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We have a door opening onto a deck, the sideboards of the door have rotted heavily on both sides at the bottom (pictured) and are starting to get worse. No other part of the door or frame appears to have water damage. There is some damage to the paint starting from the door rot, but this can largely wipes off.

The frame is not rotting and I can’t see any reason or evidence of water building up between the door or beside the door frame when it rains.

It also does not snow much here. Does anyone know what causes this pattern of rot on a door?

What is the best way to fix this type of a problem? I was thinking to cut the board running down the side of the door with the rot on it above the damage and then either epoxying in a painted, piece of wood of the same width or trying to use wood putty to fill & then smooth it off.

Please see pictures of the rot on the door here:

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image 2

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    This won't help your current door, but for whatever goes on after your fix. Does this for get directly hit by rain? Is there weather stripping around the door edges? It looks like water gets trapped between the door and the jam, unless the rot is like that all the way through, then it might be water drops down the front of the door and between the door and the sweep, rotting the door from the bottom up. Regardless, consider replacing all the weather stripping if it looks worn. They make rain drip edges you can attach to the bottom edge of the door that would help in the latter case.
    – blarg
    Feb 27 at 11:42

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That's just what happens to doors of this type as they age. Almost everything rots from the bottom up due to rain splash, snow accumulation, etc. Also, the steel facing on such a door engages slots in the wood rail, so if that area's also rotten, which is likely, the steel is going to start releasing from it soon. I replaced one last year for similar rot in the frame.

If all of the frame is still sound (also unlikely), you could source a new door slab from the manufacturer. Otherwise it's time for replacement. In my region such doors last 20-30 years before they show fatal decay. Any surface repair is unlikely to get you more than a couple years.

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IDK if this is the answer, but it kinda looks to me that water sits on the top of the door sweep and wicks up into the wood fibers. Only way I can see to prevent that is to completely seal the wood (or at least what's left of it) on side and bottom—if that's even possible.

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