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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had a prehung door done today. The door is in place and
it isn't going anywhere. The installer is a friend. He screwed up and I'll fix this by effort and with your guidance. FYI, the brick landing is way off level, which makes everything level look wacky.

Problem 1:

The aluminum threshold has a minimum @1/16" gap between it and the rapid-setting cement threshold installed underneath and 1/16" rising to 3/16 for the last 7" of its run where the cement threshold is not level.

I need something to fill this gap. Across the 1/16" deficieny, I am thinking an epoxy, polyurethane or other compound shot underneath the aluminum might do. In the last 7" of the threshold where the gap widens to 3/16"-- and I fear weighted flexing may result in distortion of the threshold--my first notion is one of the fillers already mentioned supplemented by composite shims that the fillers fix in place.

My requirements for a filler are UV toleration and/or paintability, duration, waterproof and minimal flexibility.

Problem 2:

The outer lip of the rapid-setting cement sill where it thins from the main body of the pour shows numerous cracks as pictured. If I could just coat the sill with something to prevent its further deterioration and improve water resistance, I will. Any good ideas?

Through a tedious attack with a diamond saw and diamond grinder, I could try to cut back as much of the lip as possible to reach the "apparently" ( or at least comparably) sound main body of the pour. Note, without X-Ray vision, seeing through the cement sill is not going to work. If I could cut/grind/carefully break the unsound lip material away, a new lip of concrete could be poured in place of the removed material. Because the door and jamb are in place and obstructing my access, this will be a challenging task.

I know this entire situation is an abortion. But life moves on. Don't worry, I'm not thinking of changing my screen name to "Lucky".

Any and all ideas are appreciated.
 

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Rip it out, its about as strong as type O mortar lol.

You seem to be running yourself in circles though. You may want to pause to find out if its you or the people you seek out. People just arnt this terrible.
 

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From the small portion of rowlock tread I see don't care for spacing or cleanliness of brick. Paint that threshold with sure wall. Tape everything off with painters tape. Only this time concentrate on quality of appearance. Quick fix and just a shot in the dark? Do things right the first time and your done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
@Tscarborough:

I'll advise my friend on using too much water.

Tomorrow, I'll look and see if the cement can
be ripped out without removing the door. Rehanging it is beyond my skill set. Looking at the bottom of the door, I can see the aluminum of the threshold sandwiching what looks to be cedar. If I can cast in some concrete, it would have to have a surface level below the threshold. The question then would be how to fill space between the concrete and threshold.



@JBM, this was not my baby. I had no hand on the tiller. But I did pick up the trash.

That said, it is my burden and I accept all criticisms
as I must deal with the result. I get references and recommendations. Sometimes, expectations match with performance. Sometimes, they measure nothing against contrary outcomes. In the middle of all that, my stomach and me are trying to move ahead.

For the record, today topped out at 77 and the door area was shaded by a lemon tree. This may make the idea of excess water and the choice of rapid set in itself gain more merit as explanations of the problem.

The aluminum threshold is aloft on air of the gap I outlined. Trust me, even I know it should have been set in a bed or meandering parallel lines of sealant. My friend was ready to caulk the threshold from the outside when I arrived, saw the rapid-set sill problem and waved him off.

Heavyc:

Thanks.

CJKarl:

I know I can demo the material precisely. And I know how to pour concrete.
If you all conclude that this can be done in any way you describe without removing the door, I assure you I can do it and will report with pictures as proofs.

OK, I'll check what you told me to tomorrow. Options:
*Demo around the door and cast new sill.
*If the main body of the rapid set is strong enough to support the threshold and intact, demo/grind away the shattered front lip back and figure a replacement.
*As heavyac said, go for a sealing finish.
*I'll call a friend who is a sealants/epoxy man tomorrow and see what insights he can contribute.

Your input is always gratefully received.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
You should be able to surgically remove that whole sill. Let the door hang in the breeze for a day. Form higher than finish and pour in properly mixed non shrink grout. Isn't there a mason there that can give you some guidance?
CJK: My local mason guru is no longer local. I'll have to rely on you as my unknown friends for schooling.

The rapid-set cement just had a hard look. Part of that involved minor destructive chipping and scratching. Now I have a hint of what "Inner10" meant: the stuff seems soft, breaking and cutting easily. The elements do not look like friends to its survival.

The front lip of the rapid-set has the most evident faults. The back of the pour shows one hairline crack that hasn't opened.

1. As to doing a new pour with the door in place, here is what I see;

* On the demolition.
There is open access from the back inside to the full height of the cement with the door in place. Here, I'm thinking that undermining the cement with drill holes in back and breaking the upper section sideways and down would be the safest method. From the front, grinding and breaking back underneath the threshold might be best. I think I can do this. CJK, if you want to call out surgical removal instructions, I'll follow them carefully.

*How I'd form a new material pour and finish it in the constrained area is perplexing while the question of what fills the measure of whatever open space your advise between the pour and the threshold remains open. If that can be resolved,
then this will add to the viability of this angle.

As an unrelated aside, you have previously said embedding aluminum in alkali-rich materials like cement or concrete is forbidden. I don't suppose the hardwood I think is cedar sandwiched in the bottom middle of the threshold might be fond of that either.

However, for any of you academically interested in this apart from the immediate topic at hand, here is a quick piece speaking to the other side of that issue, at least for aluminum:

http://www.concreteconstruction.net/concrete-articles/the-aluminum-and-concrete-controversy.aspx

2. With the door and jamb removed, a lot of the difficult goes away.
Framing the pour of a material you suggest (prompt set up would be wonderful) and executing it without interference would be much easier and the demo straightforward. If I very, very carefully mark the shim arrangement and door position before removal it might be possible for me to rehang it correctly particularly if the height of the pour is about dead even with the current level of the aluminum threshold. Or I can call my friend to do that part of the job he did well before.

3. Given how weak the rapid-set cement looks as a performer, an esthetic coating reminds me of the phrase lipstick on a pig.

The last goal I have here is to exasperate anyone and lose your kind attention. I'd really prefer to rectify the problem with the door in place if that is at all feasible. Anyone who can outline procedures there is invited. If consensus concludes removing the door is the only way, any detailing of pouring a new sill will be appreciated.

By the way, I culled a list of URLs that may be of interest to you for reading and reference in my prior masonry researches. If it would be any favor to cite them for your consideration, I'd be happy to do that.
 

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DavidC
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I haven't read any mention of a pan under that door so I'm going with what ever you do to remedy is temporary. If this is your house or a job you will be held responsible for, the best bet is to remove the door and start over.

If it is beyond your skill set it would be a wise investment to hire someone that can do it.

Good Luck
Dave
 

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Renaissance Man
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Yep, without a pan your destined for leakage,...today's modern pre-hungs with their foam block wedges and adjustable thresholds are dubious in the distinction that they leak like sieves.

Got to drain them to daylight too so no caulk along the front edge. Would pay dividends to slightly pitch the new threshold to the exterior while you're at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I haven't read any mention of a pan under that door so I'm going with what ever you do to remedy is temporary. If this is your house or a job you will be held responsible for, the best bet is to remove the door and start over.

If it is beyond your skill set it would be a wise investment to hire someone that can do it.

Good Luck
Dave
This is my mother's house. I need to get the job done so the stucco man can repair the cut out in stucco on either side of the door before rain arrives.

From my late examination, this garage side door opening was added by the original homeowner perhaps 50-70 years ago. The
homeowner built the brick landing and then broke out the stucco to frame the opening. The old doors never leaked. They also never were weatherstripped.

They failed because they were wood and delaminated for want of maintenance painting along their bottoms. We are in a very arid climate and the door does not face customary stormfront tracks.

Your remarks on a pan are wise. Plastic flashing and caulking on the adjacent framing beyond what the stucco man does is a will do. I am happy you brought that to my attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Yep, without a pan your destined for leakage,...today's modern pre-hungs with their foam block wedges and adjustable thresholds are dubious in the distinction that they leak like sieves.

Got to drain them to daylight too so no caulk along the front edge. Would pay dividends to slightly pitch the new threshold to the exterior while you're at it.
Superseal:

I will remark that the aluminum threshold on this fiberglass door is not adjustable. Hopefully, that means something positive if it is important.

Great pictures are weightier than words. As to words, can you clarify which edge you mean in "get them to drain to daylight, so no caulking along the front edge"?

Beveling the sill outward from the aluminum threshold another thought we shared on first seeing the result I first pictured. Another "will do".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
OK. The door gets out temporarily. Is there a best, water-resistant material for composition of the threshold you suggest given a balance of durable performance and the wish to get the door back in without a great deal of delay in curing?

Also, is running the threshold lip right down to the brick with a snubbed ending the smart move and would any preparation of the brick better their bond?

Once you determine a material and additives like reinforcements, I'll buy them and begin some trials making a beveled slope transition from the horizontal face where the threshold will sit to an intercept toward brick landing. I'll make a form that runs horizontal and then slopes for the lip, then screed and finish by hand. If I run across any problems on test runs, at least my questions will be real ones instead of speculative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just to clarify, there was and is no wooden soleplate under the door. There is an intact soleplate on both sides of the upright studs framing the door. Instead, under the swinging door, there was a cement pour on top of the slab where the soleplate might have been or maybe never was. Believe me when I note that there was more than one construction surprise when parts of the house required attention and opening.

That old concrete pour was about 4" deep in back over the slab and was bonded to the previous door threshold with enough tough adhesive that it cracked during threshold removal. The bad pour of rapid set filled the void of the extracted concrete and extended into the lip pictured onto the brick landing.

So, when I demo the rapid set, that is the replacement picture faced.

I'm working on that list of good links for you for a future posting. Thanks.
 
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