Q. I have rot on an outer door frame and also some leaking into the kitchen around the door. A few floor boards need replacing inside. A few contractors want to replace the entire door while a few said they needed to remove it to find the leak but could fix the frame and put the old door back up. The house is only 7 1/2 years old, so the door is fairly new. What are your thoughts? Does the entire door need to be replaced?
If the door is exposed to sun and rain, I think the decay came from sloppy construction. Someone forgot to put door flashing at the top of the frame. They might have caulked it, which rarely does any good.
Door flashing is a simple piece of aluminum or vinyl folded into an “L” shape, with one leg of the “L” placed under the siding at the top of the door so the lower part of the “L” sits on the top of the frame (casing), with its edge folded down over the casing.
Such a simple item does a great deal in stopping water from running down the header casing and the side casings. Putting a small roof over the door will help, too. Your contractor should check the vinyl weatherstripping on the door and replace it if it is defective or missing.
I don’t think the door needs replacing. Small amounts of decay can be dug out and filled with a wood hardener and a Minwax wood rot filler. Large areas of decay in the casing can be cut out and a pressure-treated replacement installed, or the whole casing can be replaced.