Pros know: Door installation is not for beginners. Durable door installation requires sharp know-how and careful execution through each step to make sure installation goes smoothly.
In fact, faulty door installation can cause major headaches for homeowners, installers and door manufacturers alike. From air leaks to water damage, the repercussions for installation errors can be costly and downright annoying.
To avoid callbacks and liability issues, follow these essentials steps for efficient and durable door installation:
1. Gather the necessary materials before you start
Strong, durable installation depends as much on the materials used as the installation methods themselves. However, even the pros find themselves missing some of the essential materials during installation. Oftentimes, makeshift alternatives compromise the quality of the installation and lead to costly damages down the line.
Before starting, check to make sure you have:
- Proper sealant
- Non-rigid insulating foam
- Flashing tape
- Sill pan
- Aluminum head flash (drip cap)
- Composite shims
- Rustproof screws
2. Install a Proper Sill Pan
The sill pan is an essential element of door installation as it prevents water from building up in the threshold of the door or leaking onto the flooring. But when pros don’t have a sill pan handy for door installation, many opt to create a handmade version from flashing tape or may not bother to install one at all.
This makeshift solution may seem okay at the time, but there are several major issues. One, the fabricated sill pan doesn’t have a back dam to prevent air and water infiltration. Two, these versions often rip or tear when inserting the door into the rough opening. Finally, flashing tape sill pans fail to properly drain water. Those who forego installing a sill pan altogether set themselves up for failure. Avoid these issues from the start and always use a proper sill pan that meets manufacturer specifications.
3. Securely Seal the Rough Opening
Failing to seal the brick mold to the door frame prior to inserting the door is one of the most common mistakes made during installation. Many don’t know that the brick mold is a mechanical attachment that’s not actually sealed to the door frame. However, sealing the brick mold with sealant that meets industry specifications is an essential step to prevent wind-blown air and water infiltration.
4. Use Insulating Foam for Superior Protection
When inserting the door into the rough opening, all professionals know the gap between the door frame and rough opening needs to be insulated. However, many fail to realize that insulating with fiberglass insulation leaves the gap vulnerable.
Non-rigid aerosol window and door foam, on the other hand, both seals and insulates the gap while also accommodating for seasonal and operational movement. Plus, insulating foam provides superior protection against water and airflow.
5. Ensure Reliability with a Redundant System
Ultimately, the key to durable door installation is to build in a redundant system with multiple sealants for added protection. Consistently using sealant, insulating foam and flashing tape for fail-safe protection will ensure a reliable, durable system.
Durable door installation is easier when you don’t have to worry about the materials you’re using. Before your next project, ask your building products supplier to include an exterior door installation kit with your single, double, or sliding patio door order to ensure you have all of your installation materials on hand from the start.
Learn about the DAP QuickKit for exterior door installation here.
About DAP Products Inc.
DAP is a leading manufacturer and supplier of caulks, sealants, foam, adhesives, and repair products with a history of first-to-market innovations with trusted, quality, reliable, and long-lasting products for professional contractors, remodelers and do-it-yourselfers.
For more information about DAP products and applications, visit our website at www.dap.com.