We know that moisture has a nasty habit of gathering under your door frame. This is why we would suggest that you install a sill pan. This is an extra layer that you place under your door designed to allow water to flow away.
But how can you install a sill pan on a concrete door frame? Where is the moisture under your door redirected?
What are the common mistakes made when installing a sill pan? Well, we have the answer to these questions and more, so keep reading.
But what if you have a concrete door frame, do you still need to install a sill pan?
Well, the short answer to that is yes. Water damage can still occur on concrete. This can lead to serious discoloration and deterioration at the bottom of your door.
What Is A Door Sill Pan?
A sill pan is a designed item that sluices away water that can gather underneath your door. The water drains from the bottom of your door frame and down a series of channels away from your home.
This design prevents the growth of mold and other water damage. These channels slope at an angle to allow the water to trickle down and into a nearby drainage system.
A sill pan is also completely sealed to prevent any moisture from getting to the subfloor. It is also meant to stop any air from getting into this gap, as that can contribute to the growth of mold and wood rot.
You can buy a lot of sill pans for your door. They are usually fabricated from durable ABS plastic or aluminum, as this type of material can withstand a lot of exposure to moisture.
Do You Need A Door Sill Pan For Concrete?
Yes, you will need a door sill pan for a concrete floor. Sometimes doors do not fit and are not flush with the floor or the wall. If this is the case, then you are running the risk of mold appearing in these moisture traps.
It is difficult to get an even surface with concrete. Often the door will not fit in with the frame, which is what accounts for these gaps.
If you have a sill pan, you will not only seal these gaps, but the water will be able to run out of the bottom into a designated drainage area.
If you do not have a sill pan for your concrete flooring, then the floor and the door will discolor. This will look even more unsightly if you have painted your floor and door.
Can You Make Your Own Sill Pan?
Many build do manufacture a sill pan using bevel siding, tape and certain types of sealants. However, a lot of these sill pans are temporary, and some are very inefficient and prone to breaking.
We would recommend that you get a proper sill pan made from sturdy materials that won’t get damaged when you open and close the door.
They should have a series of chambers and sloping channels for the water to run through properly.
A lot of builders skip the sill pan, especially if the front door comes with a porch roof that will shelter the underneath of the door from rain.
However, if a homeowner decides to remove the porch roof for whatever reason, then the subfloor will become exposed to dampness, and they might have to call the builders out once again.
Building code regulations need a sill pan under all doors, so ensure that the builder working on your house is adhering to this code.
Installing a sill pan under your door will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run and is a wise investment.
Common Issues With Sill Pans
There are a few issues that a lot of people make when they are installing their sill pans. Most of them are due to the use of improper materials and not taking care when it comes to measurements.
Here are a few problems that you might have already encountered:
1. Replacing a sill pan with flashing tape – very often a builder will not want to delay construction on a house. Instead of installing a proper sill pan, they use flashing tape instead.
Flashing tape does not have the requisite sloping channels that you need to drain the water. This is why it is susceptible to damage.
2. Not sealed properly – if you do not seal your sill pan properly, then you are exposing the subfloor to oxygen and moisture, two of the key elements for growing mold.
Also, if you don’t use the right sealant or caulk, this could lead to the subfloor being compromised.
3. Following building code – it is important that builders follow regulations for installing their sill pan. You’ll need to make sure that you have a pan flash, which is crucial for draining water away from your property.
What Happens If You Don’t Install A Sill Pan?
Often rain will not move in a straight vertical direction. You can experience serious water buffeting and splash back, with moisture eventually running down the door jambs and the gap between the door and the threshold.
The moisture will soon find its way down into the subfloor and start to stagnate. Eventually, the subfloor will rot as will the rim joist.
This will require an expensive callout charge to have this replaced. Even if you decide to replace the subfloor and the caulk yourself, you will have to spend time sourcing the materials and fitting a new sill pan, which will result in a hefty cost.
You will still need to have a sill pan to protect your doorways from water damage, rot, and mold. This is even if you have concrete flooring.
Most builders have to install a sill pan as part of the International Residential Code (IRC), so make sure they are following these regulations during the construction of your house.