Rotting Shed Doors

by Elaine
(Conover, NC, USA)

My Rotten Shed Door

My Rotten Shed Door

I have a Gambrel Roof 12x20 building with double door on the long side. Shed is about 8 years old and the left door as you are facing the building is rotting from the bottom up.

I built a ramp to go up to the doors and there is a 1/4" to 1/2" gap between the ramp and the building to allow rain water to drip. The building is on blocks. The doors face to the south.

The angled 2" x 6" above the center door has turned up and out for the first 9 - 12 ".

I thought perhaps building a porch cover would help stop the door from rotting but don't know where to hook the rafters.

Do I run a board across the angle above the wall and start rafters from there?

I can easily build a door such as you show or I can attempt to copy the one that is already on the shed. I thought this was something special to my shed until I went to my cousin's up North and he is having the same problem with the same door location. My cousin said he has to replace his about every 5 years or so. He did put a small jut out over the doors which did not stop the rotting problem.

How do I stop the door from rotting in the future?

Thanks!
Elaine

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Sep 04, 2011
Cover up the end grain
by: Anonymous

I had the same problem with my shed.

Prior owners who had the shed built primed and painted most of the shed, but totally missed the end grain (where boards are cut) on the doors.

Lack of primer and paint will quickly lead to rot.

The end grain will suck up water (capillary action).

No need to encase the building in epoxy, hazardous chemicals, etc. Just take five minutes when you build it in the first place to seal the end grain.


Jul 15, 2010
all 6 sides
by: Elaine

Thanks Ron!

Elaine

Jul 12, 2010
Sealing doors
by: Anonymous

Hi Elaine,

Yes, we seal both sides and all four edges.

hope this helps,
Ron young

Jul 07, 2010
sealing the doors
by: Elaine

Ron,

Sorry this has taken so long, but when you say seal the doors inside and out - which I had done with exterior latex paint, I didn't seal the top and bottom. I've been told that by not painting the tops and bottoms of doors, it allows for the wood expansion. Is this true? Should I seal all four sides?

Thanks,
Elaine

Mar 08, 2010
a wood treatment to consider
by: Len in Colorado

Another wood treatment to consider is copper napthenate. This is a commonly used post and wet area treatment for wood -- it is available in the USA at Home Depot in two versions: a bright green color, and a brown color. Both are in a paint thinner base, and with multiple applications by brush or sprayer, will soak into the wood to prevent rot.

In addition to treatment, I recommend (as you are doing) looking at ways to keep the wood dry, because that is where the problem is originating.

Mar 08, 2010
Thank You
by: Elaine

Thank You for your insight.
Yes John, I can figure out how to send pictures. The door is quite high from the ground due to the slope of the ground. I will try to send pictures when I get off work tonight.
I've never seen treated oak or douglas fir in NC. We do have treated pine.

Mar 07, 2010
Rotting shed doors
by: Anonymous

Hi Elaine,
A couple more thoughts on the shed door. The reason the timber is rotting is that it is getting wet due to being close to the ground.

There are two ways to deal with this problem, one way as Ron identified is to seal the timber very effectively with a marine epoxy. This will keep out the water and so prevent rotting occurring.

The other method is to consider the timber that is used for the door construction. Pressure treated lumber or a more naturally durable timber such as Oak or Douglas fir would not rot in the time scale that you mentioned.

The first option would give a very smooth finished appearance, the second could be left to weather naturally or be treated with a wood stain or oil. The only problem I can see with the epoxy coating is if/when it gets damage and water gets in and cannot escape. However a lot will depend on the current appearance/style of the shed.

If you could send in a couple of picture of the shed and a bit more detail on the size and style of porch you intend we may be able to offer some more advice there.

Cheers

John

Mar 07, 2010
Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thank you Mr Young! I will try this as soon as the weather allows. I'll also tell my cousin.

Now for the other question, does anyone know where to put the joists for the porch?

Elaine (who is waiting for the nights to get in the 50's)

Mar 06, 2010
Apply Epoxy to the Shed Doors
by: Ron Young

Epoxy the doors, use a 2 part marine epoxy, use it on both sides, inside and out. This will basically encase and seal the new doors in plastic.

Hope this helps,

Ron Young

Atlantic Shed
1443 Middleboro Ave.
East Taunton, Ma. 02718

Tel: 1-888-397-3335
Fax: 1-888-397-3259

www.AtlanticShed.com

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