Fixing a Threshold

Problem – Been noticing lately that our walk-out basement doors tend to leak water into the house when breezy rains douse that side of the house.  The outside part of the thresholds are made of aluminum, but the door seal and the seal that binds the threshold to the cement foundation are made of wood.  Thus when wet, the wood parts rot, leak and attract unwanted insects.

Dilemma – New doors are pretty expensive, not just to buy, but also to have installed.  And in our wonderful economy, with no steady income to boot, there was no way I could afford to replace 3 leaking doors.  But the problem had to be solved somehow.   Ponder, ponder, think, think, think, ask, evaluate …….

Solution – Replace the wood based threshold and the bottom six inches of the door frame with water-resistant components.  Also replace the rubber weather barrier (door sweeps) on the bottoms of the doors, as they were in pretty bad shape too, after 20 years.

In one particular instance the wooden interior of the stainless steel door had also rotted at the threshold.  This was easily replaced with foot long piece of wood cut from a 2×4.

Repair of the three doors began with the purchase an 8 ft length of white PVC board – 1″ x  6″ (or 3/4″ x 5.5″ actual).  This was about $20 and sufficed for the repair of all three door frames, with 2 x 6″ lengths for each door.

Thresholds made of aluminum with plastic instead of wood for the door seal and the foundation mounting were purchased at $16-$18 each (picture shown below).

The rubber door bottom seals (sweeps) were cheaper, at $4-5 each.  However, replacement magnetic door gaskets were rather expensive at $25 each.

Besides all of this, I used a Loctite PL polyurethane adhesive to attach the thresholds to the cement foundation, OSI Quad caulking sealant to waterproof all joints and 12″ per door of 0.5″ x 2.5″ pieces of wood for the door stops on the frames.  All of these were fairly minimal expense.  Then there were some screws and galvanized nails too.

Below is a picture diary from start to finish.  The 6″ lengths of door frame replacements were prepared prior to any actual work on the doors.  A plastic sheet was used outside the door to keep bugs out of the house during the installation – as the door had to be removed totally.  One door was an entry into an unfinished part of the basement, while two other doors entered into carpeted areas.


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This is not extremely detailed.  Please comment if you have questions.  I am not a carpenter and I’m sure this could have been done much more professionally.  But it ended up looking pretty good and most importantly, it serves its purpose – to keep the weather out!


“O God, watch over our shield; look upon the face of your anointed. 
Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. 
Better the threshold of the house of my God
than a home in the tents of the wicked. 
For a sun and shield is the LORD God, bestowing all grace and glory. 
The LORD withholds no good thing from those
who walk without reproach

Ps 84:10-12

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