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  • Jessica Foster

Exterior Doors & Windows: Potential Problems & Fixes


Though they may not often be thought of together, exterior doors and windows are an important component when talking about walls. Being sure doors and windows are properly installed so they can adequately do their job will also have an effect on a building’s walls, as any weakness can lead to water penetrating the walls. Knowing what problems to expect and when to fix them is key to maintaining doors and windows. The National Association of Home Builder’s has set guidelines to aid consumers and contractors alike in what can go wrong and when to fix it.


A window must be able to keep the outside elements from entering the home, so if water is observed inside a home near the window after it rained, this can be a cause for concern. Performance guidelines state that windows should resist water penetration, and manufacturer’s specifications are usually created with this in mind. If water manages to intrude into the home, the window may not have been properly installed. In this case, the improper installation should be fixed. To also prevent water from entering the home, as discussed with walls, consumers can keep weep holes clear of debris so that they can divert rainwater away from windows.


Another issue that may be seen when a window is improperly installed is window grids, grilles, or muntins falling out or becoming out of level. These are the structural members that form a pattern on the window and separate the glass pieces. There is no circumstance in which it is acceptable for these pieces to disconnect or become out of level, so repair is necessary.

For exterior doors, one observation people may see is the warping of the door. It’s crucial for doors to not warp too much as it can affect their ability to be weather-resistant and function properly. According to performance guidelines, a ¼ inch tolerance as measured diagonally from corner to corner is acceptable. If doors are outside of this tolerance, they may be inoperable and/or not properly fit to block out weather. In this case, the exterior doors must be repaired or replaced. Some warping should be expected, as exterior doors are subjected to weather. Warping occurs due to the difference in the temperature between inside and outside surfaces as well as the door receiving improper finishing. Exterior doors may also end up sticking or binding, so they don’t function smoothly. Performance guidelines call for doors to operate without resistance from sticking, though there are occasions where doors can get stuck due to periods of high humidity or sporadic temperatures. If temporary weather isn’t to blame, the door should be repaired or replaced. Like warping, some doors bind due to a difference in temperature between outside and inside surfaces.


While doors and windows don’t function exactly as walls do, they do have a common feature of needing to keep rain and other weather from entering the home. Making sure both exterior doors and windows are properly installed and keeping an eye out for any possible problems is crucial for any construction project. Here at Fine Remodeling, we are your Delaware contractor well-versed with performance guidelines to ensure your renovation project is handled professionally. Get in touch with us about your next project so you can be sure it's done right the first time.

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