We had our home recently renovated, and after a large rain, during AZ's last monsoon season, we found a large puddle on water in the house back our new sliding glass door. After determining we didn't leave anything open we figured out that the issue was due to water coming from the track. After even more research, we found that the track our contractor install has no water rating.

Our contractor is saying that we approved the design of the door and they showed us that they were using the flush sill. We were never told that the because they selected the flush sill that we may have water leakage or shared the image below.

My question is how is a contractor supposed to calculate the "PSF" rating for a sliding door? Is there some sort of guide?

Track Options

  • 1
    Are you in an area that has regular rain events like the one that caused leakage, or is this a once-in-a-blue-moon event? Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 3:05
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate I am in an location that is mostly dry, but we have heavy downpours in late summer for a few weeks every year.
    – Eric S
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 6:06

2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, there is no formal guide to choosing a door. However, a thoughtful contractor would have considered the potential for heavy rain and wind-driven rain (especially the direction weather comes from) when choosing a door. That said, it sounds like you did approve the materials, so this is partly on you.

Short of replacing the sill (which is tough), my best suggestion is to attach an additional piece at the bottom of the door that will slow driven rain down. This can either be a drip cap, a sweep, or a combination. Look at google images for "CR Laurence Door Rain Drips", for example.

Note that there might be factors that haven't come up that drove the choice: some homes don't allow a sill like that to be dropped enough that the lip at the interior isn't a trip hazard. Cost/timing may have played a role (ie, high lip = special order = $$$/slow delivery).

  • Showing a client one option, not telling them that different sills are available based solely on water performance, and not taking into consideration that the 8" overhang above the door is sufficient to say, that the contractor did their job enough to spread the blame? I'm trying to reconcile for myself how I would've been able to make a different decision. I purchased a cast iron sink and the contractor said, hey that's going to be too heavy for the counter top, so we bought a new sink. Here we were never told there was another option or why we might want to choose thing else.
    – Eric S
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 17:31
  • I know that this is your opinion based on the info you have, but I also wanted to add that based on your mention about a tripping hazard, I believe I understand why this option was chosen for us in the first place. Based on how the contractor built out the back all of the house, it would've taken time to drop the track low enough to not cause a tripping hazard. I believe this conversation was going on prior to our "sign-off" on the door and track. Thanks for your help. I just want the the problem to go away and this is one of a 15 or more issues we found after completion.
    – Eric S
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 17:37

Yes it is the contractor's fault. They should have went over this, this is what you pay a contractor for - expertise. That being said there isn't much to do because you paid for it and agreed. You can give contractor a bad review...

Generally you see how exposed a door is to the outside and the rain patterns in the area and go with a manufacturers suggestion. There are no hard rules on water performance rating - it is just a suggestion. The pros are a higher lip and better seals keep extreme weather out. The con is there is usually a bump in price and it is a little goofy stepping over a higher lip - I installed one on a rental home and tripped literally 1/3 of the time I left the door.

Again there are manufacturer suggestions on what to get but the best is just looking at regional best practices. I feel like if I work on a home I am pretty close to Mike Holmes in overdoing the longevity of things only to realize when I am out of state that I missed something that the region does.

Your options now are to see if the manufacturer provides another sill option for same door - still probably $200-300 to take out and reinstall - or you could just put a towel down on door sill during storms or something like that. You could look into seeing if there are 3rd party storm sills or rain protectors but I have not experienced something I would suggest for sliders.

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