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When we have heavy driving rains it causes the front door to expand and we're unable to close or lock the door until it has dried out and contracted. There is no veranda so the rain hits straight onto the front door.

How can I prevent this?

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  • Would you consider mounting some sort of roof (there are simple aluminum sheet kits out there) over the doorway? Jul 21, 2016 at 14:40
  • You can't. Wood will absorb moisture when it's humid and loose it when it's not humid. No amount of coatings (within reason) will prevent that. Protect the doorway and resize the door to fit when it's at its worst case scenario. Also, suggest that you not open the door during heavy, driving rain if you can't reclose it.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 17, 2022 at 12:56
  • You could put a glass storm door over the wooden door to keep rain off the wood door. Of course, this changes the appearance and ingress/egress with a storm door is a little more trouble. Also if the door is in direct sun, then the outside of the wood door can get very hot which is sometimes cited as a contraindication for a storm door. Our front door with storm door faces north, but occupants of a nearby south-facing house with the same storm door haven't reported any heat degradation of their stained wooden front door. Feb 17, 2022 at 17:16

5 Answers 5

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I am going to guess that you have a wood door causing the problem. If you have checked the original installation and frame alignment and feel that cannot be changed, then the only real solution is to plane it down so it closes properly when damp or humid. You can install extra or new weatherstripping to assure it has a good airtight seal,especially in dryer times when it may shrink a bit.

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    Don't forget to seal the edges after planing. Jul 21, 2016 at 13:22
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    For that matter, seal the entire door, front, back, and edges. Jul 21, 2016 at 14:39
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    A marine grade spar urethane such as the type used on wooden boats will go a long way to help protect your door from the elements. Make sure to have a liberal amount of finish applied to all 6 sides of the door. If the door binds at the bottom, a good way to fix that is to trim the bottom of the door, and install a bottom weatherstrip. This will allow the door to expand and contract without leaving a gap. Jul 21, 2016 at 15:20
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I would install an awning or porch roof extension out 3 feet from the building wall line to protect the door.

They even make fabric type awnings that can roll up against the wall during nice weather times.

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You might consider replacing the wooden door with a fiberglass one. Metal would avoid the swelling issue, but likely suffer from rust/oxidation due to the wet environment.

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  1. Cover the entry with a roof, awning, etc.
  2. Wait until the door is dry and seal it with many layers of Tung oil, shellac, Varathane, or even a high quality paint (epoxy? or oil based paint)
  3. If the door opens inward, add an exterior water resistant door like a conventional screen door but which has windows in areas where the water strikes.
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Dry the door in the summer sun and then seal the door by repainting it with acrylic and then polyurethane it for good measure. Use epoxy insteal of polyurethane if you want to get fancy.

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