Case Study: Termites, Ants, & Critters Destroyed My Patio Deck Sliding Glass Door

Scenario

A homeowner called Galron Sliding Door replacement for a free consultation in Chicago and the greater Chicago area. They said they noticed water coming into their home through the bottom of the sliding door and the water had ruined their flooring Right away we had a good idea of what the problem was. The past year had been unusually rainy in the Midwest and we got many calls for water leaking into homes through sliding doors. We’ve found that these leaks come from poor insulation that leads to other elements affecting the seal of the doors. Poorly sealed sliding doors allows not only water to seep into a home but wood boring and wood-destroying insects such as carpenter ants and termites to have easy access to the wood that is used for the framing of doors.

We arrived at their home and began inspecting the sliding glass door. We saw the water damage on the inside of their home. We could also feel a draft come through the bottom of the sliding door. Upon further inspection it was just as we suspected, there had been damage to their wood. The damage came from wood-eating insects that were able to eat the wood because the door was not properly sealed. The wood was also damaged by water. The insects were very active and visible once we removed the door. Needless to say, the owners were shocked to see them crawling around beneath their siding. A variety of insects can damage the wood. Some of them actually eat the wood, while others destroy it when they burrow into the wood to create nests. Small holes or sawdust on the surface of the wood can indicate damage by insects, but in some cases, the damage isn’t visible to the naked eye, especially if it’s behind a wall, this can all be avoided by properly installing the sliding door and properly weatherproofing it.

Solution

We decided on a course for correcting the problem. We knew that we had to do window flashing because there was no barrier between the patio door framing and the structure of the house. Window flashing is a thin continuous piece of material that is installed to prevent water from getting into a structure from an angle or joint near windows and doors. Window flashing bridges the gap between the sheathing and the nail fin at the head of the window so that if any water does get in behind the home wrap it will run off and hit the flash and is diverted to the outside so that it doesn’t cause the wood to be affected by the water. If the flashing is not installed properly, reverse shingling can happen. Reverse shingling is a common problem among builders. It can be very costly for builders with callbacks and repairs, this takes time to correct and can be destructive to other existing structures. Reverse shingling can also be an expensive problem for the owner, possibly causing structural damage as well as interior damage.


Most homeowners are surprised to find that some patio door contractors cut major corners to save themselves money and or time, this does not necessarily benefit the future homeowner. A process as preventative of property damage as window flashing can be a corner that could be cut. Our customer’s home was not newly built so they had no idea as to what had gone into building their home, much less the preparation for their sliding doors. Now they were presented with an opportunity to correct a major problem and to give their patio deck area a new look.


The customers went with the three-panel sliding patio door after looking through the many options we had for them. The patio door they chose was a three-panel sliding door, an American french styled door, it’s modern and beautifully made. When installing a new sliding door, you want to make sure that the jams are protected because if they are not it is a sure way to waste energy and for the elements to attack your home. Besides, a sliding patio door this beautiful deserves to be protected as does the rest of the home.


Before we could install the new three-panel sliding door we had to remove the old sliding door along with all of the rotting wood. The wood was so infested with termites and carpenter ants that we had to spray while removing the wood. After removing the wood, we built out a whole new frame for the new door to fit into. Since we know that the wood is what the insects eat and wood is susceptible to water damage that can lead to structural damage, we have to make sure that the seal is tight. We cannot let either element get to the wood again, so we installed the window flashing. We wanted to make sure that the protective material covered and extended at least six inches past the door jams ensuring that neither insects or water can get to the wood or into the home from the frame of the sliding door. The material that is used is a water-resistant, double-sided adhesive. This adhesive prevents water from the outside getting in and we make sure all of the jams are covered when we apply the adhesive. Once the adhesive is applied to the door jams, it serves as a barrier between the wood of the frame and the wood of the house’s structure. We have created a seamless seal for the sliding door. Once we have applied it properly to the side jams and the top jams, we then install the sliding doors. We have created the perfect barrier from the elements.


Our customers were very satisfied with the process, as we explained and demonstrated window flashing to them step by step. Their sliding door looks great and they no longer worry that insects or water is getting to their wood, at least not from that area anymore. If you have a question about the viability of your sliding glass door or need a replacement, contact us today.

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