During heavy rain the water from the drains outside my apartment overflow. The doors have an almost 1 inch gap at the bottom, and the water floods the apartment.

How can I seal that door gap temporarily during the rain to avoid flooding the apartment?

Currently I live in a small town in Argentina. So I do not have access to all materials and do not have any tools. I was thinking about pressing some sort of modeling material into the gap. Today I was using some towels but that holds the water only if I renew them every few minutes. And I don't know what to do when I leave the apartment for a few days and rain starts while I am absent.

Drain outside Gap

The pictures are from 1 of 2 doors.

  • Can you post a picture? – Chris Cudmore Oct 1 '12 at 16:16
  • I added the pictures. – juergen d Oct 1 '12 at 16:24
  • What is the black tube that runs down the outside of the door and along the bottom of the wall on the right? Is that the drain in the center of the wall? – Niall C. Oct 1 '12 at 16:34
  • Water from the air conditioner comes down the black pipe. And yes, at the center of the wall is the drain. I have a bigger drain on the other side of my apartment at the other door. – juergen d Oct 1 '12 at 16:43
  • 4
    Sand bags – Tester101 Oct 1 '12 at 17:17

EDIT: Comments above say that you have 1-2" of water. There is no solution for this other than fixing the drain. (Or going to marine style doors with a raised threshold.) What I've describe below can mitigate minor flooding, but won't help with the serious issue you seem to be having.


The proper long term answer is to fix the the drain. However, I appreciate that you are in need of a more short term solution.

In English, what you are looking for is a "Rubber Threshold Seal" like this: enter image description here

Or Like This (this is made for garage doors):

enter image description here

Installing these will require drilling through the tile and concrete, installing a plug and screwing it down. You will also need a liberal dose of caulk (silicone sealer) underneath.

If you're in a real bind, and need a quick and dirty fix until you can get better parts, get a piece of wood, about the width of the door and slightly smaller than the gap, and caulk it down. Paint it with yellow and black stripes so you don't kick it off. The sealant won't hold if you stub your toe against it.

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Hydrabarrier from Watershed innovations. Fill with water and place outside door. But I think you have more of a problem than water....the gap is so wide that rodents & snakes can get into your apartment. I dont think that's up to construction standards. Not to mention cold and hot air coming in...or snow dependeing where you live. The owner of the building should have that gap fixed.That cannot be up to outdoor construction standards.

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  • I guess you never lived in Argentina. :) That is totally standard there. And we lived there in 4 different places already. Not to mention hodden "houses" that can be far worse. – juergen d Jul 30 '14 at 17:30

I think the only viable answer here that can help with Juergen's problem is caulking a strip of wood down, as crude as it may be. Given Juergen doesn't have access to various tools and supplies, this is the only thing I think he could pull off that would help somewhat (but he'd have find a way to seal the edges of the door then). And of course, nothing less than serious effort is going to stop h20 from coming under that ginormous opening under the door. However, I think an appropriate piece of rubber would be more efficacious still (than the wood). And yes, a shiny new, rubber threshold seal like the one above from Home Depot would be nice, but can you get those in a small town in Argentina? If you're poor? And Juergen, some type of molding might work, but you'll have to move eventually, unless maybe they get a better drain that works, cuz you'll never totally stop water from coming under that door. Move?

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  • 1
    Chris already suggested this 2-1/2 years ago. If you agree, upvote his answer, rather than repeating one part of it. – Ecnerwal May 27 '15 at 12:19

You should try UPVC as replacement of old one. Few months back, I bought water proof door from Fenesta. It will keep you away from all these issues. Also, the UPVC doesn't need maintenance and painting.

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  • 1
    This completely ignores the OP's request for a temporary fix. They're not asking what type of door they should buy. – Doresoom Sep 29 '14 at 13:29
  • I am sharing my experience with everyone, since I was facing the same problem. So OP can try temporary fixation but he have to use something for a long run. – Rajat Tyagi Oct 1 '14 at 7:25

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