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After some recent rain, I've seen some little bubbles develop at the bottom of our front door - clearly some sort of water damage. The location of the bubbles seems right around where there are the screws for the weather stripping at the bottom, so I'm thinking that water is getting into the screw hole somehow and then damaging the wood from the inside.

My current thought is that I should add sealant at the bottom section where the door sweep meets the wood door to prevent further water from getting in.

Any other ideas on how to prevent further damage? I'm assuming there's no way to fix the current damage aside from totally resanding/restaining at this point...

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  • that looks likw a veneer finish, is this door even rated for exterior use?
    – Jasen
    Dec 18, 2021 at 1:03

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The left side of the door sweep seems to be tight against the door, while the right side, closest to the camera, appears to have a significant gap. The screws closest to the camera don't seem to be quite tight enough. Of course, water doesn't care and will get in through both capillary action is not your friend in this situation.

You're probably right that water is getting into unprotected wood through the screw holes and that some silicone caulk would do the trick. Undo each screw, squirt a smidge of clear exterior grade silicone in the hole and reseat the screw. Additionally, refinishing the door completely is probably the only way to make the appearance of the damage go away. (I'd suggest a visit to the Woodworking sister site to get all the info you could ever want on the how-tos of finishing a door.)

Once you've got the short term fix of some silicone in place, a couple of long-term fixes:

  • Put a storm door of some sort in front of this nice wooden door. That would significantly reduce the amount of rain getting onto the door in the first place. The door appears to be fairly simple, so a standard screen/storm door might be appropriate. If you prefer the look, a full-glass storm door would do well to allow the wood door to be more visible with only a thinish metal frame around the outside.
  • An overhang of some sort would help too. That would have the added bonus of giving you and/or your guests someplace sheltered to stand while waiting for the door to open.
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  • Super helpful, thank you! Do you think a line of silicone caulk along where the door sweep meets the wood door would be just as effective as the caulk inside the screw holes?
    – Gemmy Tsai
    Dec 17, 2021 at 19:00
  • I contemplated suggesting that. Unless you're confident in your caulk gun skills I think it would be difficult to get it thin enough to not be noticeable, @GemmyTsai. You might want to take the sweep completely off, put a bit of silicone in each hole, then a bead all the way across the door about 1/2 way up the sweep. Then, as you push the sweep up, it will smear the silicone, making a good seal and there should be minimal squeeze out at the top edge where it might be visible. Run the screws in through the silicone in their holes.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 17, 2021 at 19:04
  • Additionally, I appreciate the check mark, but you may want to hold off for a day or so. Others may have ideas that would be better, and some people don't look at questions with accepted answers.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 17, 2021 at 19:05
  • Thanks @FreeMan. Does putting the silicone inside the hole make it a lot more difficult to take the screw out later if we need to? That was my only concern on adding it there
    – Gemmy Tsai
    Dec 17, 2021 at 19:15
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    Excellent point, @Tetsujin. That is what I was thinking - it is important to make it explicit since not everyone can read my mind...
    – FreeMan
    Dec 17, 2021 at 19:25
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A kickplate like this may help.

enter image description here

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