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Thread: Warping door

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    Default Warping door

    This is maybe a building science question, but most of you guys don't seem to hang out over there, so I'll try it here.

    Last summer I installed a Loewen sliding glass door. The unit is 84w x 80h and has one fixed and one operable panel, both 2-1/4" thick. All parts are doug fir with aluminum cladding on the exterior.

    The owner called yesterday and said the door is bumping into the stops just before closing all the way. When closed, the leading edge of the door is seated into a channel... a wood stop on the inside and a weather seal on the outside. I went by there today and can see that the lock stile has an inward bow to it, and it's hitting the interior stop approximately where the handle is.

    Here's my theory: over the summer, with no heat on, the door has absorbed some interior moisture from the house on the inside face of the lock stile. That has caused the bow that is causing the problem. This winter, when they fire up their woodstove, the air will dry out and the door will straighten up some, and probably stop hitting. Problem solved until next May.

    Whaddya think? I just looked at my job file and the door was delivered more than 12 months ago. Loewen will try to dodge any responsibility, I assume. The owner will probably want a new door panel and although he's a nice guy will put some heat on me to get one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    NJ
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    5,832

    Default Re: Warping door

    David,

    I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'll give it a shot.


    Can the operator door be removed easily?

    If so, remove it & inspect the top & bottom of the door. See if the entire door has been sealed. If not, is the wood core exposed? Pull the rolling hardware & look inside & see if it was sealed prior to installing the hardware.

    If so, you've found your entry point for the moisture.

    I've never dealt with the company you speak of. Is their warranty on defects only one year? Some companies offer a longer time period.

    Contact your supplier. Maybe they'll work with you being the door is obviously warped.


    After all, how many times have you removed a door & found that the painter never sealed all 6 surfaces?

    Also, is the fixed panel removable? Same deal there.
    Last edited by always-learning; 10-14-2006 at 01:30 PM. Reason: added thought
    Chuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    2,249

    Default Re: Warping door

    If you furnished the door and marked it up, it's your problem. Even if it's out of "your" warranty year, I'd still try to solve the problem.

    That being said, I'm sure the mfg has probably had other complaints of the same type. I'd call them and talk to a tech person there and let your customer know what you intend to do, and that that's the standard procedure - get the mfg involved - first. They may even have a rep stop by to look at it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Warping door

    Believe me Sonny, I understand the value of solving the problem, as well as being ethically motivated to take care of my customers. These particular folks gave me a reference about 4 weeks ago that has lead to a huge job.

    Now... what do you think... will the heating of the room change the shape of the door?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Naples, FL
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    Default Re: Warping door

    Yes. Clad on the exterior does not allow for the even dissipation of previously absorbed moisture.

    What has occurred in your sliding door often happens here in solid wood, usually panel, exterior entry doors that are often 8’ or taller. Air conditioning is on the house drying out the interior skin of the doors and reducing the interior humidity to about 40% or less, while the exterior skin is subjected to over 90 temps with over 85% humidity. As the interior dries out, the door skin becomes cupped just enough to warp the door so it (if only one door) or both if double doors, no longer line up either to the jamb or together if double doors.

    That’s why whenever I install new wood doors or wok on the above problem doors, I always seal all mortises and the inside of all bores. Sealing all four edges should be a given, but one cannot assume they were by the original finisher.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Northern Indiana
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    29

    Default Re: Warping door

    I just talked to Loewen (called the 800#) about the very same concern on an 8' tall door I installed in my own home. The service people were very helpful and recommended I latch the door for a week or so and not use it, sometimes the two sashes will "marry up". They allow for a 1/8" diiference in the meeting rail from top to bottom. If it goes beyond that, they will replace the offending sash after filing a claim through the local supplier.

    Super product, and so far very good to deal with. I don't think they will try to dodge responsibility.

    Good Luck.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Warping door

    Bill, that is helpful info. Is your door clad on the exterior? Did it bow to the interior? The more I think about this one, the more I think it's a dynamic issue, and that the door will flatten over the winter as it stays latched and the owners light up their woodstove. Then of course it will bow again next summer when they are trying to use it every day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Northern Indiana
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    Default Re: Warping door

    David,
    Yes, and yes. It's clad and appears to bow to the inside. We had a really windy day Friday and I had a little air at the interlock, nothing to get too excited about but that's what prompted me to call Loewen.

    We set all these windows and doors as they came off the truck due to the weight as it took seven men to carry each unit. I stained and sealed the interior shortly after installation but did not seal the cavities on the bottom where the roller mechanism is, simply because even one sash of an 8'x8' door is too hard to handle with 3 layers of glass. I'm hoping it corrects itself because I don't want to stain and seal again, or go through the trouble of replacing either sash.

    BTW, I looked for 7 years to find these windows (7'w x 8'h triple glazed, tempered, with double Low E, one lites) and am extremely pleased with the energy savings and comfort. I think you are doing
    your customer a favor when you use Loewen.

    Bill

  9. #9
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    Jun 2004
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    Default Re: Warping door

    I just put several windows and a swinging door in a remodel, and have another phase coming up with more windows. We also used them in our shop. So far so good. I contacted my dealer today and he is initiating the process of having the tech guy out. There is a service guy in this region who covers 3 or 4 states. He'll get here eventually...

    Another question, since you have a Loewen slider. On the one I installed, if you lay on your belly outside the door and look under the edge of the cladding on the active panel (where the wheels are), there is a rubber-like "drip edge" attached to the bottom of the door. It looks to me like the purpose is to deflect water that rolls off the face of the bottom rail and tries to get in under the door. It has to ride up when the door is opened. On the door I installed this is deteriorating quickly. It's a lousy design, because the piece gets "exercised" every time the door is opened, and it breaks at the fold. Does your door have the same thing and how is it doing?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Warping door

    David,

    You are correct about the rubber piece looking flimsy, so far mine is working fine and hasn't deteriorated but these doors have only been in since August.

    On my doors, the rubber piece is up off the sill and the only other surface it comes in contact with is at the meeting rail. At that point it is a little flattened out. According to everything else I've experienced with Loewen, this will end up being a non issue in the efficiency of the door. They seem to have their act together when it comes to quality.

    I looked at my warped door today, and with the heat on and the door latched firmly this week, it seems to be a little less distorted. Let us know how you come out with the service tech.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Default Re: Warping door

    I think that piece is destined to fail. It rubs against another seal adjacent to the meeting rail as the door is opened and closed. The one on my customer's door appears to have lasted about a year with the door only used regularly in the summer.

    Thanks for the comments, they are very helpful.

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