to equate to replacing the whole damn thing though.

Some things I know I can fix still....the deadbolt hole plate will be chiseled over a little so that I can throw the dead bolt with the latch tightly shut instead of ever so slightly opened, but still latched. If that doesn't help with wind making it through the seal, I'm thinking I'll get one of those self adhesive seals and either replace the existing one, or maybe add it on top of the existing one.

I also wonder about the storm doors again. It seems like if the storm doors were flush on the deck side of the flat part at the bottom, then rain would sheet down the storm doors to the deck instead of puddling at the base of the doors, and for wind in the winter it would be a windbreak to keep the hard winds from making it through.

Mostly intended as an update, and thanks again to all for the advice.

Phobia
08-23-2011, 10:45 AM
You'd think the company would want a picture of doors whose hardware lines up properly.

Nice catch. They are cattywampus. Guess they thought if they dropped a couple of young girls nobody would notice.