I have 2 very newly installed ( < 1yr) jeldwen sliding patio doors (aluminum clad) , and I found that they are leaking air on inside around the bottom and side edges of trim. I am wondering whether this is a problem with the installation/product or if its something that I just have to caulk up myself from what visible?

The first one I had installed was leaking air (could feel it on cold windy days) in a gap where my hardwood floor met the frame of the patio door (see arrow 1 in picture) which I caulked up to stop. Arrow 2 and 3 show the areas where I can feel the air on both doors.

How can i know if there was a problem with the installation or if this is just normal for patio doors?. I know that this door is supposed to be very tight according to energy star label at least. Should I just caulk the trim and areas on the inside where I can feel the air or is there something else I should be wary of (lacking expanding foam on installation or something?).

Thanks for any help.

leaky door enter image description here


0.1 CFM air leakage is not exactly what I would call "very tight," but it's not terrible for a sliding door. Regardless, this looks like a problem with the installation more so than the door. The trim is covering the gap/joint between the door and the rough opening; if that's open to the exterior or not perfectly sealed off from it, then the trim is doing the job of preventing air movement. Caulk the heck out of it! If you want to get really serious, you could remove the trim, spray foam the gap, and then reinstall the trim.

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    If you use foam, make sure it is the low expansion type meant for windows and doors. The regular kind will expand too much and could bind the door. – Jason Hutchinson Dec 11 '14 at 21:29
  • @iLikeDirt thanks for the reply. Is there anything inherently wrong with caulking that trim though? Does it mean that the elements are getting in to where they shouldnt? – skimon Dec 30 '14 at 16:29
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    Nope, should be fine. It's not uncommon for air to get through gaps and cracks in places like this. If you've got water there, though, that's a bigger problem. – iLikeDirt Dec 30 '14 at 16:52
  • sorry if this is stupid but - how would i know if water is in there ? Is there any telltale sign or something ? How can i prevent against water getting in there? – skimon Dec 30 '14 at 20:35
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    If you have to ask, it's probably fine. Look for signs of water stains, wetness, moisture, etc. To be really thorough, remove the trim to look behind there. It should be really obvious if there's any water damage. – iLikeDirt Dec 30 '14 at 21:26

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